Sometimes plans change and sometimes destiny finds a way of making that change inevitable. Reggaeton producer, songwriter and recording artist José “Gocho” Torres fell happy victim to the latter. Growing up in Puerto Rico in a family of musicians, he planned to become a doctor and studied biology for two years at the University of Puerto Rico. But then a visit to a recording studio with a friend changed his life.
That friend was Ángel of the well-known Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Ángel y Khriz, with whom Gocho went on to write several hit songs and produce the record MVP’s. He has since worked with some of the biggest names in the business: Shakira, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Eddie Dee and Zion y Lennox, among others. But lately, the accomplished producer and songwriter has emerged from behind the scenes to perform songs from his debut solo album Mi musica, released earlier this year.
After writing and producing songs for so many other artists, Gocho says he is enjoying connecting in a different way with his fans. He’s also connecting with other artists in new ways: Jowell y Randy join him for “Dándole,” the album’s first single. A classically reggaeton party song, “Dándole” appeals to people of all ages and is being played in clubs all over the world. But the song also belies the more serious side of an artist who is a husband and father of three and sometimes finds the life of a musician very difficult.
“You don’t sleep, you travel all the time and miss a lot of things with your family,” he says. It’s the reason that his father, the legendary trombonist Rafi Torres, didn’t want him to become a musician. “[Their child] becoming a doctor is every parent’s dream,” says Gocho. His grandfather, his brother and his aunt are also accomplished musicians. “At first they were not happy about (my choosing music as a career), but they are proud of me now that I’ve made it.”
His second single, a love song called “Nada de amor,” showcases the breakout star’s softer side. When asked about how he juggles his roles and artistic ambitions, Gocho says, “I don’t want to be just a reggaeton singer. I have to show I’m versatile—that I do more than the others.”