Are there any notable stories about how you made this record?
Not really. It was a fairly 21st century piecemeal approach; a guy with a laptop recording when and where he could. It was mostly recorded in and around New York at various homes and practice spaces, and was mixed by Eric Emm and Patrick Ford at Eric's house.
How would you describe your new record to someone who isn’t familiar with your work?
Simple songs in Spanish with spare arrangements.
Does Las Palabras music have any overarching themes or motifs?
Probably living between two worlds — being a first generation immigrant connecting with a native language that has become a second language, but is still a native language.
Can you tell us a bit about your immigrant story?
My parents are from Guatemala, but left for Mexico in the 60's because of the civil war. Mexico is where I was born. We moved to DC in 1985. Our family is part of the Guatemalan Jewish community which is about 1,500 people.
Can you tell us a notable back story about one of the songs?
"Juan Pared" is a song about Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. In general, it was inspired by the Brazilian tradition of writing music about sports and sports figures. But even more specifically, it was inspired by Jorge Ben's "Filho Maravilha," a song about a soccer player by the name of João Batista de Sales, better known as Fio Maravilha. I grew up in Washington, DC and for over 30 years the Wizards have been my favorite long suffering basketball team. They probably won't win a championship any time soon, so I hope this song is a small consolation prize.