Gustavo Galindo is a talented Mexican/American artist who is part of a new crop of singer/songwriters like Mitre, Cuevo Perez, David Garza and Gaby Moreno among others who are creating a new sound that combines their American influences and their Latin backgrounds on what a colleague of mine appropriately called, “The new Americana.”
Gustavo Galindo was nominated for the 2012 Grammy® in the “Best Pop Latin, Rock or Urban Album” category for his debut album Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar, which was produced by Gustavo Santaolalla who worked on albums that spearheaded the careers of now iconic artists like Café Tacvba, Julieta Venegas and Juanes among many others.
A couple of weeks ago, Gustavo Galindo took part in the first concert of the BMI Summer Concert series being held at the Levitt Pavilion stages at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles and Memorial Park in Pasadena. For this show, Gustavo Galindo shared the stage with two other talented artists, Elsa y Elmar and the aforementioned Mitre.
Prior to his performance we had the chance to talk with Gustavo about his music and career and here we share an excerpt of our conversation:
AL Borde (AB) How did you get to work with Gustavo Santaolalla?
Gustavo Galindo (GG) First of all, I was very lucky because he gets hundreds of cd’s everyday from artists who are hoping he will take them on work on their projects, so he and his team go through them and if after a few seconds it doesn’t impress them, they go to the next one. I sent him a cd that I made by working during the day while working on my music at night, then I asked my relatives that instead of giving me gifts for my birthday or Christmas to contribute towards my cd instead. I recorded a few songs and sent them on to Santaolalla and obviously there was something he heard on there that caught his attention and then I got the call.
AB – What was that experience of working with someone like Gustavo Santaolalla?
GG: It was a great experience working with Gustavo and his team that also included Anibal Kerpel and Adrian Sosa; they have worked on so many great albums that are loved by so many people, including myself. I learned so much from this experience because they taught me to do and give just enough to a song, if you give it too much or too little, you may ruin what could potentially be a great song. The whole process of making the album in the studio and promotion of the product was a great learning experience.”
AB -What is it like to be an independent artist these days?
GG: It is very hard because you do not have the support of a record company that is going to help you promote your product so I learned that if you are not a mover and shaker in this business, no one is going to do anything for you. If you are not part of the “big machine” that his business has become then you have to do it on your own, luckily, now we have the tools of social media like Facebook, Youtube and other means that allow us to get our music out and we even have a more direct contact with our fans, we know who is listening to our music and we know what else they listen to.
AB- What are the influences in your music?
GG: My mother is American and my father is Mexican and I grew up in Mexico and in Sacramento so I grew up going from someone like Cat Stevens to Joaquin Sabina, so I began to pick up things from both worlds and when I began to write, the songs just started coming out in Spanish and English in a very natural way.
AB – Tell us about your new single “Nada Que Perder”.
GG: For this new single, I had had opportunity to work with Leonel Garcia from Sin Bandera and it was a great experience because I admire his writing and his singing style. One day we met at his house, I had a riff and a verse and the song just took off from there in a very natural way. “Nada Que Perder” has a great energy and emotion and is one of favorite songs to play live.