We had the good fortune of connecting with Alec Arritola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alec, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I picked up the clarinet/saxophone around the age of 10. From the first time I played my instrument, I knew that it was my life’s calling. It is a true passion, one of the few things that regularly gives me goosebumps and stimulates my receptors like a drug. Around the age of 16, I began meeting local artists and singing with them, which presented more opportunities over time.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Fusing five-octave vocals with woodwind layers, Dantes presents an unorthodox brand of pop. The son of Cuban exiles, Alec Arritola took up the clarinet at 10 & was a member of the South Florida Youth Symphony by 12. The orchestra occasionally rehearsed with Arturo Sandoval, who was an inspiration to the young Dantes. A prodigy saxophonist & National Hispanic Scholar, he gigged throughout Miami-Dade & Broward County, where he performed in the same venues as influences like Herbie Hancock, Paquito D’Rivera & Tito Puente, Jr.; his repertoire comprised of jazz, classical & native Afro-Cuban music. In 2016, an anonymous singer under The Count of Monte Cristo-derived moniker “Dantes” garnered attention with his R&B/hip-hop collaboration project Divino, which featured rap acts like Project Pat, Smokepurpp & Ski Mask The Slump God, over beats from formative trap producers including 808 Mafia, Wheezy & Young Chop. Following the release of Divino, Arritola landed a songwriting placement on FOX series “STAR”. Along with JAY-Z’s protégé Memphis Bleek & Ruff Ryders producer Teflon, he penned Save Your Love (performed by Luke James & the Star Cast). While working out of Bleek’s Roc Nation studio, he did bilingual reference work for international artists Shaggy & Maluma. He was additionally featured on UMTV’s Emmy Award-winning college show “Off The Wire”. Apart from his solo releases, Dantes has been a featured artist on songs along with Playboi Carti, Tory Lanez & Nessly.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Brickell, Wynwood, Pembroke Gardens
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Arturo Sandoval, Hernie Hancock, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Jr., Project Pat, Smokepurpp, Ski Mask The Slump God, 808 Mafia, Wheezy, Young Chop, Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Ruff Ryders, Teflon, Luke James, Shaggy, Maluma, Playboi Carti, Tory Lanez, Nessly