Albareda is featured in this week’s episode of “Latin Hitmaker,” the Billboard podcast that tells the stories of the visionary executives behind the artists and their hits and that features a new guest every Wednesday.
Here are some priceless nuggets from that conversation, as well as a link to the full episode.
On how a very brief stint at the seminary landed him a deal with Bacardi: “I was in high school and then I decided to go to the seminary. That only lasted about two weeks. My first Saturday, the guys at the seminary took me out for pizza. It was a small town in Indiana and the minute the pizza door opened, there were about 200 girls in the pizza shop. The only thing in town was an all-girl boarding school. I woke up the next morning and I told the director, Hey, I’m out. But I met a guy through church that had some connections and I told him, ‘If you get me into Bacardi, I’ll give you 50 percent of whatever I make. He knew the chairman of Bacardi in Bermuda.”
On his memories of client Celia Cruz: “I was new to the business and every artist was always late. But with Celia, if we had an 8 am press day, at 7:45 Pedro and Celia on set, it was were sitting there in the lobby. Even if you were punctual, they were already there ahead of time. She was a very consummate professional, sweet and short and very respectful. Also impressive were her personal notes. She would always send a handwritten note saying Thank you for anything and for any little detail to everybody.”
On losing everything, and getting it back again: “I launched a company […] that did amazingly well. And as quickly as it rose, as quickly as it went down. We did a big event in December 2004 where we burned through about two million, three million dollars in cash within two weeks. All of a sudden I had no money and I had to close the doors and I had to start again.I started Eventus [his previous company] in January 05 with a dollar in my pocket, out of the kitchen of my house.”
On the promise he made to his wife: “I left Univision when I was twenty six and I went on my own and I promised my wife that if I didn’t make a million dollars by the age of 33, I’d go back to corporate America. It was a magic number. I’m a big believer, obviously.”
On the power of the Latin marketplace today: “In the past […]It was just a check the box type thing. Today we’re in a unique situation in which every Gen Z kid –whether they’re white, black, Hispanic, Indian– they probably listen at some point to a Bad Bunny or a certain artist. There’s a huge, huge opportunity, and I think it’s a very different marketplace today. I think what we need to do as an industry on the latin side is continue to push integrity, ethics and Return on Investment.”