WHAT I DO
Juan Andres Otalora is a Los Angeles based film composer, arranger and producer. He was born in Bogota, Colombia where he started playing guitar at age 12 and quickly became involved in the rock and metal scene, playing in a few local bands while still in high school.
He attended the Universidad Javeriana and majored in Jazz and Blues Guitar in 2005. His professional career began in 2002 as a session musician recording jingles in several Bogota studios. He then went on to record albums and perform Iive for several Colombian pop artists, such as Maia and Compania & Limitada, as well as taking on personal projects like the funk-rock band Ardila Lunch. In 2003 Juan began playing with funsion-pop artist Fonseca, he would remain as Lead Guitarist with him for almost 8 years, accompanying the singer on an incredible trajectory to become one of the most popular artists in Colombian pop music. During this period Juan collaborated on three of his studio albums, two of which where nominated for Latin Grammys, with one win. He toured extensibly with Fonseca during this period, totaling over 280 shows and spanning 22 countries. In 2008, while still playing with Fonseca, Juan moved to New York to further his studies in Composition, Production and Flamenco Guitar for a year, that same year he scored his first short film ‘La Estacion de la Calle Olvera’ from director Pablo Garcia for the Discovery Channel, sparking an instant love for the art of scoring.
In August 2010 moved to Los Angeles to attend the Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV program at USC, were he studied under great composers such as Joel Mcneely, Christopher Young and Bruce Broughton.
After completing the program, Juan began working for composer Joel Mcneely in projects such as FOX’s American Dad, Dinsey’s Tinkerbell franchise and EuroDisney’s Dreams midnight show, as well as assisting in the production of a song for Criss Mann. Juan has also worked for composer Heitor Pereira, contributing to the scores for Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 and Despicable Me: Minion Madness ride.
In 2014 Juan arranged 16 songs and co-produced Fonseca Sinfonico with Fonseca and the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia which won a Latin Grammy for ”Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album” and was nominated for “Album of the Year”, earning Juan a Grammy as producer. He collaborates regularly as an arranger with the prestigious orchestra, as well as with engineer/producer Eduardo Bergallo (Soda Stereo/Shakira) on other pop projects.
Juan attended the acclaimed ASCAP Film Composer Workshop in 2015 and since then has scored several shorts and features including “Lila’s Book” in 2016, one of the first animated movies to be produced in Colombia. As well as working alongside composer Jake Monaco for the DreamWorks Animation/Netflix series “Dinotrux”.