Merging many styles together like an authentic movie with actual meaning, Coqui tells us not to hesitate on the faith-filled interview you can’t possibly miss. Telling us all about Ven Con Migo and these tough times that humanity faces, we find a self-aware artist who has found his faithful path.
Thanks for your time today Coqui. Please explain to us how you got started in music and what the vision is for your project?
Coqui: I first got introduced to music at a really young age. My dad was a DJ throughout the 90s-2000s, so most of the first music I ever heard was from his vinyl collection. Artists like Zapp & Roger, Rick James, and Michael Jackson were pretty much the soundtrack to weekend mornings waking up to the smell of pancakes and dance music.
It wasn’t until about middle school when I first discovered punk and alternative from my older cousin’s high school CD collection. That’s when I decided I wanted to learn guitar. My dad bought me a guitar for my sixteenth birthday and I’ve been pretty much obsessed ever since.
After high school I started playing in all sorts of different bands, playing everything from guitar, bass and keys to running playback and guitar tech’ing.
From that, I gained the skills and experience to have the opportunity to work for some big-name artists like 30 Seconds To Mars and Machine Gun Kelly. Inspired by what I’d seen on tour, I decided to start making my own music.
Fast forward to today, I’ve launched my own solo project called Coqui (named after the world’s smallest singing frog in Puerto Rico) and plan to release a collection of all-new music in 2023. Hopefully, with these new songs, I can gain enough attention to start playing on the same stages as these big artists I’ve worked for.
Do you remember your first-ever live performance and the feelings involved?
Coqui: Yeah, it was a small coffee shop in my hometown called Miss Coffee. I think I was 16 or 17. It was an electro-wave dance band called Centipede lol. All I can remember was all my friends and family coming out to see us play and knowing right there and then that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Crazy to think how far I’ve come.
Please tell us more about your latest release?
Coqui: My newest song Ven Con Migo was inspired by the story of Sodom & Gomorrah from the Bible. Reflecting on the direction I feel like our society has gone in the past few years, this story felt very much familiar to what is going on today. I wrote this song from the perspective of a preacher who’s warning his people about the end times and urging them to get right with God. The music and production was influenced by the sounds of 90s-era trip-hop, spaghetti western psychedelic rock, and modern electronic music. I wanted it to feel very dystopian, like the perfect soundtrack to the end of the world.
How would you describe your music to a stranger?
Coqui: Genre-bending music based on faith and truth.
Who inspires you most in the world?
Coqui: If we are talking about musical artists, I would say my top 5 would be: Mewithoutyou, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Ramones, Radiohead, and DR DRE.
How is your local music scene doing after all the recent carnage and where would you recommend going to see live music?
Coqui: To be honest, ever since Covid happened I’ve kind of just kept to myself. Before the pandemic, I used to book bands at a popular bar in Hollywood called “Good Times at Davey Waynes”. I don’t really go out as often as I used to, and most of the people I knew from the nightlife scene just pretty much vanished from my life once there were no parties or cool events to get into. It’s funny how people’s true colors showed once the world shut down.. but truthfully, I’m actually thankful for it because it’s caused me to change my life, go sober and focus on what’s more important. Because of that, I’ve written so many songs and now have so much new music ready to share with the world. So I would say it was more of a blessing in disguise.
Last, when you close your eyes and imagine performing live on your ideal stage, what does it feel like?
Coqui: I can taste the excitement in the air. I can feel the intense roar of the crowd cheering after every song. I can hear them simultaneously singing along to every single lyric. I can smell the sweat of thousands of fans dancing their hearts out. I can see a mirage of an endless crowd reaching towards the sunset.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen