A funsherpa first! Interrogating the interesting is now in New York City! Our first NYC feature is with singer/songwriter Conchita Campos. Having recently moved back to the Big Apple after a year of self discovery in San Francisco, Conchita brings back her unique sound and music talent back to the city. If you’re interested in checking her music out, you can find her EP here and on iTunes
F: So what’s up with Conchita these days?
C: I am currently working hard on my first full-length album – it is quite exciting because it is about 75% done!
F: You seem quite talented in many things, what made you decide to create music?
C: I come from a musical family. My dad played the piano and my brother picked up the guitar in high school, so that’s how I got into playing music. When I got to college, I eventually decided to take it up as my major and have been playing ever since.
F: Who are your major influences on your sound/style ?
C: I grew up around a lot of jazz and Latin jazz and my dad collected a lot of records, so there’s a big jazz influence in there. As I got older, I started to listening to other styles, like soul, hip hop, indie rock, electronic – I think there’s a little bit of all of that in there.
F: Has NY influenced your music much?
C: Definitely! I think the dark, grittiness that comes out in my music is a NY thing. I noticed the songs I’ve written in California are significantly more upbeat, at least in melody.
F: I’ve thought of becoming a singer…any advice to the aspiring singer/songwriter?
C: Like most things, there will always be ups and downs and you’ll always have doubts. As long as you remain sincere and passionate, you’ll be able to push through it. Keep creating and dreaming.
F: So you mentioned that you have an upcoming album…can you spill the beans on it?
C: It’s a big departure from the purely organic, acoustic sound of the EP. It’s heavy on the jazz and soul, with some elements of my roots in acoustic music. I worked with really amazing people (The Park, Rachel Lastimosa from Dirty Boots, Nino Moschella) to create the sound I envisioned for the album. Hopefully, people see the fruits of our labor in this collaborative endeavor.
F: Aside from the finance world, NYC has an awesome arts scene. How do you feel about the current music scene in NYC?
C: The NYC music scene is diverse and always evolving, just like the city itself. My biggest gripe with it is that it’s so extremely competitive, so there isn’t as much of a sense of community in the music scene, unlike that in San Francisco. On the other hand, it’s good in the sense that it forces you to stay motivated and driven and passionate.
F: Why did you decide to move back to NYC after moving back to San Francisco for a year ?
C: I went to San Francisco to record the album. It made absolute sense to do it in there because I could work with people I admire and respect, who would be able to achieve my vision for the album. I was surrounded by amazing musicians who were also my friends. It made everything easier and more enjoyable. Now that the album is pretty much done, I felt like it was time for me to go home. One of my favorite artists, Alana Davis, said that as an artist, you must be where you feel most inspired. Being in the Bay Area for a year made me realize that NY is now home. It’s where I’ve been inspired to write and constantly evolve and create.
F: Where do you go in the city when you need inspiration for writing your music?
C: I watch a lot of shows, whenever and wherever I can.
F: Can you tell us where Conchita hangs out in the city to listen to live music?
F: Favorite place in the city to perform?
I have a soft spot for The Bitter End, since it’s where I played my first NY gig.
F: We love summer – any suggestions for things to do in the city during this time of the year?
Summerstage, the music festivals, food festivals – so much to do really!