I know the holiday rush is very exhausting, but sometimes it is good to sit down and read about what is happening locally. I hope whoever reads this, enjoys one of the last posts of 2019. It is another year of being able to put content online, which is very gratifying. Thank you to all the readers!
The border is filled with so much talent. It is exciting to see new artists pop up. The music scene is ever-expanding, especially as of lately. El Paso even has Sofar Sessions taking place! This week's feature is Nico Antuna who is promoting his latest single "All Is Mind." He is a multi-media artist, poet, and man of many talents.
Enjoy the following Q & A:
Desert of My Eye (D.O.M.E): Can you introduce yourself? (For those that don't know you).
Nico: My name is Nico Antuna and I am a multi-media artist from the El Paso area. I am known as a regularly exhibiting painter and poet and now I am expanding into electronic music. My multi-disciplinary approach allows me to combine my art forms in unique and exciting ways. My album artwork is based on my paintings and my literary background helps me write unique and interesting lyrics about topics I love like the occult and duende.
D.O.M.E: What can you tell me about the new single and the kind of music you make?
Nico: "All Is Mind" is my first single and a great introduction to my style. It is a fusion of modern melodic house with 90s alternative music; think Lane 8 meets Nine Inch Nails. The lyrics of "All Is Mind" are about manifestation; how all reality is created and influenced by your mental state. This is inspired by a secret book called The Kybalion, a collection of occult aphorisms about how you can summon magic powers by aligning with the universe. I love reading about mysticism and magic, and I think it's really cool to combine these ancient ideas with modern musical styles.
D.O.M.E: Are you working towards releasing a full album?
Nico: I'm working on a single series at the moment. I plan to release another song every two months for the foreseeable future. Other songs will also be related to similar ideas and I'll probably unify these in an album at some point. One of the songs coming up is a techno track called "As Above So Below," which is one of the more famous Hermetic occult phrases, and the second rule of the Kybalion. There was a cool movie about it that came out a few years ago, so more people are familiar with that one.
D.O.M.E: Do you find that living in the border and the culture around has somehow affected your work?
Nico: Absolutely. I write in both English and Spanish and I will also be releasing music with Spanish lyrics some time in the future. The border is a place where ideas and cultures connect and overlap, and being raised here I always saw cross-cultural fusion as a very important lifestyle choice. I try to incorporate this in my music, although the flavor of this particular track is not particularly Latino musically. I am also getting an MFA in Creative Writing here in El Paso, and we have the only bilingual program anywhere in the US. Being able to draw on both English and Spanish-speaking traditions has given me a huge boost in my creative inspiration as a lyricist and a writer.
D.O.M.E: Favorite thing about the border region?
Nico: The border is fantastic. I myself am biracial Mexican and Anglo, so at the deepest part of myself I embody several parts of our community. I love how the multi-faceted culture of the borderland encourages people to cross borders to enjoy all kinds of music and art, and not feel too closely aligned to one particular tradition.
D.O.M.E: Anything else you would want people to know about you?
Nico: This is just the beginning of a long musical and artistic journey, and I would encourage anyone to keep up with my work to see it. Many of my favorite musical artists are also poets or visual artists, including people like 3-D of Massive Attack and of course Jim Morrison. My aim is to create increasingly cooler multi-media projects so follow me for news about art shows, music events, and poetry releases.
For more information check out Nico's website: www.nicoantuna.com
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.