Ovy On The Drums on the defining tracks of his career

Ovy On The Drums is a Colombian music producer, songwriter, and performer.

The veteran hitmaker has closely collaborated with numerous international stars, including the likes of Argentine vocalist Paulo Londra and reggaeton heavyweight KAROL G. In celebration of his recent sample pack release, we had the privilege of sitting down with Ovy On The Drums to dive deep into how he crafted two tracks that were particularly instrumental to his career.

Our original discussion with Ovy On The Drums was conducted in Spanish; responses quoted below are English translations.

Paulo Londra’s “Adan y Eva” (2018)

“Adan y Eva” is a single that Paulo Londra released in 2018 in advance of his latest full-length album, Homerun. The track blends a stacatto guitar loop, driving drums, and Londra’s effortless vocals into one cohesive mix that hooked the world—the song climbed to number one in Spain, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, and Uruguay, and with it, Londra became the first (and only) artist to top Billboard’s Argentina Hot 100 chart on two separate occasions.

“The main sample—the guitar—is a sound I took from Splice,” Ovy tells us as he reflects on his production sessions for the track. “I listened to it and thought it was incredible. So, I downloaded it and mixed it in with my sound. I did the drums, the bass, and everything else myself, but I left the guitar as it was when I heard it on Splice, because that’s how I liked it.”

While chopping, twisting, and completely reimagining samples is a key element of the creative process, it’s not a hard rule—and in the case of “Adan y Eva,” Ovy On The Drums was able to recognize that less was more. “I didn’t make any changes to the sample—and the song became number ten globally,” he smiles. “Paulo Londra and I were just together, creating a different sound and energy. The song, the timbres, the sound of Splice’s guitar—everything was very different from what was going on in the industry, and that made the song a hit.”

KAROL G and Nicki Minaj’s “Tusa” (2019)

“‘Tusa’ will always be the biggest song I’ve done so far,” Ovy says. The impact of the track is certainly monumental to say the least—it was nominated twice at the Latin GRAMMYs, became the first song fronted by two female artists to debut at the top of the US Hot Latin Songs chart, and has well surpassed one billion streams on Spotify alone. “It’s the third-most-awarded song in history, surpassing Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller,'” Ovy reflects solemnly. “The truth is that ‘Tusa’ is a work of art for me. It’s something else entirely—it’s a song that marked a generation.”

In contrast to the song’s massive success, “Tusa” is surprisingly fairly modest in its structure. “I think minimalism is what makes my sound unique,” Ovy explains. “When something is very simple, I can make the music and production sound bigger. If you analyze the production of ‘Tusa,’ it’s actually quite minimal: a violin, a piano, a bass, and drums. It has absolutely nothing else. I made everything including the violins from scratch, but did take a snare from Splice—although to varying degrees, Splice is always present in the productions. It’s a tool that one always uses.”

It’s also important to note that “Tusa” wasn’t a track that happened overnight—there was a long journey that made it possible. “I’ve been working with KAROL for about eight or nine years—it’s been a long time,” Ovy tells us. “We’ve spent days and nights in the studio, working and creating, and I think that thanks to that dedication and teamwork, we were able to achieve a great sound together—and KAROL G has a unique sound today that characterizes her very much.”

“Now that she already has a great name thanks to the work we’ve done, the only thing I always think about when I go to work with her is ‘the next level,'” he continues. “We’re always looking at everything we’ve done to not do what we’ve already done; we’re constantly searching for a fresher and different sound. I think that was part of the success of ‘Tusa’ as well—when the song came out, it was a time when I wasn’t hearing other songs that started with violins like the Renaissance. You listen to those violins and it even sounds weird, but it was a different sound, and people liked that—and KAROL G has had the level to always propose and do something that’s musically different.”

Ovy On The Drums’ advice for up-and-coming producers

Looking back on his journey as well as towards the future, Ovy has one piece of advice for producers: “Never stop creating.”

“Never stop creating, and maintain the discipline to create a different sound, learn something new, and compose every day,” he says. “While it applies to all things in life, this is what makes you good at music. In order to achieve a unique and different sound, you have to work hard every day, without stopping. I personally still work with the same desire I had from day one.”

Incorporate Ovy On The Drums’ mesmerizing sounds into your own productions:

February 1, 2022

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and produces vocaloid music as Namaboku.