A Conversation with Sergio George

In Summer 2012, over 12,000 music fans gathered at the “Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival” to witness a once in a lifetime concert experience as a select group of renowned salsa musicians came together for a historical one night event. This past summer, that experience was immortalized forever as “Salsa Giants” CD/DVD was be released under the production of musical director and producer Sergio George through Top Stop Music on June 25th. The project won a Latin Grammy and is nominated once again this year.
They are now embarking on a world tour with some of the Salsa giants including: Marc Anthony, Oscar D’León, Cheo Feliciano, Luis Enrique, Andy Montañez, Willy Chirino, José Alberto “El Canario”, Tito Nieves, Nora from the “Orquesta de la Luz” and Charlie Zaa.
We spoke with the Latin superstar about many things, check it out below:

What do you like most and least about your profession?

What I like most is the interaction with people. Seeing how music touches lives and emotions and many times even inspires. What I don’t like about my profession is when non talented people inject themselves into the music business in order to manipulate and exploit talented artists, many of whom don’t know or care about the business side.

Thinking back you your early childhood, what was your first experience with music?

My first experience with music was at home listening to it on the radio and walking the streets of East Harlem and listening to music coming out of people’s cars, via an 8 track player.

As a child growing up, music surrounds us; what type of music did you hear the most back then? How does it differ from what you listen to know?

The type of music I heard was from WABC in New York and it was Top 40 radio of that time. James Brown, James Taylor, Carole King and Jackson 5. That is still my favorite music to listen to, when I’m not working on music.

What is it like to work with Marc Anthony?

Working with Marc, for me, is a wonderful musical journey. He reminds me of me in the sense that we grew up in the same neighborhood in New York, listened to the same types of music, and are very demanding of how we want our records to sound. We really do push and challenge each other in the studio and I would honestly say he gets the best out of me because of these reasons.

Describe what it feels like to win a Grammy?

To win a Grammy award is the ultimate satisfaction for a musician, knowing that your peers are the voters and not image obsessed teenagers.

What can we expect from you live performances while on tour?

You can expect live, explosive performers on stage. These are some of the best in the world at what they do, and are ready to show this off on stage for the music fans.

What do you think was your biggest break or greatest opportunity?

I had 2 big breaks. One was Tito Nieves allowing me to produce my first hit record 25 years ago, and the other was partnering up with Gregory Elias at Top Stop Music, our current label. This recording company has given me the opportunity to control my own destiny as far as recording, marketing and promotion ideas. Very important that one has as much control as possible with their product and musical ideas.

Who are your musical influences?

My influences are many and wide. From Art Tatum, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughn to Beny More, Celia Cruz, Gran Combo and Elis Regina from Brazil.

Describe your music in three words?

In Your Face.

What’s next for your musical career?

Don’t know honestly. I never plan. I go with the flow.