According to Rolling Stone, Tainy started professionally producing music when he was a teenager. He was only 15 years old when he first collaborated with two of the biggest Puerto Rican names in music, Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, on the genre-changing Mas Flow 2 compilation album released by Dominican-American duo Luny Tunes in 2005. Since then, as a producer, composer, songwriter, label executive, and musical visionary, Tainy has created some of the biggest hits in reggaeton since the early 2000s. He is the only producer to hold the #1 spot on Billboard’s producers’ charts for more than 100 weeks, a Grammy nominee, and a four-time Latin Grammy winner.
Credited as an “architect” of new wave reggaeton, his ability to synthesize old-school reggaeton into modern-day perreo (grinding dance) bangers prompted the resurgence of the urban Latino genre.
Tainy samples various genres on DATA, but seamlessly blends them together into one cohesive sound that is unabashedly his own. The album is a display of his appetite for experimentation, a mish-mash of sounds that fall between futuristic pop, afro-trap, and classic reggaeton. The album comes alive like an experience, as listeners are given the opportunity to download the deepest parts of Tainy’s musical mind and listen along as his creative genius unfolds. It is not based off of a single story or sound but is a collection that is perfectly unique and reflects each featured artist.
DATA consists of 19 songs that feature 27 major artists in reggaeton, including, but not limited to Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro, and Myke Towers.
As stated in Variety, Hiromasa Ogura, the art director and anime artist who designed the cover art for the album, took inspiration from one of Tainy’s favourite anime films: “the 1995 cyberpunk epic Ghost in the Shell, which follows a cyborg with a technologically augmented brain.” In an interview with Complex, Tainy explained he “took that idea as a metaphor, and treated the concept of the album like a movie in which I create a cyborg called ‘Sena’ who we see in the cover, and each track is DATA that I’m uploading to make her come to life.” We hear this in the glitch of a robotic voice at the beginning of Myke Towers’ “obstáculo.” It truly comes to life in the outro of Xantos’ “SACRIFICIO,” when a human woman gasps for breath.
Daddy Yankee steps out of retirement to support Sech and Feid with his inimitable flair on “LA BABY.” Bad Bunny highlights not one, but three separate tracks, from the ‘80s synth-wave of “MOJABI GHOST to an uncredited ode to his trap beginnings in the outro of Myke Towers, Arcangel, Owen Courtz, and Jhayco’s track “PA SIEMPRE.” Rauw Alejandro easily adapts to Skrillex and Four Tet’s electronic beats on “VOLVER.” Jhayco balances his trademark flow with the switch-up from earth to outer space in “FANTASMA | AVC.” Mora and Zion fit into the summer reggaeton hit, “BUENOS AIRES” (my personal favourite from the album), like a glove. Chencho Corleone offers his signature voice to serenade listeners over a drawn-out, slow-grind interlude.
Tainy expresses his decades-long truth through the voices of the biggest artists in the industry, harmonizing elaborate production and heartfelt writing in what can only be defined as the future of music. What else could possibly speak to the success of a man who has had the world singing and dancing to his work for the past 22 years?
From a musical prodigy to an industry titan, it is obvious that Tainy has long since satisfied the expectation of turning up a party. His debut album locks in on his accomplishment of taking the heart and soul of reggaeton and forever injecting his own roots into it.