We had the good fortune of connecting with Felipe Carvajal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Felipe, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I think this is a very common question that people have asked me before. The correct answer is because I needed to. When you feel the urge to wake up, have breakfast, and spend the day doing music/art to feel good with yourself, that’s a good reason to be an artist. It’s not money, fame, or anything else, it should be a feeling of finding yourself when you do your art/music, and that path makes you feel happy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started in music as a flamenco guitarist, which is mainly what I still do. However, in the past years, I found out that one of the most important things to stand out is to find your own voice, and the best way to do that is by using all your resources. A little of history, I have always been very tech-savvy, when I was very young, during my elementary school time, I started to learn about computer programming, and I have always been very good with computers. I thought that my future was going to be as a computer guy, instead of as a musician. However, that changed when my parents gave me my first guitar (Around the age of 11), and I decided to change my future because I simply fall in love with music. I’m saying this because now, those computer skills are helping me a lot as a composer and producer. Some of the projects that I’m working right now, have a lot of that young guy that learned every day about computers, and not only the other guy, that spends a lot of time in a room playing the guitar. So now, I’m a flamenco guitarist that studied Music Composition and is very tech-savvy, so I think that’s a good combination! (Hopefully haha!). I think in general, you need a lot of discipline to achieve anything. People think that if you are a musician, you are just a hippie guy that plays the guitar and “live the life,” but if you want to be successful, that’s very far from the truth. You need to take things seriously and be able to work very hard, even though you are not getting results instantly. And most importantly, you need to wake up every day with an illusion and be very resilient every day. Also, you need to define what is success for you. For me, it is three basic things: 1. Being able to pay my bills, 2. Do the music that I like, 3. Someday, get recognition from the people that I admire. The worst mistake you can make is to be in music and define success as being famous and rich. That is not true, and those goals are not going to make you last in this career. You need to be in arts/music because there is something that you want to say, to express, and in my case, for example, there is something that I find in myself when I play the guitar, that I haven’t found anywhere. In general, life is not easy. I think most people agree with me here. However, we are here in this world and we don’t know what we are going to find on the other side. So it is worth the effort to enjoy and discover what this life has to offer!. I think one of the things that I’m most proud of me, is that up today, I don’t regret anything. All the big decisions that I had to make in a certain moment, like moving away from my country, or study music and quit Computer Sciences at the university, I’m happy with the results. I always tell people about a conversation that I had with my guitar teacher when I was young and was figuring out what to do with my life, that moment when you have to choose your career when I asked him if I should study music, he told me: “Always make your decisions in order that you don’t look yourself with 60 years old, asking how your life would be if you did something different”. And that’s how I have done so far, and I’m very proud of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, Miami has a lot of interesting places! Some of them are a little too touristic, but mandatory if someone hasn’t been around. The first thing will be going to South Beach because that’s a must. That trip around Ocean Drive, then Spañola way and Lincoln Road is a classic. The next place to visit would be the Bayside area and then have a bite around Brickell and Downtown. If the person likes the beach, checking out the Cape Florida Lighthouse and the beach in Key Biscayne can also be a good place to check out and then go to Coconut Grove for a drink. I would spend a whole afternoon at Wynwood because there are many interesting places to see and have an artisanal beer there is a really good idea! Depending on the day, going to the Wynwood Artwalk is a nice event to hang out. Also in that area are some really nice restaurants, and going to Lagniappe to check out the live music is nice. Another area worth checking out is Coral Gables, which is very nice and has plenty of nice restaurants and places to go. The architecture is very nice!. Also, if you are in Miami, then you need to go to the “Calle 8”, which is basically the 8th street, which is an area with a lot of Cuban influence. You have to try the Cuban café and some of the Latin cuisines there. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All those artists working very hard that inspires you everyday!!
Criss Rojas Photography, AnaLoreZapata Photography