For Diego Garcia, 2011 might just be another year. His new album Laura has been voted one of NPR’s top 25 albums of the year and it’s been a long time coming, 5 years in the making. Formerly the front man of Elefant, Billboard magazine says Garcia emerges with a stellar solo debut!
Anxiously awaiting my phone call with Diego, wondering what he was going to be like, my expectations were low, especially as a New Yorker at the top of his game. I picked up the phone to hear a soothing friendly voice on the other end – laid back like a surfer, eloquent like a writer and gentle like the father he is.
Diego originally made his mark on the indie music scene as front man for the popular indie act Elefant prior to his successful solo career. His new album, Laura, is named after his French-Brazilian wife, previously a successful fashion designer, and recently made a splash in the interior design world after the birth of their child. They’ve been featured in Casa Sugar and The Glow, as if their story wasn’t already cute enough.
The album explores his Latin heritage but also explores dealing with love, heartbreak and coming of age. He explains, I began to write this album shortly after they broke up, to deal with the pain, to ask questions and get a few things off his chest. The album deals with the melody of love but also becoming a man in New York City and growing up.
His culture and upbringing also allowed a self-assure man to explore the depths of love and explore his eternal side. It’s natural to sing about in love in Argentina, the same way a kid on long beach signs about surfing. In my culture it’s okay for a man to sing about that subject of love. The album is not about a first kiss, it’s about a lot heavier – macho, grown-up, mature love.
However he did make a point to say, the 80s killed the love category, further explaining the balance of the arrangement felt raw, dirty and the early 70s offered an edgy dark side to music. Thankfully, for you and for I, he has brought back melodic music about love and with no better way than his album Laura.
The album debuts a man of confidence, security in himself, and sincerity in his words. When speaking to him, I gathered a sense he knew exactly who he was – at peace with where he was at in his life. He has lived a full life, rich with culture, adventures, highs and lows. Diego admitted to not achieving his first goal in life, which was to become a professional soccer player. Music was a back-up plan, which at first he admits was something he enjoyed for the fame, the women, and the spotlight. Now, it’s a passion and as a grown up responsible man, a way to put food on the table,a Diego tells me.
His mother was a musician, though she didn’t play enough. He remembers her having a old nylon Spanish guitar that she played as a teenager. Diego looked at it every day when he would go to get his shoes in the closet, before going outside. At times his mother would strum it after dinner.
While some of Diego’s music explores heavy issue, he himself was upbeat and happy. He told me some great stories, one having the opportunity to cook for Karl Lagerfeld, and it’s apparent he doesn’t take himself too seriously. We closed with a question of dreams. I asked him if he had the opportunity o have dinner with 5 people, living or dead, he said he would have dinner with – Diego Maradona – the greatest soccer player to this date, Karl Lagerfeld, Elvis, Oscar Wilde, Steve Jobs. I wouldn’t mind having a seat at that table either!
Check out Diego Garcia’s remix for download:
And his new album Laura is one don’t want to miss. You’ll have that on repeat..