ONE-ON-ONE with Roger Ortega
Roger Ortega is Spotify verified independent recording artist and a voting member of The National Recording Academy which grants him the opportunity to vote for The Grammys. Roger also known as “RO” or “RnBPoPWrytr” was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas and now resides in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.
ONETEN MAG: What is your background? Ethnicity-wise I’m Mexican, born and raised in Kansas.
ONETEN MAG: What first got you into music? I was born into it really. I’m a third-generation musician. As far back as I can remember I was listening to my dad and my uncles’ practice and going to their gigs.
ONETEN MAG: Who inspired you to make music? Songs & memories. So many songs bring me back to a certain feeling or certain time & place. I wanted to make songs that would do the same for others.
ONETEN MAG: How would you describe the music that you typically create? I’m an R&B/Pop artist. I tend to be more on the pop side of it though with my melodies, but I rely on an undercurrent of R&B with the music.
ONETEN MAG: What sets your music apart? I’m a die-hard romantic that loves to have a good time. I guess you could say I’m a good guy with bad boy tendencies and it shows up in my music. I love to write about love, heartache, and sex. In fact, that’s what my latest single Better Than Coffee is all about...sex. Morning sex to be specific. You can check it out on iTunes or Spotify.
ONETEN MAG: How long does it usually take you to write your songs? Anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. But then the refining process can take a week or two. I’ll write a song and then leave it alone for a while come back and clean it up to help shape it into something I can truly stand behind. So many songs on my albums were written and then a week or so later a melody or lyric changed to make it flow better.
ONETEN MAG: Please explain your creative process? I like to think of myself as a song sculptor. If it’s just me writing I need privacy because nothing I start with makes any sense to anyone. I mean the specifics change but the overall process is pretty much the same. Hear a track, throw a bunch of babble & gibberish until I find the consonants and vowels I like. I then turn those into words & shape the melodies. Sometimes a title of a song pops into my head and I try to write around that. Again I build it with gibberish and bad notes until it’s exactly what I want.
ONETEN MAG: What are you most proud of to date? And, what keeps you making music?
I’m proud of so much, but if I have to choose I’d say being accepted as a voting member of the Recording Academy as well as the success of my two albums. For an independent artist to reach #62 and #8 on the iTunes charts is pretty cool. So cool in fact I have a tattoo of the for each album on my arms because no one can take that away from me.
ONETEN MAG: What drew you to the music industry? The desire to perform.
ONETEN MAG: Who would you most like to collaborate with? Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran
ONETEN MAG: What is the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far? Understanding that “no” isn’t the final answer.
ONETEN MAG: You dropped a single on iTunes called “Calling All Girls” How much has the industry changed since then? The industry has only changed in the fact that social media runs it. Though when that song came out most people myself included were just trying to figure out how to make it work for them. I did.
ONETEN MAG: How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business? It’s leveled the playing field in a way. I have fans all over the world that I can reach in a matter of a click or two that I wouldn’t have been able to even 10 years ago.
ONETEN MAG: What is the best advice you have been given? I take advice with a grain of salt. Not that I don’t take it under advisement but I’ll say this, no one. And I mean no one knows exactly what it takes to “make it” when it comes to you. You have to do what feels right. When people give advice it’s really their opinion on what you SHOULD do. No one knows so I just smile, say thank you, and create my own “advice/opinion” based on my circumstance.
ONETEN MAG: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? That artists receive more compensation for streaming. We aren’t really selling hard copies anymore but the work is still the same. The money to make the work is still the same, but the compensation is far less.
ONETEN MAG: With the impact of the world’s healthy pandemic with CONVID-19, how are you keeping yourself busy and sane? I’ve managed to stay busy with virtual concerts, karaoke events with my fans & I actually started a tongue in cheek Instagram live show called Sunday Night Soft Rock with RO. Through all of these avenues, I’ve been able to connect with my RoRo’s on several different levels.
ONETEN MAG: What’s next for you? Hopefully getting back in the studio soon. I’ve got some songs I want to get recorded and out. But first, Yacht Rock season!
ONETEN MAG: Any last words or shout outs? I just want to thank you for this opportunity. Oh, if you want a good laugh join me at 10 pm est every Sunday for Sunday Night Soft Rock with RO on Instagram Live. Instagram/RnBPoPWrytr
Photos provided by Roger Ortega & Katrina Hirtz of Kick Up Your Heels Entertainment
His website is www.rogerortega.com
His new single Better Than Coffee www.soundcloud.com
This is the album THE LOTTERY: www.soundcloud.com