Bandsintown Artist Community Member Spotlight: Alfred Gómez Jr.

Every month the Bandsintown Artist Community features a member sharing their own inspiring story. This month community manager JoJo Lee spoke with Venezuelan indie singer-songwriter Alfred Gómez Jr.

Not a member yet? You can join the free Bandsintown Artist Community here.

Hey Alfred, thank you for being a valuable member of the Artist Community! It’s been great getting to know your work, and we so appreciate the advice you’ve been sharing with other members. Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself?

I’m a musician born in Venezuela. My career has been developed mainly as a singer-songwriter, arranger, and producer. My music has been described as a mixture of Latin, R&B, Pop/Rock, all under the framework of a Latin American artist. I write and sing songs that touch on universal themes, but are inspired by and make reference to the landscape and cultural imagery of my country.

That’s wonderful! It sounds like your music takes your fans on a beautiful cultural journey. When did you first know you wanted to become a musician?

As a child in my house, there were instruments in every corner…the irony is that nobody knew how to play them. They really were an ornamental element. However, I saw them as my first toys and my parents always supported me in learning and provided opportunities. The transition to turning that into a profession was gradual but somehow very natural. That part of the journey went smoothly, almost effortlessly. I started making demos and jingles, playing with bands in my city, always with the idea of doing my own songs, listening to many singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Juan Luis Guerra, John Mayer – all sources of inspiration, mirrors of what I wanted to do. My greatest effort has been to seek and generate opportunities to fulfill those desires to make music and be able to make a living doing it, to continue participating in something that has given perspective and beauty to my life.

It’s inspiring to hear about your natural progression into becoming a musician influenced by your childhood surroundings. Speaking of your desire to make music, we heard you recently released a brand new EP titled Cerca Del Fuego! Congrats! What was your creative process like behind this project?

Thank you for the receptivity and good vibes with which you have received the music in the Bandsintown community. To make the ‘Cerca Del Fuego’ EP, I experimented with collage–specifically with the cut-up technique to write the words. This is a method I learned from watching an interview with William Burroughs where he explains how he had used this method to write some of his work like “Soft Machine,” a book I was reading at the time.

In some of the songs, I worked with magazines or flyers that were given to me in the street and all kinds of clippings that you could think of. In others, I recycled some of my unreleased lyrics. In both cases, I cut out phrases and placed them in a container as the only source to form the sentences. I previously recorded a section of music and played it on a loop while alternating words until I found a sentence that coexisted with what I was listening to.

That’s such a unique way to put together lyrics! We saw one of your new hobbies is collecting typewriters. Do you incorporate this tool when writing music as well?

Yes! I’ve always found them beautiful objects to look at. They are an extraordinary technology–simple, convenient, and durable. I think we can agree that we wouldn’t be using portable computers without the invention of typewriters.

This new hobby was my escape from the pandemic, getting to know the different models, even repairing them. I’ve used them for writing frequently. It actually works more like a journal and some of that writing has ended up in my songs…not that I have the typewriter next to the piano. Now, the important thing that I could highlight from my experience with typewriters is that they change the dynamics of writing. For example, there is a printed record at all times of the errors and the evolution of the text. The bad ideas coexist with the good ones on the same page and over time they even alternate and in others they complement each other. Nowadays, with the possibility of instant digital editing, this is often lost due to the compulsion to erase (forever) in order to have the perfect text from the beginning. If you want to know a little more, there is a very good documentary about typewriters called ‘California Typewriters.’ I highly recommend it. 

Great perspective on the evolution of how we communicate. What’s some advice you’d like to give someone who is looking to get started as a musician?

There are many things to do within music. Find out what you like. It’s one of the most important expressions of the human being, both for the good and for the bad music, it’s there. It always accompanies us, so do it with love, respect, and enjoy the journey. If you can make this something lasting and sustainable, then for sure you are and probably will feel very lucky.

Last but not least, as with everything you like, you have to study it to get to know it thoroughly and develop your craft. It is necessary to have the vocabulary to expand your ideas. The concept of the academy or formal studies kills inspiration and genius is a fallacy. On the contrary, all these elements are at the service of the artist and his work.

How do you usually feel before getting on stage? Do you have any rituals that you practice before a performance?

There are always a bit of nerves, but usually the desire to play outweighs any nervousness. Right now, since I haven’t played live in a long time, I’m more anxious than usual, but also more excited than ever. Nothing is guaranteed, so you have to take the opportunity. I drink a lot of water before I play and spend a little time alone for a few minutes before I go on stage just to focus the energy more consciously.

We noticed you’ve been using Bandsintown for Artists for quite some time now. Do you have a favorite feature?

It seems to me that the most powerful is still the follow feature. The ability for fans and followers to receive notifications of your upcoming shows and new updates without any algorithmic maneuvering is vital for niche artists’ careers to be sustainable…especially when we talk about more modest niche artists in terms of audience, as is my case at this stage. We’re not as visible in mainstream media and the budget and other considerations are very different. Right now, you have your networks, contacts, and tools like this that connect the dots and help people know that you’re having a show or that you have a new release.

This has been a great interview! We have one final question for you, Alfred. Do you have any projects that you’d like the community’s support with? 

I just released my new EP, which I continue to promote through the means available to me. The community and everything it generates in terms of contacts, opportunities, and tools are a great help.

For now, I’m scheduling a tour in my country Venezuela. I hope to be able to integrate activities and collaborate with other musicians who could come out of the connections that are generated as a result of sharing in community. Who knows what could come out of there? It seems to be positive to have a network that supports you in many places.

To connect further with Alfred directly, you can find him in the Bandsintown Artist Community or through the links shared below.

Next month we’ll be back with another story from the community. Until then, keep creating and inspiring those around you! 

Not a member yet? You can join the free Bandsintown Artist Community here.

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