BUENOS AIRES – After a quarter-century as a behind-the-scenes hit-maker for superstar recording artists like Luis Fonsi and Ricky Martin, Argentine composer, producer and singer Claudia Brant has put her own name in the lights by winning the Best Latin Pop Album prize at this month’s Grammy Awards.
Brant, who beat out bigger-named singer-songwriters Carlos Vives and Natalia Lafourcade for that honor, was recognized for “Sincera,” an album in which she said she took the creative license to do “what she felt like doing.”
The Argentine sat down for an interview with EFE in Buenos Aires just days after taking home her first Grammy at the Feb. 10 ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“It gave me recognition for all the work I’ve humbly done in the shadows for the past 25 years, because I’m responsible for the hits of a bunch of artists, who sometimes thank me and other times don’t,” the prolific songwriter said.
Brant’s songs have been recorded by a who’s who of the music world: Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana, Alejandro Sanz, Luis Fonsi, Barbra Streisand, John Legend, Kenny G, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Paulina Rubio and many others.
She had composed more than 4,000 songs, 1,000 of which had been recorded either by her or other recording artists, before giving free rein to her talents on an album that has earned her the highest recognition of her musical career.
“At age 52, no one’s going to tell me what I have to do. So I said, OK, I’m going to do what I feel like doing, a record with beautiful music, with good songs and with the guest artists I most admire, because I have (Antonio) Carmona, Arnaldo Antunes, Alex Cuba and Marisol Hernandez,” Brant said.
She added that it was noteworthy that she was able to win a Grammy without a major publicity campaign and thanks mainly to “word of mouth” in Los Angeles, where she lives.
Brant said the record was put together through live recordings and without the use of Auto-Tune or other effects, adding that “that’s how it should be; that’s how it was done 30 years ago.”
“Technology has made it so many artists who aren’t (worthy of that label) can be artists. Obviously, I try to always work with real artists, but I also know how things work ... because of all the time I’ve spent behind the scenes in studios working with all kinds of artists,” she added.
At this stage of her career, Brant said she can be selective about whom she works with, noting that she and Luis Fonsi can sit down and write three songs together in one afternoon.
But the Argentine said she continues to strive to ensure that women have a more prominent place in the music industry and that composers receive proper recognition.
“We have to fight so composers have the place we deserve, because I believe that without a good song there’s no artist, there’s no career, there’s no radio, there’s nothing,” the artist said.
Brant said in that regard that barring exceptions like Fonsi, Natalia Jimenez and Pablo Lopez, “very rarely do artists have the deference to thank the composers who gave them that song that made their career a success.”