Since he was 11 years old, Puerto Rico native Jhay Cortez knew he wanted to pursue a career in the music industry.
Now, at age 25, the reggaetoner has written music for every big star in the Latin Urban Music scene including Bad Bunny, J. Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Karol G and Nicky Jam, as well as major artists from the States like Cardi B and Selena Gomez.
And with a Latin Grammy already under his belt, the rising star is transitioning into his own role as a singer and performer, recently dropping his first studio album “Famouz” which debuted in the top 14 of Billboard’s Top Latin Album Charts.
“I’m happy that my music is receiving the attention,” a surprisingly soft-spoken Cortez, wearing tiny sunglasses and a hoodie over his head, told The Post over lunch. “It means that people are connecting with it, people are liking it, and that it’s globally being recognized and that people are starting to really look into my music.“
The songwriter’s growing success as a singer becomes clear when looking at the stats for his remixed tune “No Me Conoce” feat. Bad Bunny and J. Balvin, which dropped in May. To date, the reggaeton banger has garnered well over 150 million views on YouTube and almost 50 million streams on Spotify.
“I knew it was going to be good,” he said of the hit. “It’s one of those songs that’s just dope.”
Luckily for Cortez, working with so many successful artists over the years has left him well equipped to handle the competitive industry.
“I think all of them have helped me,” he said of his famous collaborators. “Just watching their process and watching their day-to-day has helped me to be an artist and [they showed me] what way I need to go, what direction I need to go through, what stuff I should not do and should do.”
But like any artist trying to make it big, Cortez still has days where he wants to throw in the towel.
“Almost every day I want to quit,” he said. “I think just life is like that. When you get to the next day you have energy again and you want to do everything again but at the end of the day, you just don’t want to do this anymore. I think it’s a case of energy.”
The one thing that keeps him going, however, is his hunger for creating new material.
“I love dropping new music always,” he said. “I think that’s my favorite thing, really.”
And as for whether he prefers the comfort of creating in the studio versus performing his music on stage, Cortez told us that while he always gets nervous to perform, he added, “If you don’t get nervous, that means you’re not excited about it.”
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