Hello Rodrigo how are you?
I’m doing well, thank you. Trying to stay cool in this 100 degree Texas heat. It’s brutal out here.
Congratulations on the release of “Palo Santo” how does it feel?
Releasing music is mostly a nerve-wracking moment or an exciting one for me, but we’ll say we’re leaning more towards excited. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve released anything, so it’s been nice to feel what that’s like again.
What’s the story behind the song?
I didn’t mean to record ‘PALO SANTO’ the day I did. I was originally going to record another track from the new EP, but there was a circumstance that came up and so I simply decided to work on what became another single off ‘¡AYÚDAME!’. I didn’t have lyrics. I didn’t have a kick, snare, bassline, nada. But sometimes in order for something to come out of me, I just have to sit in a studio and that’s when the ball starts rolling for me.
It came together in quite an improvisational way for you, what was the easiest and most challenging part of putting it together for you?
Every song I’ve released has come with its challenges and simplicity. With ‘PALO SANTO’, I mostly struggled with lyrics and its message. I remember not having a concrete idea of what this song would mean to me so there was a moment when I would just ramble and articulate things that made no sense, which would not have sufficed for me. Luckily, Michael, my producer, was able to let me take some time to really figure out the foundation of the track and after that, it was smooth sailing. When I figured out the lyrics, I didn’t feel confident talking about my sensitivity to love and sense of infatuation at first because I thought it perhaps wouldn’t be right with this song. But I eventually came around after contemplating it for a few minutes and I ended up being really happy with it. It felt like a release of sorts. I had never been in tune with myself like that.
You recorded this with Michael Briggs what’s your favourite memory of the sessions?
Michael is brilliant at what he does. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to sit in a room with someone who knows so much about how the music industry works. He’s like a hidden gem. Everyone in the area has such respect for him and after working with him, I totally understand why. He just has such a profound sense of gravitas. You walk in the room, and he treats your project like its also his own. Every session we’ve had has been a learning experience for me and during the ‘PALO SANTO’ session, he really encouraged me to try ideas that I had never thought of to begin with. It lets me know that he cares, and that’s incredibly important when you work with someone on your music because you’re trusting someone to align with your vision, which is challenging for me. I’m someone that doesn’t like to focus on what’s trending. I’m untraditional with my music, and Michael understands that.
You’re an artist and producer from Dallas how did it all begin for you?
I knew I always wanted to be involved with music growing up. I remember having an a-ha moment during high school and telling myself “I’m going to write an album and release it the following year!” That never happened… lol but at the time I didn’t have any resources and I had no idea where to start. I was just excited for the idea of potentially doing music. But the moment my dad bought me a Roland keyboard a few years later was when I knew music was a major possibility to pursue. I also knew this was a path I needed to take when I went to go see James Blake perform at the House of Blues in Dallas of 2016. I was completely moved and mesmerized during the whole set. I had another moment of realization during the set and I thought “I want to be up there. I want to play my music in front of a group of strangers. I want visuals, fog, lights all around me too. I want to play for people who want to see me just like him”. I just don’t see myself doing anything else. I’m also a photographer and video artist but without music, I don’t feel like my life would be fulfilled.
What did you listen to growing up?
Man… my music taste from back then is not what it is now. My parents put on a lot of Bee Gees when I was very little. We would listen to them so often that I memorized the lyrics to all their hits. Still know them to this day. But when I got to middle school, my mom would put on a lot of Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias, Sandro, Franco De Vita… the Latino heart throbs of the time. I also eventually went through my emo phase like most of us did when we were younger, and then grew out of that once I got to high school and listened to Coldplay, Maroon 5, Muse… the bands that were on the radio every 10 minutes. Going into college was when I started discovering the indie scene, which ended up being just for me.
You have an EP coming out, what’s your favourite track from it?
That’s a good question… I can’t tell you that. They’re all significant in their own ways. It’s like deciding who your favorite child is. But although I do have a soft spot for all the tracks on the EP, I have to say that ‘WILL YOU AFFECT ME?’ moves me in a very extraordinary way. It’s a very personal song. I’m most excited for people to hear that one.
What did you learn most from recording it?
I’ve grown so much musically the past few years. For the first time, I sat on several tracks for months. In the past after I’d finish a track, I would upload it immediately, without even considering what else could be done to the song. This time, I felt like I needed to sit on some of them because I’ve kind of grown to become a perfectionist. I hate the feeling of turning in music knowing it could be better. I’ve allowed myself to be more complex with ‘¡AYÚDAME!’ and explore a side of me that I haven’t visited yet. I’ve learned that I simply have had a lot to unpack. It was all written during a time of isolation, malnourishment, and intimacy/love. I learned that it’s okay to go through what I was experiencing, because it’s part of life. With ‘¡AYÚDAME!’, I’m accepting the idea of receiving, which is something I wasn’t used to at all. In Hispanic culture, most young men are expected to have their lives together in their 20s. You’re expected to be a provider. You’re expected to be hardworking, family oriented, strong, brave, and well educated. After college, I really struggled. I was broke. I wasn’t having the best relationship with my family. I almost gave up doing music because I was told once that I should give up music due to the fact that I wasn’t being recognized. I had a job with too much work for little money which didn’t allow me to fund anything music related. I could go on all day, but the point is that I wasn’t doing well, and unfortunately I was too embarrassed to admit it because I felt like I wasn’t living a life that was expected of me. But eventually I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and found this thing called love, which is a major theme on this EP. This project is ultimately my call for help, hence the title of the EP which is Spanish for ‘help me’. It’s me coming to terms that I’m only human and that struggling is only part of life. I’m allowing myself to be cared for.
Being a multi instrumentalist what part of the process do you enjoy the most?
Having the sole vision of Blue Capricorn is what I truly enjoy the most. I love planning what I would do next, because my main purpose is to introduce listeners to music they’ve never heard before. That usually gets me stimulated.
Post pandemic what have you learned about yourself in the last three years?
Patience. I didn’t know I had this much patience in me. I’m surprised I didn’t release this new EP sooner… because for me time is important. I’m 26 years old. Sometimes I feel like my time is running out. I ask myself “what if I’m too old to be taken seriously with music already?” “Am I too late to get started just now?”. Sometimes those thoughts are what keep me up in bed at night. But I’ve realized that I would very much rather take my time and put out music that is incredible for people to listen to than rush through it all and be an artist that people would call “okay”. I definitely care a lot more about my craft now. I treat it like it’s my most prized possession.
Did you pick up any new skills?
I still feel like I have the same skill set when it comes to music. I haven’t changed much. I still only play keyboards and samples and I haven’t learned a new instrument or anything but I have learned how to communicate my ideas and translate them into music more effectively. Music is a whole language in itself, and it’s something more important than we think.
Being from Dallas what are your three favourite things about it?
Dallas is constantly evolving. You never know what’s going to happen next in Dallas because it is quite an unpredictable city. But first I would say the love Dallas has for the music and art scene. There’s always artistic events going on every weekend in Dallas, whether it be music or art, what have you.
Second, I would say its record stores. There’s a record shop in Bishop Arts called Spinster Records that I like to visit from time to time. They always have something for everyone and their selection is incredible.
Third and last but not least, the people. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people that will probably be in my life until I die. It’s what’s made Dallas a bit more enjoyable for me.
What are you listening to at the moment?
My listening habits are all over the place every day, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of romantic music lately. Bolero, dreampop, big band, lounge are some sub-genres I’ve been all over lately to name a few. I’m loving what Puma Blue and yeule have put out lately. I’m super stoked to listen to their new albums soon this year.
What are you looking forward to doing next?
I’m excited to get back on stage soon! I’ll be playing an EP release show on September 8 in support of the release of the new EP which is slated to drop on the same day. The show will take place in a small town called Denton which is on the northern edge of Dallas-Fort Worth. After that I hope to play more shows in Dallas and start working on more music and bettering myself as an artist. I’m also hoping to start exploring the world of filmmaking. It’s been a recent interest of mine and I’m planning on dipping my feet into that very soon! I’ll be busy for sure. But I won’t be long this time around… bear with me.
Special thanks to Danielle Holian @ Liberty Music PR