Producer and artiste Track Starr developed an interest in music at age five. Encouraged by his parents, he began playing the flute, then the piano and saxophone in church, at school events, and weddings.
Also known as rapper El Capitaan, he has been producing music since his teens.
“I am an original producer, but a lot of my work is inspired by old school music from the 1970s and the 1980s,” he explained in an interview with Splash.
“I bring a fusion of dancehall, funk, pop and hip hop. The sound I’ve been creating in my music is a feel-good, high-energy and commercial sounding production.”
The last year has been his most fruitful as a producer. In 2018, Track Starr (given name Emilio Bowens) produced Hood Celebrityy’s Walking Trophy which peaked at number 22 on the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Airplay Chart. Kemar Highcon’s recent chart-buster, So Saucy, is another of his productions.
In April, he hit paydirt as an artiste when Tu Pum Pum, a track credited to Karol G and Shaggy featuring El Capitaan and Sekuence, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (R I A A). That song was released in early 2018 by After Cluv, a division of Universal Latin.
Tu Pum Pum topped Billboard’s Tropical Digital Song Sales Chart. It also made the Mexico Pop Espanol Airplay, Latin Rhythm Digital Song Sales and Latin Digital Song Sales Charts.
“My journey as a producer and engineer began after I moved to Connecticut. I was introduced to FL Studio 4, a producer software and while still in high school, I used this newfound skill to make some of the hottest beats for some of my fellow high school artistes from the community,” he recalled.
Sampling, especially songs from the 1960s and 1970s, has been a practice of music producers since the mid-1990s. But Track Starr says it is important to be unique.
“I started out producing hip-hop music but my real breakthrough song would probably be Walking Trophy. I have had songs that were big in the tri-state dancehall community before, but I wouldn’t call them breakthrough,” he explained.
Later, Track Starr moved into dancehall and reggae. Sizzla, Lutan Fyah, Versi, T-Nez and Bramma were some of the first artistes he worked with.
“My goal is to consistently outdo myself in music, solidifying new heights and working with an increasing number of notable, established artistes,” he said.
He also has his sights on owning a multi-faceted record label and has begun to develop Track Starr Music Group (TSMG). With this label, he plans to sign and develop young talent across the Caribbean by incorporating creative music projects and collaborations with the business side of music.
Track Starr said in the early days, he never saw music as a career. He majored in communication with a minor in psychology at Western Connecticut State University but after producing several well-received songs, he took a more serious approach to the industry.
Though most of his accomplishments have come in hip hop, he would like to collaborate with dancehall acts, especially the veterans.
“Besides some of the legends like Bounty, Beenie, Vybz Kartel and Mavado, I would like to work with anyone that’s young, talented and have a momentum building,” he said.
As El Capitaan. he is working on an EP titled I Ain’t Playing Witcha Vol 1.
“The EP is going to be a collaboration of dancehall, afrobeat, Latin and hip hop-infused sounds and artistes,” he said.
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