Jory Boy, whose real name is Fernando Sierra, is one of those artists whose trajectory is part of the international expansion of reggaeton. Born in Puerto Rico, home of the genre, he has been active in the industry since the early 2010s as a singer, songwriter and record producer. He first gained recognition as part of the iconic duo Nova & Jory, but from 2015 on he pursued a successful solo career.
Known for his unique style and rhythms combinations present in his music, Jory has collaborated with many other big names in the genre, including Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Ozuna and Feid among many others. Some of his most popular hits include ‘Sigues Preguntando’ ft. Alex Rose, Myke Towers and Miky Woodz, ‘Nacimos Pa Morir’ with Anuel AA and ‘Hola Beba’ with Farruko.
Now, while he is performing these days in several European cities of Spain and Germany, we have had the opportunity to talk with Jory about his career, the incredible reggaeton boom worldwide, new talents, his upcoming dates in the USA and many curiosities in the industry.
You just released ‘Romance y Bellakera’ with Ñengo Flow and Zion y Lennox. How was the creation process? How did it come about?
I sat down to write the song with some songwriters I know from down there in Orlando, who are now super hungry and very talented. We came up with this concept of, you know, romance and ‘bellaquera’. That’s what always happens, that alcohol mixed with love always ends in bellaquera.
Automatically when I hear the track I think of Ñengo and I take it to him. The same day he recorded his part. He always does that because he and I have a lot of trajectory, a lot of chemistry too… But when we heard the track we felt we needed someone else, at least a duo. And who else but Zion and Lennox? Zion is my family and Lennox has the rastafari voice that fits with the flow reggae of the song, so it worked out in one go. Everything went well, very easy. It’s all in the family.
Since we started talking about a collab, it’s worth noting that you have collaborated with many other big names in the genre. What do you look for when you make a collaboration?
Yes, to be honest there are a lot of names coming in. I make a track and I listen to three different artists, for example, Bad Bunny, Anuel and Ozuna. Then, I approach the three of them and the first one that says yes, that’s the one that goes. For me, all three fit equally and if all three say yes, well, super palo! That’s when the songs of four or five artists come.
Are there any artists you would like to collaborate with in the near future?
Yes, I have a lot, especially the new talents. I spoke with Rosalía via DMs, but it has not happened tet. also with YOVNGCHIMI I would like to do something for the streets. There are a lot of chamaquitos now that are breaking the scene and they are from the new generation. I would like to work with them.
Speaking of new talents, what artists do you see now that are entering and changing the genre?
I’ve heard a little guy named Omar Corts, he’s very talented, so is Deivid… and Young Mico! Her trap is very different, she brings a different concept in terms of image and flow. It’s a very Americanized style. I think she has a great future.
What stage of your artistic career do you feel you’re in right now?
I’m in a stage that I call «the 12th round». Now we are giving everything to get back to where we were and get to where we want to be. One works and works but things happen when God wants them to happen. At the end of the day the important thing is that you have discipline and in the end it ends up happening, because it already happened to me once. Now I am fighting to regain the throne I had.
How has this artistic evolution been for you, from being part of a duet to being an independent artist?
I have always listened to all kinds of music, salsa, merengue, rap in English, reggae… So from so much varied music, different fusions, I was mixing all that style and created my own, which comes much more from salsa, but also has reggae, reggaeton, romantiqueo, everything. For example, ‘Matador’ is a fusion of salsa and reggaeton.
After this time in the genre, who would you say are your main references and influences?
I would say my cousin Zion, because he was the first in the family to achieve something that nobody thought of. He was my inspiration, obviously. If he could do it I thought I could do it too. I also have to say Yankee [Daddy Yankee], because I met him, I talked to him, he gave me a lot of advice and obviously you have to respect his discipline. Wisin was one of my mentors in music, we work a lot and we are friends. Also Ñengo, who is my brother. He taught me a lot about loyalty and brotherhood and how to help artists without thinking that they are going to give you something in return.
You talk about Yankee giving you advice, what do you think is the best advice you’ve been given in the industry?
The best advice I’ve been given is not to take things personally. In the genre it happens a lot when an artist comes and asks for a shooting or a song from another artist who is at his peak, and he ignores it. But you can’t take it personally, you have to know that this is business. They don’t owe you anything. There are artists who take it personally and end up fighting, their career ends up damaged… That’s the best advice I was given. In music and in business.
How do you think reggaeton has evolved in recent years and your music with it?
When I was 14 years old I was a fan and when I listened to reggaeton, there were only Puerto Rican and Panamanian artists. Now if you look at the genre, everybody is making their own music: the Chileans, the Argentines, the Spaniards, the Colombians… It’s already a worldwide thing. They no longer wait for only the Puerto Ricans to do it, in different countries they do it very well.
Precisely in Los40 USA we are living the absolute success that Latin music is having, blanketing all the American charts. How are you artists living this success?
At the beginning it was all very different. The genre was not very accepted in the United States. Whoever did reggaeton was called a ‘jíbaro’, which means ‘crazy’. But from Tego Calderón onwards, even the respect of the Americans themselves has changed. They are seeing us everywhere, at the Latin American Awards… American artists themselves are looking for Latin artists to collaborate with. The respect they have for us in music has totally changed. Before there was no consideration… well, except for the big names like Yankee. But if you were a chamaquito entering in the industry… they didn’t even pay attention to you. Now the respect is worldwide. Especially in the USA.
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What do you think has changed everything?
I think they have seen that we have more power than they thought. They see the numbers that we Latinos do and think «these guys are doing more numbers than us». Latin artists are much more global, they are in more places in the world. The respect came from there. We shut their mouths.
That’s a good headline.
It’s the truth!
Are you planning to come to the United States soon?
Yes, I live in Miami but I go a lot to Puerto Rico to visit my family. I’ve been in the USA for a while because I grew up half of my childhood in Philadelphia.
How do you live this peak moment of Latin music in Miami?
In terms of work, if you want to grow as an artist, make music, collabs… you have to be in Miami. Everything has to be in Miami. Everybody is there now.
Do you already have dates for future performances in the U.S.?
Yes, we are going to New York on May 20, then to Colombia, then New Jersey… Now we are also planning to go to Los Angeles, which we like very much. And after that we will do things outside of the country.
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