2007 was a huge year for Sebastian Krys. The Full Sail Recording Arts graduate took home the prestigious Producer of the Year award at the Latin GRAMMYs for his work on 11 albums from the likes of Luis Fonsi, Daniela Guzmán, and Jennifer Peña.
It’s the type of accomplishment that most professionals in the recording industry hope for throughout their career, but Sebastian is no stranger to such accolades. A brief look at his track record reveals why: after a decade of working in recording arts, he’s nabbed a total of 11 awards from NARAS – four GRAMMY® Awards and seven Latin GRAMMY® Awards – and he’s received more than 20 nominations. He’s worked on projects with everyone from Marc Anthony and Shakira to the Black Eyed Peas and Will Smith. “It’s been a crazy year,” he says. “But honestly, it’s been a crazy 1992 to 2007.”
After graduating from Full Sail and gaining experience at Nickelodeon and Crescent Moon Studios (owned by Emilio Estefan), Sebastian launched Arju Productions. As an independent one-man endeavor, Arju finds Sebastian wearing a lot of hats in the studio process, from producer and mixer to songwriter and developer of new artists.
Though the bulk of Sebastian’s experience has been with artists working in what are perceived as “Latin” genres, it’s a distinction that the producer doesn’t give much credence to. “I don’t really think of Latin pop or Latin rock as real genres. It’s pop or rock; the language doesn’t really define the genre,” Sebastian says. “Good music is good music.”
Moving to America from Argentina at the age of nine, he grew up playing several instruments and by the time he had relocated to Orlando for college, he was a guitarist in a punk rock band. “Fairly early on, I knew that I wanted to get involved in the production of music,” Sebastian reflects. It was a chance sighting at one of his gigs that played a significant part in shaping his future.
“My band was playing a show, and I saw one of Full Sail’s production trucks on the side, recording the set,” he says. “I was so amazed. It was the first time I had seen that type of equipment, and I was hooked! I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to go about getting there. A lot of other schools require an audition on an instrument in order to get admitted. I played in a punk band – you didn’t have to be a good guitar player for that! Full Sail understood you didn’t have to be a trained musician to work in production.”
Today, his stellar credits are a far cry from those modest punk roots. But Sebastian still maintains a sense of humility despite the several awards attached to his name. In fact, his personal policy regarding his overachievement at the GRAMMY®s is “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“It’s just surprising to me that I’ve been put in this position where I get an award for this work that I’ve done. I was never one of those guys who always got 100 percent on tests,” he laughs. “After a while, it’s become kind of embarrassing for me.”