Reservoir Acquires Catalog of ‘Conga’ Songwriter Kiki Garcia – Billboard
Indie music company Reservoir Media has acquired the rights to the full catalog of drummer and songwriter Enrique “Kiki” García. García, who was part of Miami Sound Machine, penned many of the group’s biggest hits in its heyday with Gloria Estefan as its lead singer, including the much synchronized “Conga.”
García also wrote Miami Sound Machine’s 1984 breakout “Dr. Beat” and co-wrote several tracks along Estefan, including “1-2-3,” “Give It Up,” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” for the group’s final album, Let it Loose.
But García is best known for “Conga,” which he famously penned on a flight from Utrecht, in the Netherlands, after playing a successful club show the night before.
“The performance stayed on my mind all night,” García recounted in the book Decoding Despacito: An Oral History of Latin Music. “The next day, as we got on the plane and I sat down, this song comes flying out of my mind. I start tapping on the seat table in front of me and I’m singing, “Come on, shake your body, baby, do the song. The rest was sketchy, but by the time we landed I had it all put together. I got up and sang my idea to Emilio and he loved it from the start.”
“Conga” would go on to became an international hit, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Feb. 8, 1986.
After leaving Miami Sound Machine, García continued working with top Latin musicians like Chayanne and Julio Iglesias, while “Conga” and his other hits remain widely and constantly licensed.
“Kiki has contributed so much to the face of modern music as we know it. His collaborations with the Miami Sound Machine brought Latin music to mainstream audiences,” said Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir’s founder & CEO, in a statement. “Embarking on this deal with Kiki marks a notable expansion of our rights in Latin American music and is an exciting opportunity to further diversify our catalog while maintaining our focus on acquiring the rights to evergreen hits.”