Interview with Arturo Rojas
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I remember clearly the first time I ever listened to the Beatles, I was about four or five years old and they were playing on the TV. I couldn’t believe how four guys with funny hair cuts could make so many girls act so crazy. I, too, was possessed by their music. I also remember watching classical music concerts on TV which has really inspired the music I make today. My family members have diverse music tastes, and being exposed to many types of music as a child sparked my creativity. I got my first guitar when I was 14 and haven’t stopped playing since. Had I not gotten into music, I’d be a travel writer.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love scuba diving and free diving. I feel free when I’m underwater, and some of that feeling can be felt in my music, especially in some of my lyrics that are inspired by water. I spend a lot of time reading, playing chess, and soccer. I am an avid student of history, philosophy, religion, economics and art. My travels have been a major inspiration for my music. The places I’ve been have created such unique experiences in my life that have really sparked my creativity.
How long have you been making music?
Since that day, when I was 14 and my uncle came home with a guitar. He knew how to play, and I was so impressed and wanted to learn to play myself. So I got into guitar and continued playing my whole life. Along with other instruments like piano which has become my top favorite, bass, and percussion. My process of making music has changed alot over the years, and now I really enjoy producing and arranging instrumentals using ProTools.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I have been living in Toronto, Canada since 2010. Toronto is such a culturally diverse city, which has helped me to get to know so much music of different forms. So many cultures inspire me to research and experiment in music, looking for unique and interesting sounds.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live Show?
My most memorable show to date was my album release party at Tapestry last April. I got to play with alot of the musicians that we recorded the album with and connect with fans. It was the first time I got to play the album live for an audience, and it was like a coming together of so many years of writing, recording, and living.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I love playing solo sets at bars around the city, such as Freetimes Cafe and The Painted Lady. I wanna play larger shows and festivals in all the cool venues, like Lula Lounge.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
It would be a dream, no, a miracle, to play on a lineup with Santana.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Learn as much as you can. Listen to the masters. Go to the roots and listen to the classics, the old stuff. Learn your instrument and be versatile and flexible. Give something to music, do not just take from it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I would say my single, Te Diré, since I wrote it during a time in my life when I was battling a really tough health issue. I realized alot of the mistakes I had made in my past, and I wrote this song to celebrate human life, and make peace with my past. I learned through this experience how to overcome adversities, and I wanted to share my passion for life and living with this song.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My single “Te Diré” gets requested the most, and I love playing because it’s one of the first songs I wrote. It’s also more of a pop song and so it’s easy for people to sing along with and groove to, so it’s always a fun experience playing it live. I also enjoy playing my song “Jungla”, it’s a hard rock song that contrasts with the rest of my album, and I get to express another side of myself.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually write my songs on the guitar first. I find melodies and chord progressions that I like, and develop them from there. Next I’ll get to work on my synth and computer to make the arrangements before I start recording my demos. Once I have them ready, I send the audios and the scores to my producer and session musicians so we can start recording. I like to have my sound and all the musical arrangements composed before I hit the studio, but I’m also open to ideas anyone might have, as long as it feels natural and provides the song with what’s asking for.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I sing about life. The simple things that we can all relate to, like the emotions of living in a big city. Feelings we all experience, like love, loneliness, joy, fear, hope, and sadness.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’ll be releasing a live session coming up in a couple of months! We are doing a video of three songs off the album recorded live with a full band, it’s going to be epic. Stay tuned for details. I’ll also be starting to record my second studio album soon, so more updates on that to come.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
You can find me on instagram, @arturo.rojasmusic, Facebook Arturo Rojas Music, and my album is currently streaming on all platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. You can also check me out on my website www.arturorojasmusic.com.