Occupation: Producer, songwriter, vocalist
Current Release: Venemo on Orianna.
If you enjoyed this interview with Sinego and would like to find out more about his work, visit his excellent website and facebook account for more insights, music and updates.
"More and more we see techno artists collaborating with hip-hop artists, reggaeton artists collaborating with house artists, I see a music industry in 5 years from now where pointing to specific identities will be hard. It will be a mixture of thousands of cultures on the mainstream and the underground. Can music contribute to a society capable of dealing with different identities in a more positive way? Definitely!
I was born in Bogota, this city, similarly to my current city (Mexico City): shares more characteristics with places like Berlin than with cities like Medellin, Tulum, etc. This made me realise that all the “jungle-vibe” music that artists release from my region, is not actually grounded on life-experiences but rather a search for “uniqueness” in their sound. I also wanted that uniqueness, but without having to use music that was not part of my actual culture. That’s why I started researching what the actual sound from cities like Buenos Aires, Bogota, Mexico was, and I found Bolero was the life-blood of our music culture.
What Bolero brings to the table is nostalgia, those Roma chords that make you sad but energic at the same time: and electronic music brings the repetition that makes you want to dance.
The search for my artistic identity was born after performing rock and house music for a long time. I still love those genres, but I felt that the music I was playing was really disconnected from the reality I was experiencing in Latin America, and I wanted to tell my own story. When I found out about that I started exploring what my identity as a Latin person was. At the beginning I found that most characteristics that “define” musicians from my region are outdated and belong to a superficial stereotype of “latin”. Examples of these are: “Spicy, reggaeton, always happy” kind of music.
This motivated me to find an artistic path that would help define Latinamericans with music that represented other emotions like sadness and nostalgia. I think creativity without context is just day-dreaming exercises.
Having a clear identity helps me tie and sharp all the ideas I have and use them to a good use in the context of helping Latin america showcase something different that’s not the “wild-party and hot girls” concept. With my art as Sinego I want to define aIdent identity that breaks the normal identity that’s given to people from Colombia and Mexico. Reggaeton has given Latin people a very erroneous image to the whole world of what we are. And the only way to fight this is through creating another identity that can translate to an international audience.
I think there are 3 questions you should ask yourself before exposing someone else’s culture to the world.
1) Is the art that I’m showcasing part of a group of people that has been historically oppressed by the group of people I belong to? If yes, how can I showcase it in a way that the “Oppression” chain gets weakened?
2) Do I actually understand the symbols and the history behind the culture I’m using on my own benefit? If the answer is no, you’re probably culturally appropriating someone.
3) Is the culture I’m using for my own art being benefited from my exposure? If I’m just copying someone else’s material without improving their life, it’s definitely a way of cultural appropriation.
The recording process for my current single "Veneno" was really challenging since it happened throughout the peak of the pandemic. It was hard to get everyone in the same studio, so we kind of had to record in our spaces: and try to match the atmosphere with really good mixing engineers. The cool thing is that all musicians come from different backgrounds of Latin music. The violinist, Afredo De La Fe, comes from a Salsa background playing for La Fania: the vocalist, Dani Blau, sings reggaeton and latin Pop: and the guitarist, Leonardo La Croix, comes from a Bolero background: this gives a very unique sound to the track.
I think "Veneno" is the perfect body of work to showcase my identity. This song pulls strings from different sounds from Latin America, it brings vocals in Spanish and English to the table and a lo-fi sound that really challenges the typical stereotype of Dance Pop music.
I think the track has a “you either hate it or love it response”. Pop people think it’s too underground and underground people think it’s too mainstream: so in the end I’m happy with the result, it’s a song that specially for people that don’t care about genres."