The Bahai' Faith speaks to an essential unity among all peoples of the world. K.C. Porter, whose phenomenal rise as a producer and songwriter was capped with his Grammy-winning work on Carlos Santana's Supernatural, was raised in that tradition, and his dedication to the cause of freedom and social equality for all peoples has helped fuel his meteoric rise in the crossover market.
When he was seven years old, Porter's parents moved his family from Encino, California to Guatemala to spread the teachings of the Bahai' movement. There, K.C. picked up the harmonies and culture of the Latin world, melding the native sounds and rhythms of Guatemala with the sights and sounds he remembered from the States. It fostered in him the seeds of creativity that would later help him guide a host of artists, including Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, Bon Jovi and the late Selena, to new heights of popularity in the Latin/Anglo crossover market.
His family eventually ended up in Mexico, but by the age of 17, K.C. Porter sensed that it was time for him to return to the States. "I knew I had to return to the States to get my education," says Porter, who attended Cal State Stanislaus. Precociously talented, Porter landed a staff arranger job at A&M Studios prior to graduating from college. His bi-lingual background and familiarity with Latin culture led him naturally to producing and writing for this market. During these early years, Porter worked with a number of Latin artists, including Lani Hall, Luis Angel and Maria Conchita Alonso.
While working with these performers, Porter was also developing his own sound. Smooth and peaceful, Porter also brings a contemporary edge to his productions, which helps to explain how he can take a traditional artist like Carlos Santana and tailor a production that retains its authenticity but is successful in attracting a youthful audience.
In 1995, Porter teamed up with Ricky Martin. He produced A Medio Vivir, the singer's third album, and also co-wrote "Maria," the hit single from that album. The two would work on Martin's follow-up album, Vuelva, as well as the breakout number one album Ricky Martin.
His work in the late '90s earned Porter a handful of Grammy Awards and nominations, but the Album of the Year Grammy he landed for his contribution to Supernatural was clearly a highpoint. He began writing with Santana in 1997, and of the four tracks he produced for the album, two ("Corazon Espinado" and "Migra") were born in these writing sessions.
With the success of Supernatural, a promising career has been kicked into a higher gear. Porter now has the luxury of sifting through job offers from a bevy of high-profile artists. It is however, his work with the Oneness project that brings this gifted artist full circle. This organization's goal centers on the theme of racial unity, and artists who are joining to produce an album for the Oneness organization include Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, Brian McKnight, Chaka Khan, Montell Jordan and Porter himself.