Music not to sell
The interview presents you the proof to the old time claim that the present is built upon the past, along with some thought-provoking ideas about rock and roll, detailed daily regimen of a young female musician, and some recommendation on updating the playlist. Just dig in and ‘do not look around too much.’
What does it take to be a successful musician? And what’s considered success in music?
For me being successful in music means to make a good living, either by writing, performing, teaching, etc. It is also to be happy with the work that one is doing. It means pursuing those goals and dreams that make you become a musician in the first place. I have encountered a lot of amazing players that feel burned out or not inspired anymore. I have been guilty of this as well. The reason is that they only do one of the two, so either make a good living playing music that doesn't mean a lot to them or just focus on their passion projects, but they are not necessarily bringing them financial stability. I think if you find a balanced middle ground, you will feel a lot more at ease and still be motivated to keep pushing towards your goals.
I also think it is important not to waste your energy into projects that are not bringing you anything good. My teacher always told me, before you accept a gig ask yourself if it has one of these three things: - Do you like to work with those players?
- Do you like the music that you are playing? - Do you think the pay is good? If it doesn’t have at least one of those three benefits, just don’t it and move on to better opportunities.
What are your dreams in your musical career?
I’m working on releasing original music next year and would like to keep collaborating with different artists and music companies. I want to keep growing into the best musician I can be.
Do you have a daily regimen in music learning?
I have been practicing between 2-3 Hours a day. I don’t do more than that because I have been suffering from tendonitis and shoulder pains, which are old injuries. I divide my practice into 20 min drills. I have been working on: - Technique (Right hand): Right now I am focusing on fingerpicking (Andre Nieri style) and on alternate picking. - Scales/Arpeggios (Super important to be able to connect them all across the fretboard) - Rhythm practice (Right hand) - Chord inversions (also practice adding extensions to them) - Transcribing (solos or songs) - Soloing practice (I have been focusing on soloing over changes and expanding my vocabulary) I also practice piano, singing and ear training almost every day.
What’s your typical professional day like?
It varies a lot. The good thing about music is that every day is usually a bit different. Before Covid, I played live shows a lot so in the morning I would workout, review songs and do any other work I had before heading out to my gig. This changes when we are on tour. In that case, it’s usually breakfast, sound check and sometimes we have a bit of time before the gig to review songs and get the show ready (hair, make up). Right now since live music has stopped, I practice in the morning and in the afternoon. I focus on recording content for Social media.
“I need an outlet to let my feelings out somehow and that is how I have managed to get inspired.„
How has your music taste changed over the years?
I still love the bands I grew up listening to. They will always bring me good memories/feelings. Lately, I have been listening more to a sort of progressive rock/fusion music. It’s super fun to listen to, but even more fun is to play it and of course it always challenges me to step up my music knowledge.
How long have you been involved with music?
I started playing the guitar as a hobby when I was 16. I went to music college at 21, and have been working professionally for 4 years now.
Do you play for any bands? Who? Did you join/form them?
I do, I am a freelance musician so I work with many different artists/bands. Due to Covid, unfortunately, some of the bands that I was working with before the pandemic will not be going back to play live music. Most of the players went back to their home countries and will not be returning to the U.S anytime soon. As of right now, I still have five artists/bands that hopefully will be coming back after Covid, but it’s still hard to say what will happen since we don’t have a clear knowledge of when/how live music will return.
Have you composed any songs/albums?
I am currently working on this: Releasing original music in 2021. I have also co-written music with other artists before. It was a very fun experience, but right now I am focusing on finishing writing my own music.
Tell us about your favorite musicians/bands.
Wow! that is a hard one but here are some of my biggest inspirations: Dream Theater, Rush, Mateus Asato, Queen, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Neal Schon, John Mayer, Neil Zaza, Chaka Khan, Sting, The Police, Phil Collins, Andre Nieri, and Lari Basilio. I love "older" music. I always think that I was born in the wrong decade.
How do you get inspired to make music?
I am not the best at speaking or expressing my feelings easily so what it has always helped me was to express it by playing. Don’t know if it makes sense to others but every little thing that has happened to me. I always find an emotional connection to a song/artist and that is usually what helps me get through it. That is my biggest inspiration when writing music. I need an outlet to let my feelings out somehow and that is how I have managed to do it.
“Well, this is still a male oriented industry, unfortunately. Even little things like the clothes you are wearing could be a topic of discussion among insecure men.„
How do you see your audience? What do you want to tell them and what do you expect from them?
I am beyond grateful for every support I have received since I started playing. I started social media a few years ago and although it was very scary, and still is, I have encountered the most amazing people through it. I say it constantly because I want them to know how much it means to me. Thank you for all the support, encouragement, advice, love they send my way! Connecting with them has been what keeps me going this year, 2020.
Where do you think rock n’ roll is today and where is it going?
To be completely honest, I am not a big fan of today’s music. I think everything is overly processed and lacks the connection that older music had. That is why I keep listening to music from different eras. I am hopeful that the new generation of musicians can bring back good and honest music. Right now it feels that everything done is just with the purpose of selling. It’s not really important the content or what message they are passing through.
What are some of the challenges as a musician, especially a female musician?
Well, this is still a male oriented industry, unfortunately. As you probably know, there is also still a lot of bullying going around and I have seen it more strongly towards female musicians. In my personal experience, even little things like the clothes you are wearing could be a topic of discussion among insecure men. The good thing is that every day I see more and more women playing music! It’s a hard industry overall, but as long as you don’t pay attention to the negativity that comes with it, you will be fine. Keep doing your job and don’t look around too much.
When and where were you born and raised?
I was born in Caracas-Venezuela, but I am also half Italian.
Aside from music, what studies and jobs do you have or have had in the past?
I studied Electronic Engineering for a while, but I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do and instead I moved to the U.S to study and pursue music. I am also a certified personal trainer and still train/coach clients online.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love working out (weightlifting), reading, travelling, doing some outdoor activities. Also I am fascinated with languages. I speak three languages fluently (English, Spanish and Italian). I am currently studying French and Portuguese.
How did you discover your musical talent and passion?
I found an old acoustic guitar in a closet in my house and somehow I felt attracted to it. We don’t have any other musicians in the family besides me and my brother.
How can music change the world?
It definitely unites people. I have friends who have very different views in life than me, but we completely agree when it comes to music. It’s very nice to know that we have something that unifies us and can bring us together.
Does it sound scary to choose music as a career?
It was at first, specially coming from a country where there were no music opportunities. We had to relocate to LA and it was definitely scary. I have had my doubts along the way, but in the end, I am always seeking reassurance in music somehow. It's not an easy career but it’s so fulfilling. I think as long as you enjoy it and keep finding new things to work on, you will be fine.
Is there a favorite music documentary that you would like to recommend?
“Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” is amazing.
What bands or solo musicians have you been listening to this year?
Mateus Asato, Dream Theater, Dirty Loops, Neil Zaza, Sting, Rush, Van Halen
“It’s very nice to know that we have something [like music] that unifies us and can bring us together.„