1. Why are you a musician?
You could say that music has been a part of me. I grew up in Barranquilla, a city that is full of music and liveliness.
It wasn’t until I began studying music therapy at Berklee however, that I became more seriously involved in music.
I moved to California soon after continued working as a music therapist and ended up forming an early childhood music education program.
As a parent, I wanted to teach my children about their Colombian heritage and of course, teach them Spanish.
I did so by making up simple short songs to help remember words.
This inevitably inspired me to create albums full of bilingual content for kids that I now perform in stages all over!
2. Who are your musical inspirations?
As I mentioned, music was a major part of my upbringing in Colombia, so naturally my primary musical inspirations are traditional Colombian music like, cumbia, mapale, currulao, joropo, vallenato, as well as other ‘general’ latin styles like merengue, salsa, bachata, pop/rock latino.
Artists that have inspired are endless, but if I had to choose, Joe Arroyo, Juan Luis Guerra, Toto la Momposina, Carlos Vives are certainly at the top.
3. What is your practice routine?
It saddens me to say that establishing a practice routine has been the hardest thing to do as a musician.
I am balancing owning a music program, training preschool music teachers, writing and recording new songs, teaching early childhood music classes, being a parent, being my PR/Booking agent, and being a mental health therapist that actively sees clients!
I find myself crafting my show and interactions with children as I teach my classes, they give me immediate feedback as to if my song works or not.
4. Why did you make this album?
Mil Colores is basically an extension of the music I’ve been writing for over a decade now.
I enjoy the idea of making music that both younger and older generations can listen to together, and I think this album reflects that.
More specifically, the songs encourage children to disconnect and be present and to find inspiration in the world around them.
I think what really makes this work stand is how we approached each song, carefully crafting lyrics and translations without any pressure or need to finish within a set time frame.
5. What were the biggest obstacles in making this music?
Throughout any creative journey I feel that balancing work and parenting has always been challenging.
For this album we got to add a global pandemic, moving across the country and adjusting to a lot of changes within our lives into the mix.
The only way to overcome any obstacle really is to have patience and continue moving forward, one step at a time.
And when feeling discouraged, to shift your attitude and focus on all the things around us that we should be grateful for.
6. Who is featured on the album?
- Produced by: Brian McLaughlin
- Featured Vocals: Juan Deluque
- Guitars: Daniel Jimenez Afanador, Gary Lee, Max O’Rourke, Will Pearce
- Violin: Andrea Hammond
- Cello: Simon Huber
- Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Matthew White
- Accordion: Albert Behar
- Keys: Gary Fukushima, Brian McLaughlin
- Bass: Luis Angel “El Papa”, Dustin Morgan, Eduardo Belo
- Drums/Percussion: Brian McLaughlin
- Recorded by: Brian McLaughlin (The Imposter Productions), Daniel Jimenez Afanador (DJA Studios), Shafik Palis (Golden Door Productions)
- Mixed by: Daniel Jimenez Afanador (DJA Studios) except Sueños y Deseos, mixed by Shafik Palis (Golden Door Productions)
- Mastered by: Oscar Zambrano (Zampol Productions)
7. Where may we find you online?