SXSW: An interview with Latino Music Pioneer, Gil Gastelum

18 03 2009

Every year, I look forward to the SXSW Music Conference Latino Showcases. It’s really great to see how SXSW has increased their “Hispanic & Latino Engagement” to musica en mi idioma! I believe a big part of this development en la music Latina en SXSW is due to Gil Gastelum. Gil has been working in the music business for years, he’s been pounding the pavement bringing Latin Alternative Rock, Rock en Español, Cumbias, Boleros y Blues & yes, even Indie en Español to American audiences. Gil has been instrumental in increasing the awareness of Latino music in L.A., Austin & all over the U.S. But you don’t have to take my word for it, just check out his story on the L.A. Times…

Culture Mix – He helps spread the sound around – Gil Gastelum works to attune folks to a rebirht of Lation Alternative music in Los Angeles.

Gil’s packing in a pretty impressive line-up for this week’s SXSW. I was able to ask him about this year’s shows & a little bit more…

Quien es Gil?gilbert_gastelum

Gil Gastelum – Manager/Principal of Cosmica Artists Management + Consulting

Originally from Tucson , AZ , Lived in LA and Austin.

How did you get into the music biz?

Got a job at a local record store near my university (Arizona) Discount Records. From there I move to LA to be the tour manager and personal assistant to El Vez the Mexican Elvis (!) then worked at MCA and A&M Records.

Who have your worked with?

Alejandro Escovedo

Lila Downs

Robert Rodriguez

Maneja Beto

David Garza

El Vez – the Mexican Elvis!

Monte Negro

Michael Ramos + Charanga Cakewalk

Pilar Diaz (formerly of Los Abandoned)

Tito + Tarantula

Tone (producer)

Can you talk about the evolution of Latino Music/musicians?

I think they have integrated themselves more than ever and have also at the same time made themselves stand out with less stigma from outside audiences. Even 10 years ago would you believe the amount of Latino artists that are around just in Austin? I’m not even talking about artists making traditional Latino music- I’m speaking about rock and indie pop, etc. Back in the day you Alejandro Escobedo and David Garza- my musical icons. Now I’m hearing about bands that I’m late on so I love it. The evolution will continue and needs to so people at radio and big concert promoters won’t be able to keep on making excuses.

What’s going on this SXSW? Who’s on your line up?

Lot’s of stuff.

Charanga Cakewalk – Wednesday, March 18 at 10pm at Club 115

Monte Negro – Thursday at 11pm at Maggie Mae’s

Pilar Diaz (formerly of Los Abandoned) – Friday at 10pm at Fuze

David Garza – Saturday at 8pm at The Continental Club

Also on Friday, March 20th from 12:00 – 4:00pm, we’ll be hosting Afternoon Delight at Mexic-Arte with a full line up of bands. All for free!

Any additional comments?

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about what I’ve done and who my artists are. Taco Journalism rules and it tastes good too. I’d rather eat tacos in Austin and Texas than anywhere else…well maybe except El Califa or Fogoncito in DF.

Gracias, mi amigo!