Claudio J. Torres was born May 21, 1982 in New York City. His parents, Riselis Minier and Bienvenido Torres, are of Dominican descent. At a very young age, his love of music and being the center of attention was evident at family gatherings, where he would imitate the Merengue bands he used to watch on the television.
At the age of nine, he was sent to the Dominican Republic to improve his Spanish. He enrolled in Bellas Artes, a very well known music school in the city of Santiago, where he took piano lessons on a daily basis. His love for music grew while his talent was being honed. After spending two years in Santiago, he moved back to the United States with his parents. He joined a musically oriented youth group through his church. There he began developing his skills with different percussion instruments such as drums, güira, tambora, and congas, among others. The following year the church held a talent show. JT organized a dance group that he named Mission 005 and won first place. Following this success, they held performances in many area high schools, colleges and eventually nightclubs.
One night while they were performing in a nightclub called Club Oasis in New York City, his performance attracted the attention of merengue singer Ricky Castro from La Banda Soberbia. Ricky asked JT that night to join his group as a backup singer/dancer. JT accepted and began performing with Soberbia the following week. As his stage presence grew, so did his skills on the microphone and his knowledge of music. After being with Soberbia for two years, other artists began to notice him. A former Soberbia member who had produced the group’s hits approached JT and asked him to be a part of his new group as a backup singer and choreographer. JT decided to take him up on the offer and joined Amarfis y La Banda de Atakke. Being a part of this group gave him the chance to make his name and talent known in the music industry. After being with the group for four years, JT began to aspire to a career as a solo artist, but he felt that he needed to experiment with different types of music in order to expand his knowledge and refine his musical objectives.
He joined a group called Aguakate, which is known for its use of a traditional style of Merengue called “típico” better known as Perico Ripiao. This experience further expanded the breadth of his musical knowledge, and increased his profile within the industry. During this time, JT met a renowned Merengue artist by the name of Raul Acosta, the lead singer of Oro Sólido, who asked him to join his group, which he did. As with his previous experiences, although JT was a backup singer, he always captured the attention of the crowd because of his energy, charisma and very appealing looks. He had a base of fans that craved seeing him onstage, and followed him regardless of the group he was with. JT was now being recognized as an international artist.
JT always had many friends within the industry urging him to go solo. They recognized that he has a solid foundation of experience and talent as well as knowledge of the industry. Eventually he realized that it was now his time. He began producing his own music, influenced by Hip-Hop and a mixture of the music genres he has been exposed to. He has created a style of his own. JT’s style brings freshness to the music industry; his music is based on his understanding of the trends within the industry and the sounds and issues that appeal to the industry’s harshest critics: teenagers and young adults today.
Check out JT's first single "To my baby" of his upcoming debut solo album: