Where are you from? What is your nationality?
I was born in Toronto, Canada raised by two Hispanic parents from Guatemala.
Where did your passion for music come from??
I would have to say my passion for music comes from two spectrums. On the one side my passion comes from past and present love experiences. And on the other side something spiritual. Growing up singing at my local church allowed me to explore the spiritual aspect of music.
Why did you choose to work in this genre?
There’s so much room to explore in the genre. I felt it was the perfect medium between Spanish rhythms and pop/R&B melodies, which if I had to describe my musical influences they all fit between those two categories.
Who has been the biggest inspiration for you in your career?
Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a musician, and I owe this to a variety of different moments of my childhood. Whether it was listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller or watching his short film “Moonwalker”, or at home listening to Spanish music while my mother cleaned the house or at school discussing hip hop politics amongst my friends all of these moments where instrumental. In spite of all these incredible moments I remember the exact place and time that I had the revelation that music was my calling. It’s a funny but random story, I remember in my early teen years a friend of mine showed me Vico C’s album – Aquel que habia Muerto and as soon as I put on those headphones and pressed play I heard those strings in play in the background as Vico C began to tell the story of his life and I told myself, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have to be an artist.”
What can you say has been your greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
Wow there are so many. I would have to say I’m very thankful to God that in less than a month “Dancing Kizomba” has over 5 million streams. This to me is a great blessing and looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store!
We know you recently signed a deal with a major label. What label and how did that come about?
Well I signed a joint major record deal with Universal Music Canada, Universal Music Group and Island Records. This came about through an old friend of mine Lex Borrero. I met him when I was 20 and to make a long story short he recently came back into my life and is a very instrumental person within the music industry and he show cased my music to Universal and they fell in love it, and as they say, “the rest is history.”
If you could do collaboration with any artist, who would it be?
I will give you my top 4 because it’s too hard to choose. Juan Luis Guerra because of his one of a kind lyrics, Alejandro Sanz because of his amazing voice, Bruno Mars because of his catchy melodies, or Diplo/Major Lazer because of their groundbreaking production.
What do you enjoy doing on your time off?
I enjoy playing soccer I try to play at least once a week, I also enjoy watching TV sitcoms and I absolutely love cooking.
If you weren’t doing music, what would be your career plan?
I think I would be an entrepreneur in the process of developing a digital marketing company that developed both mobile applications and culture driven websites. Or a Restaurant owner lol.
What do you do before you go on stage to prepare for a performance?
I have three things that are crucial for me before a performance. One pray and to talk to God, two perform a routine of vocal exercises and three make sure everyone else involved in the performance is good and at peace.
Where did the idea for the song “Dancing Kizomba” come from?
I actually was writing Dancing Kizomba for another artist. My producer is from Montreal and over there Kizomba is huge. So when he showed me what Kizomba was I was blown away and told him, “why hasn’t anyone made this mainstream?” During that time Medy my producer was working on developing an artist so I told Medy lets write a song for him, I had this melody in my head as well as a piano progression and so we began the process. Half way through the song we knew it was a hit. Once I showed Lex Borrero he agreed with me and so I kept it for myself.
Did you expect for “Dancing Kizomba” to have the popularity it currently has?
To be honest, “Yes!” and I know God willing its not even close to where it will be within a few months. The reason why I knew it would be a success because I tend to analyze the music industry and its current state a lot and when I do that I also come up with what I think will be the future sounds of the music industry and I strongly believe this is a future sound.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently we are focused on my debut single “Dancing Kizomba” that is off to a great start! We have over 5 million streams on spotify alone and over 400,000 views in Youtube and Vevo combined! It was just released in Romania, Spain and The Arab States! That’s pretty Awesome!
In the last few years we have seen many great artists coming out of Toronto. Do you feel like you could be the next big thing to come out of Canada?
How awesome would that be right? To say that the next big artist to come out of Canada is Latino? I think it’s every artists dream to be the next big thing but only God knows, all I can say is if it’s in his plans I will accept it with open arms.
Any words of advice for other artist who are trying to make it to the level that you have risen to?
If I could give any words of advice it would be this, “BE YOURSELF.” Don’t try to fit a mold, don’t play it safe and don’t listen to what’s hitting the radios now and take the easy way out. The world is looking for unique sounds and you may have that sound the world is anxiously waiting for.
If there were one thing you want people to remember you for, what would that be?
I think it’s too early to say I have a lot more to grow as an artist and a lot more to do as a human being. What I will say is this I would want people to remember me as a rebel, a person that went against the grain and did what many said was impossible.
Where can fans find your music?
You can find my music on Spotify, the apple store, the google play store, youtube, Vevo and any other musical outlet. Just search, “Alx Veliz.”
How can fans find you on social media?