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Meet Jorge Echenique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jorge Echenique.

Jorge, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without My mom (Patricia), My aunt (Faviola), and most important my grandma (Nora). They are some of the toughest, hard-working people I know and raised me to be the same way. Culture played a big role in my life because of them as well. They always brought Music around me whether it was by dancing, singing, or going to shows.

I was born in Peru and so it was the only place and culture I knew until I turned nine when my mom decided we were going to leave for America. Imagine not knowing anything about American culture nor the language? It was a whole new world and at times it did get scary but music is what helped me adapt and make the transition smooth.

My first album in English was Westside Connection which had the hit song Gangsta Nation. Not what people expect for the first taste of American music. But that opened a lot of doors to different genres that got my attention. From there on I listened to everything from Ozzy Osborne, Dr. Dre, and Celine Dion. I couldn’t get enough!

One thing that always captivated me and left my heart racing was live performances, seeing the artist performing in front of so many people gave me the chills. I would think about how these artists were so brave and vulnerable on stage, how scared they must be singing to thousands of people. But they never looked at it. When the lights went on and the artist took the stage with thousands of people cheering their name, it went time. They poured their hearts out in giving everyone their whole self through, art, music, and production.

I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Live music! And not in the way of me being an artist but producing the shows for the artist. Helping bring everything to life and creating the most unbelievable experience for the artist and fan alike.

At the age of 18, I was non stop trying to get into production. I got my first break at a night club that needed help with production in the Bay Area, City Nights. I did things like finding themes, coming up with contests and booking Dj’s. I did that for a year then my second big opportunity came. A program director (Jazzy) at a top 40 market radio station (997NOW) offered me a job in promotions. That’s where things really started moving. I did everything from promotional events, taking care of special requests for an artist to organizing and executing artists meet and greets. I never wanted to stop learning, so whatever they needed I was always there.

After a couple of years of being a yes man, another change came when my marketing director ( Carlos Pedraza) gave me the opportunity to produce for the CBS national team. At that time I was still getting my degree so to be a part of the team, I missed a whole week of classes to do this job. I had a lot of making up the do but saying yes was the best thing I could have done. That opportunity led to five years of producing shows for all kinds of different artists ranging from Muse, Taylor Swift, Logic and Dan + Shay…the list goes on.

It definitely wasn’t an easy road but if you would have told me as a little Peruvian kid that I would be working with an artist of this caliber, I would think your crazy.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been rough but I never let it stop me. Even though I’ve been here most of my life my immigration status has been a struggle. It’s hard building a career for yourself when you don’t know if tomorrow all your hard work will be taken away for circumstances outside of your control.

When I got out of high school it was hard for me to pursue the field I really wanted. I couldn’t get a job other than fast food because of my status. It was a constant battle within my self to believe that I could amount to more regardless of my situation.

I’m glad that right now DACA is in place because that’s whats given me hope. Its been a hard road of convincing myself that the work I was doing would eventually pay off and Even today I still have to tell myself to keep working hard and not focus on my immigration status.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My job has always consisted of providing experience and comfort to the artists we work with. To make sure that everything outside of their actual performance goes as smooth as possible. Whether it is an interview or a meet & greet I will ensure the artist gets in and out smooth and still be able to have downtime for themselves. It can go as detailed as working on artist contracts and creating their schedules around the performance so their team knows where they need to be. The biggest part of my job is, of course, having to adjust and adapt to whatever show day can throw at you. Every artist is different and will have different needs and expectations so I have to be ready to tackle the unexpected.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think In my life opportunity and consistency have played a big role. Being at places at the right time and always making sure to make my self available helped shape the direction I wanted to go in the entertainment field. Whatever role I was needed to play, If I was able to do it I would always do it. And if I wasn’t able to then ill find a way to do it. If you really want it you can’t turn down opportunity you have to get in it when you can because you never know when that opportunity is coming again.

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Image Credit:
Brandon Class, Shannon Santos, Carla Jara

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