We had the good fortune of connecting with Sol Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sol, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My father was a gambling man. When choosing music as my life path, I inherited that risk-taking approach. It was not just a plan b or a hobby, for me, music was all or nothing. With music, I always had the ace up my sleeve so I rolled the dice with my eyes closed not considering all the ups and downs it would bring along the way. With my instinct in place, I roll the dice every day with my choices of art with my band Sol and The Tribu. I love making bold music that speaks from my heart. Recently we made a video called Conga Online in quarantine. Funded by The Arsht Center’s Heart of Art Challenge, we made the video with 1000 dollars. Making a video with this budget is challenging. We had to be very imaginative. But our team of creatives along with The Good Year Agency managed to pull this together for a good cause. Bringing the community together for the first Online Conga Line in history! Change begins at the end of your comfort zone. I love taking big risks, you always visualize the outcome in your mind. You can imagine what you think it will be, but the reality always is more fantastic and serendipitous than you’d ever expect. On my first tour to Europe, I knew nobody and had no contacts. I set up the whole tour with people I met on Myspace. It was an insane thing to do at the time but that risk changed my whole life course. I met my current bandmate, Rey Rodriguez in Madrid on the first leg of my tour. We formed a band and played all over Europe for years to come. Under our former name Picadillo, we even signed to a label and made 2 amazing albums. To this day, we still create music together. I am so grateful for that moment I decided to take off and get out of my comfort zone. Luckily, with the gift of music, I have a passport to experience the whole world. So I do. On my most recent gamble, I ended up taking up a huge challenge. I was invited by an OUTSTANDING modern composer, Ted Hearne, to be a part of his piece, Place. I knew it was something completely out of my box, so it felt like the right thing to do. We performed it in BAM in Brooklyn and the piece went on to be a great success. This year, the ensemble was nominated for the highest honor in music, a Grammy Award! Sometimes I wonder, why I keep doing music? Why do I play or practice so much for? What possess me to do this? Even when music is probably the hardest profession there is. I do it because the highs, when you hit them are so high, you forget you ever had a low point. That’s really what life is about. Feeling something. Uncontrollable passion for what you do is fun. It gives you a natural high! In the end, the rush you get when you roll the rice is what the gambler lives for. The greatest things in life are things you don’t expect and would never expect if you don’t take the risk. I always say, you can’t win the lottery if you don’t play. So, I play.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are a Miami band that makes Miami music. In our band conceptually, we are superheroes that come from the year 3050. Our musical superpowers help us to connect with people and the world around us. Our album Miami 3050 is a conceptual album, based on the story of three superheroes that come from the year 3050 to the present-day to save the future of music by preserving its roots. With this storyline, our purpose is to preserve Caribbean cultural identity and Miami history through music and visual art that promotes our uniqueness. Our most recent EP, Positive Vibration Nation, released in Fall 2020, was created during the Corona Virus quarantine. It features 6 tracks created during the quarantine of the Corona Virus. It encourages positive thinking and is an uplifting portrait of the band in times of uncertainty.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First I would take bring them to my house to shower. Then, we would go on a kayak ride and to the beach. At night, I’d take them to see me play somewhere. That’s always the best thing to do.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Good Year Agency, My beautiful bandmates, Rey Rodriguez, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, Edgar Ahmed, Manuel Orsa, Beth at Miami Light Project, Fundarte, and The Arsht Center for supporting us and our ideas.
Other: Video Corona Conga Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yqpTHvdrV4&list=RD0yqpTHvdrV4&start_radio=1 Video of Achicharrao live: https://vimeo.com/352707087 Video of Palante – https://pntla.ffm.to/palanteofficialvideo Video of Achicharrao: https://youtu.be/Q9LIdc79AVs Listen to Album, Miami 3050: https://youtu.be/VsPSU5BizC4