Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Los Angeles-based multi-Grammy award winning producer and engineer Sebastian Krys is launching a Latin music rebellion. To that end, he has started a new music entertainment company aimed at developing Latino musicians in the United States. Rebeleon touts itself as having a "new vision for a new generation."
Krys, as general manager of the company, has the credentials and resume to pull off such a feat. He was the engineer and mixer for Shakira's defining album Donde Estan Los Ladrones as well as her Grammy winning MTV Unplugged live recording. In 2008, Krys was the top producer of hit singles in the US Latin market outpacing all other competitors in the field. The rest of his achievements? Too voluminous to reproduce here.
News of Rebeleon Entertainment's launching coincided with the surfacing of its first signing--Los Angeles buzz band La Santa Cecilia. In a Facebook note, Krys wrote of the genre-bending six piece,"They're amazing, but need to be nurtured and supported. They don't fit the mold, and that is what we should support."
Since the announcement of the move in mid-November, Krys has recorded La Santa Cecilia's forthcoming EP Noche y Citas. The band has also released its first ever music video for the first single La Negra off the new album and redesigned its new website--where you can hear snippets off of Noche y Citas (soon to be reviewed in Heard Mentality!)
What Sebastian Krys and Rebeleon Entertainment have in store for 2011 has provoked much excitement. The company has certainly gotten off on the right start teaming up with La Santa Cecilia to help execute its vision. When originally approached by the Weekly for an interview, Krys wanted to delay the exchange until things became more settled. However, he soon found himself flooded with such requests and was genial enough to grant the Weekly the first interview about Rebeleon Entertainment as we were the first to ask!
Read our exclusive exchange from OC to Mexico City with Sebastian Krys, where he has spent the last hectic week, after watching La Santa Cecilia's new Olvera Street music video version of La Negra!
OC Weekly (Gabriel San Roman): First, tell us about the name for your new music entertainment company.
Sebastian Krys: My mom's name is Rebeca and my father's name was Leon. It's actually a tribute to them.
What was the primary motivation in starting the label?
I believe strongly that the music industry has abandoned artist development and I think that in the past decade and a half this has been a big factor for the decline in the industry. It's one of many, but an important one.
How does the recent signing of Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia to Rebeleon fit within that vision of "artist development" and how did you happen upon them?
I saw Gloria and La Marisoul play at a BMI showcase at Genghis Cohen shortly after I moved to LA, and was blown away by Marisoul's voice. I went to see the band a few more times and was sold. La Santa Cecilia doesn't really fit into a genre, and there aren't many companies taking chances on artists that don't fit into a cookie cutter mold. But the fact that they have such a strong and dedicated following is a testament to the fact that they can build their audience. I think we need to support bands that are innovative, I also think that people want something new, not the same old thing.
Do you believe that such a musical thirst has largely gone without quenching?
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I believe that the US Latin market has been in large part ignoring kids who either grew up here or are second and third generation Latinos and to this end I want to find artists who reflect a true bi-cultural people. This is who I am. I came here as a kid from Argentina and grew up as part of a sub-culture which wasn't 100 percent American or 100 percent Latin. I was both. It's a very different experience than growing up in Argentina or any Latin country for that matter and for kids who are born here. Being Latin leaves an indelible mark for who they are and who they become.
At what point personally did you decide that turning your ear towards this ignored sector that the US Latin market was the musical direction for your future?
I've always worked with up and coming or unknown artists as well. I see a huge opportunity right now. Things in the industry are very chaotic, and out of that chaos there's going to be people that are going to forge ahead. I hope that Rebeleon will be one of those companies.