[interview] El Cantante – Playing Tunes at Capital Craft Beer festival

[interview] El Cantante - Playing Tunes at Capital Craft Beer festival

One of the exciting acts playing live at Capital Craft Beer Festival this year, taking place on the 16th June, is Puerto Rican’s inspired act, El Cantante. Here is some information on them and an interview, see what they had to say:

WIth “El Cantante” (the singer), Cito heads back to his Puerto Rican roots, performing his unique acoustic versions of the Spanish classics that he grew up listening to. Guitarist extraordinaire, Martin Rocka joins him on guitar.

Interview: El Cantante

[interview] El Cantante - Playing Tunes at Capital Craft Beer festival

MA: Hey dude, rad to be chatting, how you doing?

Hi there. Yeah, doing good, thanks. How about you?

MA: Do you mind starting with a quick 101 on who El Cantante is? Where in the world are you from and how did you get started in the music scene?

El Cantante (which means “The Singer” in Spanish) is basically me and Martin Schofield on lead guitar, and more recently, Riaan Van Rensburg on percussion. It’s a Spanish, acoustic, roots music side-project I started in 2014. El Cantante allows me to express myself in my mother tongue, performing songs in the style that my mother influenced me with. Puerto Rican folk styles. I was born in Los Angeles, California, raised in NYC, but my mother and some of my siblings were born in Puerto Rico. The music thing kind of started in high school, but I was playing bass in a 10-piece classic soul band, doing the live circuit when I was around 17. From then I went on to more rock-based bands.

MA: What are some of your musical influences?

Classical, gospel, Latin folk, in my early years. Then U2, Depeche Mode, Bob Marley, The Doors, Otis Redding, Chet Baker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Roses, Radiohead, Aphex Twin and so on…

MA: Do you have any major highlights in your musical career thus far?

Yeah, lots! WONDERboom winning the South African leg of the Global Battle of The Bands in 2004, performing as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (the musical) 2006, 2007 and 2011, WONDERboom winning Gold at The Silk Road Indie Music Festival in Chengdu, China last year are a few.

MA: What are your thoughts of our local SA music scene at the moment?

I believe the SA music scene is really good right now and on par with the rest of the world, when it comes to originality and quality of production. Lovely to see it explode in all genres.

[interview] El Cantante - Playing Tunes at Capital Craft Beer festival
MA: Any acts/bands/artists that you think need a special mention?

LOVE Medicine Boy, B.C.U.C., Diamond Thug and The Kiffness.

MA: You will be playing at this year’s Capital Craft Beer Festival in Pretoria…. Are you excited for the gig? What can we expect from your set?

It’s really cool to be performing this kind of festival with El Cantante, which is basically a side project, as to WONDERboom. I think people will not know what to expect, as this is quite a niche project. Maybe expect a “Desperado” type of performance.

MA: Anything else you currently working on that we may be interested in?

Well, there’s my solo project, which has been long overdue. But I had to put it on ice while I focused on the new WONDERboom album, touring, etc. But that should be something nice and different when it does eventually come out.

MA: Where can people follow you on Social Media?

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I am @cito1974 and El Cantante is only on Facebook at the moment.

MA: Thanks for your time.

Thank YOU for the opportunity.

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