I interviewed AMG artist of the month Aniel, who manages and produces his own music at Sempra Sol.
Hi Aniel how are you?
Tell me a little a bit about your group.
I started this project after I left my previous band back in February of this year. And it’s kind of just me, like I write and kind of manage myself but I do have friends that have been interested in playing with me, and we have played together in a couple of shows so that’s been fun. But mostly it’s just kind of like a “me” thing. Eventually I do want to bring in other members, but it’s sometimes hard finding people who are interested in the same kind of music you are, which in my case is electronic-indie-pop.
How do you create and produce that?
Sometimes I hear ideas in my head, and I’ve become pretty good at creating music using FL studio, for the PC, and I kind of just do everything through there for the most part. I also mix and mash up stuff myself, which isn’t too good of a quality because I don’t have professional equipment, but I have been trying to do that more professionally lately, and to do that you have to pay someone to do that who’s a professional.
Well that’s awesome that you’ve been able to create all this on the equipment that you have, how long have you been doing this?
I think I’ve been doing this for maybe four years now.
Now you mentioned something about doing a show, so have you performed for people?
Oh yeah, in my previous band we performed in many places, including in the Del Mar Fair, that was thanks to my friend AJ who’s also in a band, and he kind of helped me get there. We’ve played at the House of Blues, Soda Bar; there aren’t a lot of all-ages venues, most of them are bars.
Have you had any issue with that? Are you under 21?
I’m 23, but sometimes the band members are under 21 and they can only perform and then they can’t be there after.
Right they’d have to basically perform and then leave after. So you said your previous band; when were you in a band before this?
I think we started early 2014, and my friend and I were in another band with my other friend and that was called Small Talk and that was more punk-grunge, and that’s great like I love punk and grunge but I kind of wasn’t feeling it so we started an indie-rock band, and that was in 2014, and that was called Hand Drawn Tree. And then I kind of wanted to do something different, you know, use more electronic instruments and music, but they wanted to stick with that so I kind of departed and started this thing on my own.
So have you every sold any of your music or performed what you’re doing now for anybody?
Yeah I’ve played… I wanna say maybe in three shows since I started Sempra Sol.
And you’re just doing that on your own? That’s impressive.
Yeah you see a lot of bands doing that nowadays, doing stuff on their own. I can tell you about the equipment I use; it’s a sampler. You know a sampler makes it easy to record your sounds and play it live, plus keyboards and a guitar, and I sing. As for drums and a bass guitar I use the computer for that and then if you have the sampler it plays when I want it to play.
Who would you say is your music idol? Kind of a hard question.
Yeah it is a hard question. I feel like I have a lot, but if I had to narrow it down I would say John Lennon. When I first started playing I think I just kinda wanted to be similar to him. He inspired a lot, and reached a lot of people with his music. Also Beethoven, and for more recent maybe like Julian Casablancas from The Strokes.
Nice. If it’s different from what you’re playing now, what’s your favorite genre of music to listen to?
Definitely indie rock, classic rock too.
Alright cool. Why do create music? You do you put time into this and energy and effort?
I create music because I think music is very powerful. It’s one of the few things that can like bring people together from around the world, no matter your race or religion or whatever. Music is music; it’s a language that everybody speaks. If I’m able to create music and be able to do that, that’s just amazing. It’s also an outlet for my creativity. Expressing myself, it’s just an enjoyable experience for me, I honestly can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.
Awesome. And with the few shows you’ve done on your own now, how does that feel when you’re able to show someone your music, perform for somebody; how does it feel having someone else share in what you’ve been creating?
It’s amazing. It’s obviously, like, sometimes when you play some shows you have some really crazy audiences that are really into it, and others are pretty chill, just a little harder to tell. And I think it’s a feeling that you can’t really get anywhere else. Especially when it’s your own music, and someone comes up after the show to tell you, ‘Oh hey I really like how you did that,’ or they give you feedback, that’s really the best that you could ask for. It’s an amazing feeling.
If someone wants to listen to your music, where can they go online to check it out?
So right now I have pretty much everything on my SoundCloud. I did have a website before that looked a little more band-y but I’m kind of working on that again. I’m actually in the process of getting my first official single, “Breakdown,” released.
Oh really? Wow that’s exciting
It’s an exciting process, definitely. It’s something that I had already created before and now I’m just trying to get it on Spotify and iTunes. The name is actually Latin; it stands for Always Sunny
How did you come up with that?
I guess I really like what “Sempra” stands for, like “always faithful,” and then I like the sun. I think the sun is very important, especially here in San Diego [laughing].
Right now, you can check out some of Aniel’s latest music at semprasol.com