Justin Quiles is keeping his Promise as his new album lays siege to social media circles while dominating Billboard charts.
A dawn of a new age in communication rose by the end of the 20th century. The World Wide Web was made available for the general public to explore and interact. The music industry in turn evolved alongside it through the advent of digital streaming and social media. More so, up and coming musical artists could reach virtually millions across the globe with their music selling limitlessly while engraving their names in the foot holes of this endlessly expanding musical wall where so many established talents have etched their names before them. True talent is then measured by the reception of a variety of audiences to whom their music has reached. The greater the number of YouTube views, Facebook and Instagram likes, or Twitter feeds, the more likely success for the artist is garnered. One prime example is the impressive rise of Justin Quiles or J Quiles as many fans have come to know him.
Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Justin Quiles Rafael Rivera (J Quiles) was born with a natural talent for songwriting and singing. Crediting his oldest brother for much of his musical inspiration, Justin’s exposure to a variety of genres like reggaeton, hip hop, tropical tunes, salsa, merengue, and bachata helped fuel his creative acumen and sparked his hands and soul to compose many successful hits for not only his own career but for that of other established artists like Yandel, J Balvin, Maluma, and J Alvarez, to name a few. In just 3 years, the 26-year old urban pop sensation of Puerto Rican descent has had 5 top singles and performed all over the world visiting Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. He has performed at Calibash, Miamibash, and Calle 8 2016. His music has had 68 million streams on Spotify while his YouTube videos have had a total of 300,000,000 views. He’s had 530,000 followers on Instagram as his Facebook listeners have reached a little over a million. His latest album, La Promesa (The Promise), easily reached number 2 on the Billboard Latin charts upon its release on July 29, 2016, and with his latest single from that album, “Si Ella Quisiera”, he’ll be lighting up the Billboard charts yet again.
Not bad of a start for such a musical talent who has been in the industry for little over 3 years. His dreams and aspirations have helped him rise despite a difficult upbringing from which his family had to move on a couple of occasions due to family hardships. He had moved and lived in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico until his early teens having experienced living in a shelter and then in section 8 housing after a small stay with his grandmother. Finally returning to the US and making Florida his home, J Quiles, along with a small cohort of old high school friends and a team of gifted producers like Kristian Ginorio, Emmanuel Infante, and El Magnifico, began his journey into music starting initially with reggaeton then transitioning into urban, tropical pop utilizing social media as his springboard from where he dove into the industry with his breakout single, “Orgullo” and then “Maria”. Both hits solidified his mark in the urban genre, yet his music also demonstrated his versatility. Not content with a single format or style, the young, urban “Amadeus”, kept pushing the limits of both his craft and means of sharing his gift with his fans. His music and lyrics were meant to reach audiences and touch them more deeply than any of his predecessors. Tapping to other musical styles, his intentions were to diversify his music utilizing a bit of hip hop, merengue, even Mexican regional music along with his reggaeton sounds. His videos are also a reflection of such cosmopolitan endeavors. He started an interactive series on his YouTube channel called Capre Diem where videos were displayed weekly showcasing his music and creativity. While, other videos like those produced by Los de la Nazza, celebrates J Quiles’s sense of fun with videos of lavish street parties, exotic locales, and beautiful ladies that were shot in a very raw, cinematic style. In one article by LATINA Entertainment, for example, Justin explains how he came by shooting his “Maria” video in a one-shot run. “We did a one-shot video, so it didn’t get any editing or nothing. You’ve seen videos like that before? On the American side people [have] done it, but on the Latin side, I think I’m the first Latin artist that has done that…Now, I want all of my videos to be one-shot so it could be my trademark in the Latin industry.”
As such, his trademark really has been his sincerity and talent with words which have earned him the respect of both his peers and fans. He’s not arrogant, but very down to earth who only wants to continue riding this train which has offered him so many opportunities and many new doors from which to enter. Now, with the release of his new album, The Promise, he hopes to push his creative limits and keep dominating the social media world with his music.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I started when I was really, young. When I was 13, I was writing my first songs. Then, when I was about 18 years old, I really decided that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This is what I like, and this is what I’m going after. I made up my mind and just went for it. At 23, I signed my first deal with the label Rich Music, an independent label. Since then, we’ve been doing a lot things. We’ve been on the radio. My music videos got better. Everything from there on started moving.
How many years have you been in the industry?
I’ve been signed up for 3 years. Doing videos, hitting the radio. It’s been 3 years. So, I’m a beginner. (chuckles).
What do you like about it so much?
I love music. I like performing. That’s one of my favorite things. I like being in the studio with the creative guys creating music, making new songs. I can tell the producer what beats I want. I can tell him, “I want this here. I want this for the song.” I like the creative part a lot.
How would you describe your music? What makes it so unique?
I think my lyrics are what best describes my music. How I write songs. Like a lot of people can identify to the songs I write. A lot of fans tell me when they see me in a concert. I could see when they connect to the lyrics and my melodies. My melodies are different. I have a different voice. At least, that’s what a lot of people tell me. So, I think that’s what makes me different.
I understand you compose your own music. What kind of stuff do you like to write about?
I’ll write about anything. I just go far and beyond. I’m always take care. I travel. I experience new stuff. Anything to open my mind. I just write about new stuff. I’m always thinking about what can I write differently that no one has done before. That’s how I came up with “Orgullo” “Si el mundo se ha cabado”. These titles. These songs are like…You listen to the title and you go, “Hey! I wanna listen to this song.” “What is this song about?” That’s what makes me (I think) a different song-writer.
How would you describe your creative process? How do you go about writing a song?
My creative process? When I’m making music, I like being alone. In fact, I’m writing a song about being alone. So, I would go to the beach or go sit in a balcony, or I could be in my room. I like setting up my own vibes. If I’m in my room, you’ll see me turn on candles, then I’ll turn off the lights, and then I’ll put on some soft music. I’ll just get into my groove. I like being creative.
Was there a song that you have written that really represented who you are emotionally? If so, which one?
Yeah! I think my first single, “Orgullo”, was the song that opened a lot of doors for me. It’s a song that identifies me. I was going through that in that moment. That’s when I wrote the song. So, it was really authentic that people could really relate to it.
You’ve also written for other artists like Yandel, J Balvin, Muluma, Nacho, along with many others. When it comes to writing music for others, what was it like working with them?
I always liked songwriting. For me, it’s a great opportunity to get to work with these different artists and see their vision. See how they think about music and letting me be a part of it, trusting me to make a song for them. That’s not something you get to do for anybody. You know, “Hey man! Make me a song!” You got to trust that person. You got to believe in his talent. You have to believe that his soul is in it. I feel grateful to J Balvin, Maluma, and Yandel. They gave me the opportunity to be a songwriter for them and being part of their career.
Would you say that the experiences helped you grow? Did you learn a lot working with them? If so, what did you learn and take from those experiences?
Yeah. Of course! It always helps a lot. They definitely helped me a lot. They allowed me to be a songwriter to these people. I developed being an artist and a songwriter at the same time. They are two things that I like, which I think is great. Working with Balvin, for example, was great. Everyone knows J Balvin. He’s this new artist. He’s such a humble person. So he gave you that energy of being humble and a good person. That helps me too. So, when I’m growing, I will be like, “Alright. I don’t want to be cocky, or I don’t want to be arrogant. I’d rather be myself. I don’t want to be like THAT.” That’s what I got from J Balvin.
What is Carpe Diem about?
Carpe Diem is a series that I made. It’s 7 songs with 7 videos. Carpe Diem is Latin for “Seize the day”. That series is very unique. It’s very different. Every video connects with each other. It has a lot of story, a different story. It’s like a movie from once you watch them all, they all connect. It was like a different idea that nobody ever heard of or done something like that. I’m always trying to evolve and do different stuff so to catch people’s attention. Carpe Diem worked perfectly.
How did you come up with it?
I asked why don’t we do something different like a storyteller would do. Each story connecting with each other. I talked to management, and they liked the idea and made it happen.
I noticed from a couple of your videos, you got a lot of views. They became very popular. Not only that. Some of the songs you’ve helped written got a lot of attention. That’s pretty big for someone starting out in the industry. How does that make you feel?
Yeah. That’s big for me. I mean having good reviews. Nowadays, people and labels–they look at you a certain way. They look at the numbers that you do. They look at your YouTube channels. They look at your hits; you got to see how your social media is doing. It helps me. It helps me a lot. YouTube helps me a lot. It’s real. The numbers are real. My fans are real. And everything is authentic. I’m grateful for my fans and all these songs I’ve created. I know people could relate to them. That’s why they keep trending.
What is the song,”Si El mundo Se Acabara”, about from the album, Los de la Nazza Justin Quiles Edition? What’s that about?
That was my last single. It’s a song that talks about if it were the end of the world, I want to be with this girl. If we only have this type of time, I want to be with you. Basically, that’s what the song is about. I was thinking of something different, and that was a good title. If it was the end of the world, what would you do? What would we do right now? (chuckles).
What’s it like working with De Los Nazza?
It was great working with them. They’re great producers. They produced a lot of artists like Daddy Yankee. They produced for Farruko. They produce and wanted to collaborate with me. So we did. That’s how everything went down.
I understand you released your new album, La Promesa, The Promise on July 29. How long did it take to produce it?
This album took me at least 2 years. I wasn’t really making an album in those 2 years. It took me 2 years to write a lot of the songs. From there, I choose like 30 and from there I chose 15. They cut that album. Then I just finished the production. When the album was ready to be finished, we just went into the studio and made everything happen. If I had to record the song all over again, I would go in and record the whole song.
Who was involved in the production of it?
Mostly, it was my producers, Lenlo Jazzy, The Hitmen, Magnifico, we call him the beat monster, He is the little monster. (chuckles). Those 3 were the ones that produced my album. On the mixing side, my friend, Nenos. He’s been mixing my songs since we started. We all started together. We started from high school. We still make music till today. And they make almost all my productions, my mixing, everything. Nenos is very good at mixing. Jay X is another guy that mixes a lot. Alex, “El Equatoriano” mixed like two records from there. And Danny Deleon. Those are the guys mixing the records.
How is it different from your previous work?
I think what makes it unique is the production and the songs. You listen to it and it’s not like a typical Reggaeton. You listen to my music, you’ll get another vibe to it. Like the first song is called Addicto. It’s like this R&B and Reggaeton type of vibe. It’s really different. Then I got some real Reggaeton records. I got some American records. Some are in Spanish. I gave all these types of flavor type records. Everything stays in the urban. I got away from what people expect from me.
Your first single, “Si Ella Quisiera” was released. What’s that about?
I made this record in Miami. I made it more like a Miami-vibe record. I didn’t know it was going to be that big. I just made it thinking, “Let’s make a record for Miami”. The party scene and whatever. It started catching a lot of views. We had to push it as a single because people were loving the song.
You performed all over the world not just in Latin America. How do you feel about your music appealing to fans from across the globe?
It feels amazing going to Rome, Italy, Switzerland and different parts of the world where people don’t even speak your language. You feel good when you go out there and see all these people singing your songs from your album. I feel like I accomplished something.
Out of all the countries you visited, which one really stood out for you?
Madrid, Spain. It was lit! The party was insane. The fans were crazy. It was a great show.
I understand you are touring currently. What is the name of the tour?
The tour is called Capre Noctem. Like Capre Diem but Capre Noctem like “Seize the night.” I got a few concerts coming up. We have a release party in Miami which is on August 6. I’m going to be in Calparialtos, Mexico (Aug 13). We go to Ecuador again. Venezuela. We got a couple of shows in Venezuela. We’ll keep touring.
The complete tour schedule is listed below for fans. If anyone who is interested in following J Quiles and check out his latest albums and videos, merchandise, and adventures, his website www.jquiles.com is available. He is also on Facebook, Jquiles, and Snap Chat, justin.quiles. Fans can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jquiles.
9/3 La mega Miami clevelander