Vicente García: A Pop-Fusion Star Over a Mission To remain Genuine

Enlarge this imageGarca’s new album Candela is definitely the sparkling finale in the trilogy of albums with Dominican-influenced appears.Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy from the artisthide captiontoggle captionEbru Yildiz/Courtesy with the artistGarca’s new album Candela is the sparkling finale inside of a trilogy of albums with Dominican-influenced seems.Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artistAt 36, Vicente Garca is a audio legend within the generating. The Dominican-born singer-songwriter is decidedly non-conventional, humble neverthele s dynamic plus the larger his star rises, the tighter he grips onto his creative freedom, aiming to evolve his musicality whilst being grounded. “It hasn’t been straightforward,” Garca states. “Labels and other people within the industry just want to make you

formulation, and i am getting to that point that folks know that I am not accomplishing it. Persons know who I’m.”Garca began his occupation enjoying funk, soul, R&B and pop with a penchant for Paul Simon, to whom he has a strikingly similar vocal quality. “Then,”he says, “I realized I wanted to work with my Dominican roots, with my identity.” In 2008, he commenced touring with bachata and merengue legend Juan Luis Guerra. Bachata and merengue are distinct folkloric guitar and percu sion-based genres that emerged from marginalized communities and were spawned from the island’s rich mix of African, Spanish and indigenous Taino cultures. Garca’s new album, Candela, would be the glowing finale of a trilogy of such traditional Dominican-influenced seems, merged with a smattering of genres from his sonic palette. You can hear it in the album’s first single, “Ah Ah,” an electronic and trap-tinged bachata exuding romantic wonder amidst the smoldering harmonies of Zulu choruses. YouTube The momentum for Candela commenced after a life-altering night in Las Vegas. Garca was stunned as he landed award after award at the 2017 Latin Grammys for his second album, A La Mar what he calls a “poetic meditation” inspired by exploring Afro-Dominican communities and their religious drumming traditions. Garca took three out of his four nominations that night, including best new artist. He says he was just happy to be there for “doing his art.” But the road to his A Lar Mar breakthrough wasn’t straightforward. The album, which followed his bachata-laced pop debut, Melodrama, was a rejection of marketplace pre sure to adhere to a mainstream bachata trajectory: “I [didn’t] need to be that guy that just does Caribbean Mackensie Alexander Jersey songs,” he explains. He started to resign his fate to writing for other artists until he caught the ear of prolific Latin music producer Eduardo Cabra. Cabra, aka “Visitante,” was part of reggaeton royalty, and with his superstar group Calle 13 from Puerto Rico on hiatus, he was selectively producing audio with emerging artists. A La Mar would become his new baby, beginning a fruitful journey of eclectic creativity.To stick to the succe s of A La Mar, Garca decided to push his boundaries both backward and forward. He and Cabra immediately commenced producing a joint side project that became the critically acclaimed experimental album Trending Tropics in 2018. “The creative proce s was completely different,” Garca suggests: It stretched his creativity and songwriting proce s from waiting to be inspired to manifesting ideas at will. “It was a really good challenge [with] a really clear concept of what we wanted to say during the lyrics as well as aesthetics with the tunes.” That newfound artistic edge led the way to Candela. He describes the album as an “evolution,” which he wanted to stand not merely as part two of A La Mar, but on its own artistic integrity: “People are just waiting to see what I’m executing now and have big expectations for me, so … it’s a little pre sure.”Tiny Desk Vicente Garca: Tiny Desk Concert For inspiration, he shifted away from bachata-pop fusion and dug deep into the Dominican Republic’s historic archives, discovering old merengue 78s. He claims working with the fast-paced elements of merengue, which has a more uptempo 2/4 feel compared to bachata’s 4/4 timing, felt similar to working with dancehall: “It’s very natural … to bring the textures of synthesizer into merengue.” He returned to the studio with Cabra, who claims he loves to fuse organic and electronic appears, citing “Un Conuco y Una Flor” as one of his favorite examples on Candela. Adding to its luscious layering of sound, Candela takes with a socially nostalgic tone. Garca claims “the album has a direct, humoristic way of performing and saying things” in the Latin American style of communicating called crnica. Another presence from the album is Garca’s reverence for indigenous Taino culture: “Guat,” the opening song, is named for the Taino word for fire. It has a mystical meaning for Garca, honoring the power with the elements. “I say I come from the sea, la mar, and I try to learn about it,” he explains. “And now, coming to [land], I’ve got to learn from the fire.” For Garca, the creating of this album trilogy was both a self-affirming and culturally affirming journey. “What I really enjoy the most about working with the new music of my country is [learning about] my culture and all my identity,” he explains. “It has been like discovering and loving my country.” YouTube The trailblazing Cabra claims he loves Garca’s quest for expansion. From the beginning, he was impre sed by the artist’s many ideas and brought out the common denominators that would string them together. “Vicente is constantly growing, constantly,” Cabra states. “He never stops … looking for something new.” To help navigate the busine s, Garca says he looks to groups like Caf Tacvba and Bomba Estereo as well as some American artists like Tyler, the Creator as examples of being authentic without falling into the trappings of celebrity and formulaic new music. “They do their thing and they enjoy undertaking tunes and experimenting,” he suggests. “They don’t abide by that hunger [of] commercial succe s. It’s just about feeling grateful for being able to do new music. And that’s a gift.” Although his occupation Jaleel Johnson Jersey path is lined with Grammy love, Cabra suggests he defines succe s differently. “For me, succe s is for making a good album. It’s to create men and women happy, to be happy also, to try to help make different seems,” he suggests. “So, Candela is actually a succe sful album.” Garca’s fight to stay reliable has brought him to a very good place. “I’m not a bachatero. I am not a merenguero. I’m everything and i’m nothing,” he declares. “And that’s perfect! It’s about accomplishing what I love.”

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