Who is Nico Cotton?
Born in Caballito, beyond a few moves, he always stayed in the neighborhood. His first job as a professional producer was at the age of 19. Cotton collaborated with artists such as Wos, Cazzu, Nicki Nicole, Knowing Russia, Tiago PZK, Louta, Ca7riel, Juan Ingaramo, J Mena, Zoe Gotusso, Natalie Perez, Axel, El Kuelgue, Los Nocheros, MYA, among others.
He is in charge of the production and composition of the original music for the series. The kingdom (Netflix), where he also collaborated in the composition and production of the song by Cazzu “On my grave”theme song of the series.
in dialogue with AmbitNico spoke about his beginnings in music, how he came to production, why despite being so linked he does not consider himself a producer of the urban genre and his future projects.
Journalist: How were your beginnings with music? What was heard in your house?
Nico Cotton: In my house there was always a lot of music. My dad had bands when he was young, he was a guitarist and there were always instruments at hand, for example, the typical Casio keyboard, I still have that with me.
When I was a kid I was very interested in what the battery was, I hit anything and my parents bought me a toy, which I ended up breaking. Then they bought me a better one. I always had the support of the family, luckily they realized early that I was interested in music and they always supported me.
Q.: Before the producer Nico, there was the musician Nico. What was it like to start in that world?
NC: At 12, 13 years old I started playing with bands, I remember leaving school and going to rehearsal. At one time I had five bands at the same time. That was a spectacular school because they were all of different styles and that meant a lot of musical training, especially being able to share with other people. Nowadays, perhaps that of interacting with other musicians has been lost a bit, especially in urban music. Later, I started to play in MAM, the band that Omar Mollo had, at that moment I had to replace Catriel (Ciavarella) who went to play with Divididos.
Q.: At what point did the producer Nico begin to emerge?
NC: Parallel to playing in bands, I began to make my songs, I recorded them on the computer playing all the instruments. I didn’t realize it, but I was already “producing”. For me what I did was a game, instead of composing with the guitar and the voice and saving it in a voice note or whatever, I recorded all the instruments, I recorded the voices, I did choirs, I mixed. I left it sounding the best possible within my possibilities and everything from my house, from my room. There it started as that thing of understanding what each instrument played, that was given to me by the experience of playing with bands and being able to see what each member played and what place each one occupied. In this way began that personal experimentation of hours without caring about anything other than the music, me and the computer. That later led me to be known by other artists and to be able to do what I used to do in my room in a professional way.
Q.: What did it mean in your career to have crossed paths with Axel?
NC: At the time I was about to start working with him, I went to see him at a show in Vélez, I had these doubts and nerves about whether he was going to call me or not. Luckily he called me and we started working, first composing songs, then he liked the way I recorded the instruments, how I prepared the demos. He already knew that I had been producing other things and so it happened that we made two albums. One won the Gardel de Oro (Your eyes, my eyes) and the other was nominated for a Latin Grammy (Ser). Let’s say it was with the first “big” artist I worked with.
Q.: How does the urban genre come to your professional life?
NC: Is rare. I’m not an urban music producer per se, mine goes for something broader, I don’t consider myself an “urban producer”. I do have a broad musical taste, I always listened to everything and when I stopped working in that more melodic pop genre my name is Juan Ingaramo and we made an album called “Best Seller”, there I was able to express my musical taste a little more. It was a first approach to the urban genre, but from a more pop side, more “songbook” and that album opened the doors a bit for me. After that Louta came, we did things with Wos, with Nicky Nicole, etc. That album was the one that made me a producer of the new generations and not so much of those already established artists, who, although it is great and the experiences were spectacular, it was more logical that I be producing an artist like Juan (Ingaramo ) than a renowned artist with a style that was perhaps not so close to mine.
Q.: You, who are in this movement, what do you think is the reason for the massive success that urban artists are having?
NC: There are many factors, the main one is that we have tremendous artists who are making music that has never been made in Argentina, with an incredible level of production, sound and content. There is a new generation that is spectacular.
Then there is an issue of consumption, music today is consumed in a different way than 10, 15 years ago. Now everything is immediate, and it’s not the same way a 10, 12-year-old boy or girl consumes music as someone 35 years old, there’s a lot of difference. I feel that the music of these new generations has much more consumption than artists who are closer to 30 years old. That is reflected a lot in the number of reproductions, ticket sales, but it does not mean that there is not other music that is perhaps not so “viralized”, to put a name to it, that it is not also incredible.
Q.: And these new artists who gained relevance through networks and platforms are now debuting live, filling stadiums…
NC: It’s crazy, something very atypical, I think the pandemic made people really want to go see shows, and I see that as something very positive. Coldplay is going to sell out 10 stadiums of River, something that I think they would never have imagined, but that shows that there is a need to consume art and it is something to value and pay attention to. It’s not entertainment, it’s something else. And yes, now there are artists who had never stepped on a stage and suddenly they have to debut with shows for 10 or 15 thousand people and that is something very crazy. Imagine that when I had my bands it was rehearsing and rehearsing and suddenly debuting for 10 people, who were friends and family, that was normal. Today the path of how to get there has changed a lot and it is good that artists realize and assume that responsibility, that they prepare to face that situation. In my case, with the artists I work with, they take that into account and care about the show, the singing, the dances, and that’s good.
Q.: Do you think that these artists can be able to sustain themselves over time and not be more than a phenomenon of the moment?
NC: It is 100% responsibility of the artist. There are some whose success has exploded in their faces and then they didn’t know how to sustain it, and sometimes it happens that the curve goes down and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’d say it’s something natural.
Q.: Beyond the urban genre, you continue to work with Mateo (Sujatovich) from Knowing Russia, someone who follows the path of National Rock. Is there room for other artists like him?
NC: I would say yes, perhaps there are things that are not reflected in the number of views, but there are projects like Knowing Russia that are suddenly going to fill a Movistar Arena. That seems incredible to me because let’s say it’s not the music “in fashion”. I think it’s very important to promote the diversity of styles, not everything is what’s in the Top 50 on Spotify, there’s also a lot of music that isn’t, and yet it attracts a lot of people. Although it seems inevitable, sometimes you have to stop looking at the rankings a bit and focus on the music.
Q.: How was being behind the music of El Reino? Are you coming back for the second season?
NC: It was a flash, I never imagined making music for something so important. As a boy he had worked a little for television programs, making incidental music, but they were small jobs. This was a spectacular experience with which I learned a lot, but it was quite a long job to do. I’m back for the second season and the good thing is that we already have a fairly defined musical palette, but it’s still a challenge to be able to renew it and make it something that conveys the emotion of the series.
Q.: Has it happened to you to reject a project and regret it?
NC: Yes, obviously. Perhaps due to lack of time or because of being dedicated to something that later comes to nothing. But hey, you don’t have a crystal ball and it’s good not to beat yourself up and enjoy the process. Experience is everything when choosing projects, if you dedicate a lot of time to something, in the long run it will turn out well. Obviously there are always things to improve.
Q.: Can you anticipate something of what you are doing now, or of some future project?
NC: There are many things that I cannot reveal, but I can tell you that I am working with Soledad (Pastorutti) and basically we are making a folklore album that is a genre that I never produced and I am very excited about. We’re halfway through the album and it’s turning out spectacular, so I’m super happy to be part of this project and that Sole has entrusted me with this task. That it be a folklore album was my proposal, she called me to produce, but I told her: “Let’s make a folklore album”, she liked the idea, so we are in that creative process and very happy. The most beautiful thing is that we are not thinking about anything commercial, but about music and feeling the vibe of what is happening, and for me it is very important that she lend herself to that.
We wish to thank the writer of this post for this incredible web content
Nico Cotton after his Latin Grammy nomination: “There is a lot of emotion”