When you’re hearing some of reggaeton music’s biggest hits, you’ll most likely hear the producer tag: “O-O-Ovy on the Drums.” The guy behind that callout is Daniel Oviedo, who is most known in the music world as Ovy on the Drums. After crafting smashes for artists like Colombian reggaetonera Karol G and Argentine singer Paulo Londra, Ovy is stepping into the spotlight with his new single “Sigo Buscándote” featuring Venezuelan-born duo Mau y Ricky.
Ovy on the Drums hails from Medellín, Colombia. Following years of being a DJ, the 29-year-old got the chance of lifetime to work as a producer for then rising star Karol G. He helped shaped Karol’s sound on her 2017 debut album Unstoppable, which solidified her as a force in música urbana. From there, Ovy was able to branch out and produce more up-and-coming acts on the Big Ligas label like Londra.
With his work getting noticed around the world, Ovy on the Drums has become an in-demand producer. He’s been in the studio with Karol G’s fiancé, Puerto Rican Latin trap star Anuel AA, and collaborated with international superstars like Ed Sheeran and Tekashi69. Karol G’s latest smash hit produced by Ovy, “Tusa,” added another heavy-hitter to his list of collaborators, featured artist Nicki Minaj.
On Billboard’s Latin producers chart this week, Ovy is at No. 1 and he’s sitting on top thanks to the global success of “Tusa.” In late 2018, Ovy launched his career as an artist where he not only produces his songs but also sings the words he writes. He continues that journey with ’90s-inspired music video for “Sigo Buscándote” with Mau y Ricky. Ovy talked exclusively with LaMezcla.com about navigating the two worlds of producer and artist, the stories behind his biggest hits, and his plans for 2020.
Q: How did you get started in music?
Music came into my life when I was least expecting it. One of my cousins introduced me to a friend who showed how to make music and how to use to the computer programs to produce music. That woke up in me my love for sounds and creating music. That’s where everything started for me.
Q: How did you come up with the name Ovy on the Drums?
I was in the studio with a friend. We made a song where my main contribution was the drums. My friend was like, “Ovy was the only one that did the drums, so we’re going to put it was Ovy that did the drums.” I became Ovy Killing on the Drums. I had that name for awhile. When I met Karol G, she was like, “No, not Ovy Killing on the Drums. Ovy on the Drums sounds better to me.” That’s where my the name was born. Ovy is taken from my last name Oviedo.
Q: Why did you decide to work with Karol G at the beginning of her career?
When I met Karol G, she already had a career. She had a No. 1 song with Reykon and released a collaboration with Nicky Jam. I already saw her as a big artist. I had the opportunity to work with her as her DJ for her live performances. After like two shows I asked her, “Karol, could you give me the opportunity to be your main producer?” Like Sky Rompiendo with J Balvin and The Rude Boyz with Maluma, I told if I could be her producer like that. I showed her my ideas and we made her first song without a featured artist that was a big hit in Colombia. That started my process with her.
Q: How did the song “Tusa” with Karol G and Nicki Minaj come together?
When I make music, I’m always thinking about Karol G. My best songs I always want to save them for her. “Tusa” is a song we wrote with Keityn, who is becoming a big writer from Colombia. We made that song on Jan. 31, 2019. Then I showed it to Karol G. When Karol heard the song, she didn’t like it. We showed it to other artists and they didn’t like, didn’t record it well, or it didn’t suit them. As fate would have it, Karol G asked me out of the blue about the song. We showed her again and she liked it. She wrote her verses and we recorded it. We had a very good relationship with Nicki Minaj. Karol sent her the song to work on it together. Nicki loved it and sent us her part.
Q: Did you help Nicki Minaj with her Spanish on the song?
No, Nicki sent us her part. Karol sent it to me and it surprised us that Nicki kicked off her verse with: “Pero hice todo este llanto por nara, ahora soy una chica mala.” What Nicki sent us, we loved it. We felt like we had a hit on our hands.
Q: What do you think about the reaction to “Tusa”? What do you think about all the memes?
Only God knows what we had in our hands, that we had a great song. It’s very beautiful to see so many people, women and men – everyone receiving the song so well. As a producer, it fills you with a lot of motivation to keep going and creating music. I believe it’s the most important song in my repertoire right now. There’s a lot of good memes. There’s memes that aren’t so great. But in general, most of the memes are good. To see the people being so creative with “Tusa” has been fun and a good time.
Q: Why did you chose to work with Paulo Londra?
Someone important in my career besides Karol G is [Colombian promoter] Kristo. He been very influential to my career. One day Kristo called me and said, “I have an Argentine artist that will be very big and I want us to work with him.” I didn’t know who Paulo Londra was. When Kristo showed me, I really liked him, his style, his flow, and what he was singing. We took him to Medellín. I feel like Paulo’s project was more commercial because the music he was making before was more underground. We helped him with the featurings and everything major that came from that.
Q: How was it to work on “Nothing On You” with Ed Sheeran?
I didn’t have too much participation in the production. We were with Paulo in Argentina and we recorded his part for Ed Sheeran’s song. We met Ed in person in London when we recorded the music video. He’s a very big artist but very humble. He’s a good person. I had the opportunity to show him my work and he loved it.
Q: How was it working on “Mala” with Tekashi69 and Anuel AA?
I was with Anuel in the studio and I started making the drum melody for “Mala.” He heard it and was like, “Let’s make this song.” Anuel wrote the lyrics and I finished the rhythm. Anuel sent the song to 69 and they recorded the song together. It was a song 69 decided to put on his album Dummy Boy. It’s sad that the song couldn’t go that far with what happened with 69, but it was one that had a lot of potential. However, it was still a hit.
Q: What’s the difference between making music for yourself and making music for other artists?
It’s been a process. It’s not easy. Sometimes you feel like you have a song or a rhythm that has a lot of potential. Me being an artist, I want to keep it for me. I fight with myself thinking I want this song for me, but I want it for Karol too because it could be huge if she records it. It’s a dilemma. Every day we have to keep outdoing what we’ve done before. Little by little as I’m coming out as an artist, I’ll find out what’s me for and what’s not for me.
Q: What inspired you to be an artist?
I decided to be an artist because I accompanied Paulo Londra on a lot of his tours. I went onstage and sang his songs with him. I seen how the people were calling my name and how they were receiving me. To be in a show with thousands of people singing a song you created, it’s incredible.
Q: How did your single “Sigo Buscándote” with Mau y Ricky come together?
The song with Mau y Ricky was a beautiful creation. I went to Bogotá to a session with Sebastián Yatra and there was Mau y Ricky also in the studio. When I arrived to the session, I already had the chorus written. Then I did the rhythm and the musical production. We were a great team, Sebastián, Mau y Ricky, and I, and we finished writing the song together. I loved the song. I told Mau y Ricky that I wanted the song for me as an artist because it sounded like a hit. They supported me and said yes.
Q: What are your plans for this year?
I’m going to keep trying to be one of the best producers on a global level. I’m very focused on my artistic career, but at the same time, I can’t lose sight of my career as a producer. This year I’m working on songs for Anuel’s album, Karol G’s third album, and our artist Micro TDH. There’s also collaborations coming with big artists like Enrique Iglesias and Prince Royce.