Up and coming crooner Gustavo Galindo has been working closely with the Levi’s Film Workshop since its kickoff, even shooting a brand new video with them. Kamren Curiel was on hand to ask the singer/songwriter a few questions about his life, his love of music, and his latest work.
1) How old are you?
Twenty-nine but I look younger. Ximena Sariñana calls me a Roba-Años.
2) How old were you when you moved to California? Where in California did you grow up?
When I moved to California I was 12 and I grew up in Sacramento.
3) Where do you live now?
I currently live in Los Angeles near Pico and Robertson. I call it The Chood because its a big Orthodox Jewish neighborhood with a lot of great kosher markets and restaurants around. There is even a kosher subway.
4) What was your inspiration for your debut album?
Talk about some of your favorite songs and what they’re about. This album Entre La Ciudad y El Mar was inspired really by taking all the things that I had gone through and seen in the first half of my life and putting them into song. From love to political beliefs your life is shaped by the experiences you go through as a young person. The songs like “Barco de Papel” and “Amor de Alta Mar” capture the way I felt about love and desire as well as what its like to have to sacrifice things to follow your dreams. Then songs like “Paracaidas” and “Cancion Pal Norte” reflect my experience of being Mexican and American and seeing both cultures and worlds from a different perspective both socially and politcially.
5) How did you break into music?
By hammering away until it broke down. I’ve never been what you would call a natural or a prodigy. Music was something that I needed because it allowed me to express the ideas I couldnt articulate into speech. It allowed me to be a much more honest and expressive person so I have full devotion to vibration and air which is what music is. For me it was a matter of trial and error and slowly becoming a better singer, songwriter, performer from highschool, college, the sunset strip its all been a big adventure to get to the point where now I am able to be a full time musician.
6) What are you favorite places to hang out?
I lived in a lot of different parts of LA and each has its own thing. When I’m downtown I like to go to Las Perlas and get a drink. When I’m in Silver Lake I love En Sushi. I really like to go to Abbot Kinney and eat, shop and get my hair cut at this great place called Trim.
7) Describe your creative process. Where do you get inspiration from?
My creative process starts always with the music. Music sets the scene for the melody and lyrics. When I stumble upon a chord progression or a riff I start to see images and feel things through those images. I then try to capture those images into words and show what I’m seeing as opposed to telling what Im seeing. The best songs and the best songwriters are the ones that make you see things in your mind and feel things with your heart. To take you someplace else and make you feel part of something greater.
8) What are some of your other interests besides music?
I’ve always loved sports so growing up I played a lot of soccer and even went to Bolivia during the summer in highschool to play and I also played in college for two years. Now I’m really into Brazilian Juijitsu which is a great workout.
9) What’s a typical day like for you?
Woke up. Fell out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head. Found my way downstairs and drank a cup. And looking up I noticed I was late. Found my coat and grabbed my hat. Made the bus in seconds flat. Found my way upstairs and had a smoke, and somebody spoke and I went into a dream.
10) Tell us about the Levi’s Workshops: why did you choose to do your video there?
The Levi’s Film Workshop is one of those great ideas that becomes a reality. Today movies and video are everywhere and anyone can make a movie or put up a video and send it out to be seen by thousands or millions of people. The film workshop allows people to come in and learn about the process of movie making and gives them the chance to use equipment and technology that isnt available to the everyday person. I wanted to be a part of the work shop because for me interaction with my fans is one of the most important parts about being an artist. The workshop allows us to interact and to make something together in a very intimate way which is in creating. I’m very excited and honored to be a part of the Levi’s Film Workshop.
Anything else you’d like to add?
There is a Beatles song somewhere in this interview…
We’re not tellin’ where.