Juan Campodónico is a Uruguayan musician, composer and producer. His name appears in dozens of influential musical projects, including the creation of Bajofondo along with Gustavo Santaolalla, where he is member, producer and composer. Also he leads Campo his most recent project and Peyote Asesino.
As a producer he worked on albums by Jorge Drexler, Luciano Supervielle, El Cuarteto de Nos, Ximena Sariñana, Santullo, La Vela Puerca and No Te Va a Gustar, among others..
He has been awarded with four Latin Grammys, the Argentinean Premio Gardel and various Graffiti awards in Uruguay for his work, as well as with many gold and platinum records. He was nominated to the US Grammy and the MTV Europe awards.
With one foot in global contemporary music and the other in South American rhythms, Juan applied the ideas brought by electronic music –synth, sampler and remix culture- to his work, creating a new trend from the southern region of South America.
Influenced by the Afro-Uruguayan music of candombe and by tango and milonga, rhythms that represent the continent vast mix of cultures, Juan blend these sounds in a unique way defining new forms that integrate these musical traditions, often underappreciated by the colonialist and standardized view of Latin culture. These ideas are made explicit-in different ways- in Bajofondo and Campo.
The mix of past and present, tradition and contemporaneity in his production makes his music timeless, connecting with Latin American cultural richness and projecting the search of new styles and rhythms.
Although guitar was his first instrument his approach to composition was trough digital and electronic instruments.
"From playing guitar I started to get interested in the world of arrangements. Later I was interested in production and the world of recording studios. A recording studio is a very wide instrument, like conducting an orchestra. Nowadays this orchestra can be inside a mobile computer. The music is now conceived to sound trough speakers. The way the sound is captured into electric impulses is a form of art. And all this brought me the tools to compose music. I’ve been lucky to live in a time where all this new technology became popular and accessible. My approach to making music came from this side, not from the traditional singer songwriting approach".
For Juan working as a producer, being making his own music or working for other artists is always a deep artistic statement.
Growing in an artistic family –he is the son of Uruguayan theater artists exiled in Mexico- one of his main influences was seeing his father Cesar Campodonico directing different plays.
"During my childhood and teenager years I saw my parents rehearsing, making tours, working on the mise en scene, developing ideas and searching references form the different plays. It was something I later used a lot in my work". This vital experience is also present in his notion of music as a collective endeavor, and his idea that from the sum of different talents you got something that is not achieved individually.