He’s had the opportunity to tour with Latin superstar Juan Luis Guerra… And, now Vicente Garcia is hoping to reach the same level of success as his fellow Dominican mentor.
“I had the opportunity to visit many countries while touring with Juan Luis Guerra during his tour La Travesia,” says the 28-year-old Garcia, who was taken under his wing by Guerra when he was only 13 and a member of the band Calor Urbano “It made me realize the power of Dominican music. It made me want to express my own music.”
Garcia’s music isn’t filled with traditional Dominican beats. Instead it’s a fusion of reggae, rhythm & blues and Motown-inspired soul.
“His songs are new and really beautiful,” says Guerra about Garcia’s music in an interview on Garcia’s YouTube channel.
Garcia experimented in the studio with bachata, soul and salsa sounds for an entire year while working on his latest album Melodrama, a project that his mentor says has achieved an innovative and unique sound.
“We were in Brooklyn in a studio with a lot of old equipment that allowed us to obtain that old school feel to the music,” says Garcia. “I love incorporating Dominican elements into my music, that has a lot of value to me.”
But Guerra isn’t the only musician who has inspired his latest studio effort…
Garcia has worked with artists like Mana and Shakira, who’ve incorporated Merengue beats into their own project. He even caught the eye of another rising star, Mexican singer Ximena Sariñana, after sending her two of his demos in hopes that she’d collaborate with him.
“Working with her was so gratifying, it was such a surprise because I wasn’t even signed yet,” remembers Garcia. “I flew out to her home in Guadalajara and we recorded songs for four days straight. It was very cool of her to sing with me.”
So what has Garcia learned about working with some of his idols? The importance of staying true to yourself and having a strong work ethic when creating music.
“In order to reach a unique sound this has to come from the heart. You have to do this based on your identity and to me that lies in my home country. Know who you are,” says Garcia. “I write songs almost every day, and now, I’m taking the time to fine-tune my songs.”