Jorge Reyes, manager in Simon-Kucher’s office in Santiago de Chile, has been producing music ever since he was a teenager. Inspired by his many trips abroad as a consultant, he explains why music and analysis are the perfect match!
Jorge, we hear you are a producer! Can you tell us about your journey into the world of music and how this led you to music software?
My first experience with music was in my early childhood when I took some piano lessons. However, to be honest, my true passion emerged when I was 14 years old and I discovered the drums. I would play with one of my best friends, Jaime (a guitarist) in multiple spots around our hometown, mostly covering bands like Muse, The Cure, etc. We called our project “Forget Norway”. But the drums have their limitations when it comes to composition, which is what led me to music software. It gave me the freedom to produce complete tracks without having to depend on other musicians.
Where do you go to compose?
In my current apartment in Santiago, I have spent the last couple of years slowly turning my living room into a studio: this is where I now spend most of my time working, both on consulting and music projects (especially since lockdown). I have a couple of analog synthesizers, a bunch of MIDI controllers, a bass guitar, and I recently got myself an electronic drum kit. Everything is hooked to my computer via an audio interface.
Does your music get any attention from friends, family, or even from the wider music community?
I actually never published anything until recently. You never feel like you’re “done” and there’s always something to fix or add. Written with the friend I mentioned earlier, there were about five songs of our own that had never seen the light of day. Last year I said “screw it” and decided to put a four-song EP on Spotify as “Forget Norway”. I didn’t make much noise around it, and basically just sent a message to my closest circle, inviting them to listen. However, my goal is not necessarily to reach a specific number of followers or listeners. For me, the purpose of making music is enjoying the process and, ultimately, the output.
How do you imagine your music developing in the future?
One thing I would like to rediscover is live performance. For a long time I have interacted with music by sitting down, planning a song, and then producing it. I moved away from the physical aspect of music. After all these years, I would like to explore how it feels to play live, and possibly start composing from the perspective of performing what I do. Another thing is that I haven’t lost contact with Jaime, essentially the other half of Forget Norway! We’ve been working on some songs we plan on releasing this year.
Despite the pandemic, I was very busy on consulting projects last year, and my mind was kept very active – a great source of inspiration for new material. For example, I wrote a couple of songs while staying in a hotel in South Africa for a project. I released those on Spotify along with a couple more in November in an EP called “Recollection, Pt 2” (Pt. 1 are the songs I published earlier that same year.)
We can’t wait to listen to it! Do you get a lot of inspiration for your music by traveling to different places for work?
Definitely. Going to a new place puts you in an unfamiliar situation and your head works differently. You are alert to new things in the environment, and it opens your eyes and ears. When away on projects, I always try to connect what’s happening on the outside to something within myself and then use that as inspiration. It’s always enriching.
What role does music play in your life? Do you find that being a musician also helps you in your role as a consultant?
When I finished college, I took a different road to many of my fellow students, and I knew that I didn’t want to immediately jump into a job or internship. My intuition told me to take my time and find a career that really fits who I am. Then, after about a year, I found consulting. What I particularly enjoy in this work is the analysis side of things: I believe it really reflects my character, and if you think about it, it’s actually quite similar to making music: it’s all about taking information in, processing it, and producing an output that makes more sense (and hopefully, is more beautiful!) than the input.
There’s something profound about music. It’s an outlet and a medium to codify reality in a different way, taking moments in life and expressing them through sound. This is where I can process things and leave my footprint. I like going into detail, the very nitty-gritty of things. In my work as a consultant this has proven very useful, but there’s always the limitation of pragmatism. However, with music there are no rules: I'm free to go into as much detail as I like.