K. C. Porter

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K. C. Porter
Born June 27, 1962
Southern California
Occupations record producer, songwriter, musician and singer

KC Porter (born June 27, 1962 Karl Cameron Porter) is an American record producer, songwriter, musician and singer. For nearly three decades in the entertainment industry, Porter has earned numerous Grammy nominations and 3 Grammys and Latin Grammys. He is best known for his production work on Carlos Santana's Supernatural, (which sold over 27 million copies worldwide and won 9 Grammy Awards) and for producing and penning some of the most popular Spanish language singles for Ricky Martin to date.

He is also known for crossing over artists such as Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton, Scorpions, Mýa into the Spanish speaking market and crossing over world music artists such as Taro Gold, Khaled, Laura Pausini, Kadim Al Sahir, and Cheng Lin into the international market.

Porter is one of the founding members of Oneness, a non-profit organization that promotes the oneness of humanity through music, the arts and education.

Early life

Porter was born in Southern California and resides there now, with his wife, Aimee, daughter Emma, and two adopted sons, Carlos and Wenjie.

Porter's family moved from Woodland Hills, California to Guatemala when he was seven years old. His father, musician/arranger Bob Porter, became a member of the Baha'i faith in 1968 and in 1970 relocated the family of five to central America. In the ten years that he spent there, Porter became well-versed in traditional and popular Latin music, and learned Spanish, musical arrangement, and piano. He was also aware of popular music from the United States, and was later to fuse this with his fluency in the Latin idiom in his musical career. Porter returned to California to study music in college, and quickly landed a job as staff arranger at A&M Records in Hollywood. While there, he had the opportunity to record artists such as Lani Hall, Luis Angel, and María Conchita Alonso. Porter started to produce as well, and soon demonstrated a capacity to present Latin pop music in a way that proved accessible to American audiences and achieved great popularity. His production skills helped to break Luis Miguel, Daniela Romo, Emmanuel, Ana Gabriel, and Barrio Boyzz on three continents.

Recent career

Ricky Martin

Porter began working with Puerto Rican pop artist Ricky Martin in what would become a long and fruitful association. They first collaborated on Martin's third album, A Medio Vivir, the artist's first major commercial triumph. Subsequently, he produced the groundbreaking follow-up, Vuelve, which topped the Latin charts, sold eight million copies, and garnered the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album. Martin's successful eponymous English-language debut on Columbia Records, which has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide, and is more than seven times platinum in the U.S. alone. It features the Porter produced and co-written hit "Maria", and on Sound Loaded, Porter produced the track "Cambia La Piel". In early 2001, Sony Discos released La Historia, a 17-song collection celebrating the best of Martin's first six albums—with well over half the tracks produced by Porter.

Selena

At the same time that his career with Martin took off, Porter was instrumental as well in introducing the rising Tejano singing sensation Selena to the Latin pop market and then to mainstream America. The first to record the young phenomenon in English, Porter handled production on Selena's 1995, Dreaming of You, 1996s Siempre Selena, and the soundtrack for the 1997 posthumous movie Selena.

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

Aside from his pop work, Porter has also worked extensively with Rock en Español band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs since the days when they were an unknown act. He eventually produced four noteworthy albums for the now hugely popular band: El León (1992), which gave the group a breakout in Latin America; Vasos Vacíos (1994) (which gave the group some worldwide recognition through the track "Matador's" when it was included on the soundtrack of the film Grosse Point Blank); Fabulosos Calavera, which won a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album; and 1999s Grammy-nominated La Marcha del Golazo Solitario.

Santana

In 2000, Porter won a Grammy for his extensive work on the 1999 Carlos Santana album Supernatural, which won a record-breaking nine Grammys including Album of the Year, is certified fourteen times platinum domestically, and has achieved international sales exceeding ten million. Porter produced four songs for the album, including "Primavera", "El Farol" (both of which he co-wrote), "Migra" (remake of "Kelma" by Rai Artist Rachid Taha), and "Corazón Espinado" (featuring Maná), the album's third single internationally. "El Farol" was also honored with a 2000 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental, and Porter's production won "Corazón Espinado" Record of the Year at the first annual Latin Grammys that year.

He produced and co-wrote for Ceremony, Shaman and Multi-Dimensional Warrior, Santana's multi-platinum follow-ups to Supernatural, and worked on the most recent Ultimate Santana.

Other work

Since the early 1980s Porter has worked with Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, 98 Degrees, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton, and Boyz II Men, crossing their hits over to Spanish-speaking and international audiences. He has produced Spanish versions of songs such as Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart", Brian McKnight's "Back At One", Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses" and "This Ain't A Love Song", Boyz II Men's "End Of The Road", "Bended Knee", "I'll Make Love To You".

Porter has written many songs, and produced albums and singles that have received Grammy awards and Grammy nominations. These include the title track from the salsa singer La Indias acclaimed 1999 album Sola, and Patti LaBelle's "When You Smile", a tribute song for Celia Cruz, featuring Spanish language artists Carlos Santana, Andy Vargas, and La India. This is the first collaborative effort for Carlos Santana and LaBelle from her album Timeless Journey.

In 2001, KC was approached by Michael Jackson to produce the Spanish version of his song, "What More Can I Give" in response to the 911 tragedy. The song features contributions from Carlos Santana, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Shakira, Jon Secada, Alejandro Sanz, Luther Vandross, Gloria Estefan, Olga Tañon, Luis Miguel, Rubén Blades, Michael Jackson and more, but has yet to be officially released. In the same year, Porter was awarded the Producer of the Year at the 2nd Latin Grammy Awards for his work on "Brujeria" and "El Santo" by King Changó, "Cambia la Piel" by Ricky Martin, "Olympic Festival" by Santana, "Un Error de los Grandes" by Laura Pausini and "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" by 98 Degrees.

In 2004, Porter produced Embrace The World Vol. 1, a collection of spiritually inspired instrumental and vocals works that blends the musical cultures of Chinese, Persian, Central and South American artists.1

Porter produced and co-wrote Ozomatli's latest Concord Records' release Don't Mess with the Dragon and penned songs for their 2005 Grammy winning Street Signs. He has also written for Chilean rock act La Ley's Grammy winning, "Libertad", as well as collaborations with Carlos Santana and North Algerian musician Khaled, entitled "Love to the People", Iraqi musician Kazem Al Sahir and Paula Cole on "Love and Compassion". Additionally, he wrote the #1 Billboard Latin single "Sedúceme", for La India, and the debut English-language platinum album From the Inside for Italian singer Laura Pausini.

Other interests

Porter, a member of the Bahá'í Faith,2 is also the Creative Director for Oneness, the non-profit organization he co-founded in 1999 with a mission of eliminating racism and promoting racial unity through the healing power of music and the arts. Since its launch, Carlos Santana, B. B. King, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight, Angélique Kidjo, Quincy Jones, Ricky Martin, DJ Khalil, Immortal Technique, JB Eckl, and Jimmy Jam are among the many who have already contributed their time and talents.

Oneness holds annual Power of Oneness awards, recognizing individuals who have fostered meaningful change in the area of race relations. 2002 winners included Edward James Olmos, Nancy Miller, Nile Rodgers, Jonathan Butler, Leila Steinberg, and Joy Enriquez.3 In 2003 winners included Michael Jackson, Ed Begley, Jr., The Jim Henson Company, Dr. Joy DeGruy and Brad Gluckstein for their contributions to Racial Harmony.4 The annual Songwriters' Summit for Oneness, typically held in Los Angeles, features the teaming of over 50 producer/songwriters at a one-day event to create songs of social justice, racial unity and change.5

References

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