“It’s never too late …” goes the saying. This seems to be the mantra that follows Tommy Torres, who after two years away from the stage, picks up his singing career where he left off and launches his third disc Tarde o temprano. At age 36, the singer-songwriter already has a distinctive style, though he’s betting on this new album as if he were a newcomer.
If you believe that this Puerto Rican is just another one in the bunch, better think again. Not only is he a graduate of the prestigious Berkley College of Music, but he also takes credit for the success of singers like Ricardo Arjona, Ricky Martin, Ednita Nazario and Eros Ramazotti. Torres spoke to Peopleenespañol.com about his most recent endeavors, and here are some of the things he told us.
After your first two CDs, you produced discs for Ricky Martin and Ricardo Arjona, among others. Why did you stop singing?
It was a combination of different factors. First, there was a change in the music label. And it takes time to finish that administrative process, a complication that we artists have to deal with. Secondly, I wanted to have a string of songs that followed a story line that made sense. I was waiting for the moment when everything worked in my favor. Then other projects came up that peaked my interest and they were good opportunities. That was the reason why I produced those discs. It all happened naturally. It was incredibly gratifying. But then I said, “It’s time.” And here I am.
What makes Tarde o temprano different?
It’s more experimental than my other music. You can say that I took a risk. I invited Dan Warner and Lee Levin to be part of this project because I’ve worked with them before and I feel comfortable with them. It’s a combination of rural music with highly urban accents that’s best heard in “El trabajito”, the song I sing with Tego Calderón. There’s a lot of guitar and pop influence there.
Tells us an anecdote of something that’s happened to you in the middle of a concert.
.Some years ago, I sang without earphones through a whole performance. The earphones simply didn’t work. I had to remain on stage without listening to my own voice. I had no idea how I was singing. I don’t know if people noticed, but for me it was horrible.
Do you prefer big stadiums as opposed to more intimate scenarios?
I really like both environments. When you are facing a gigantic, massive audience, the adrenalin, the emotion is different. And, if for some reason, something happens, it’s hardly noticeable. Whereas on a smaller stage, any small detail turns into something much larger.
Had you not been a musician, what would you be doing?
Well, I like technology a lot. It comes easy to me. I was the one who set up our radios and television at home, and the go-to guy everybody calls to program their computers.
How many iPods do you have? More than Karl Lagarfeld, who people say owns close to 200?
Here’s the headline of your story. The truth is that I don’t have any. I know it sounds incredible, but it’s that I can’t have any. Music takes me far, I get overly distracted. If I’m driving and I have an iPod, I would have an accident. If I’m walking and listening to music, forget it, I would get run over by a car.
What kind of music do you like?
?Everything! Bossa Nova, jazz, John Mayer and, of course, I can’t leave out The Police. I listened to a lot of rock when I was a little boy, but it was because of the peer pressure. Deep down inside I knew I liked Bryan Adams.
Now that you’re on a promotion tour, what is it that you miss the most when you’re traveling?
My bed. Arriving at a hotel and seeing an empty bed you’re automatically reminded you’re not home and nobody is waiting.
And the girlfriend?
Oh, that too, of course.