By: Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Stacy Tello (vocals); Jorge De La Paz (guitar); El Mao (lead guitar); Fry Ferrini (drums); Krishnan Suawminathan (bass).
CITY OF ORIGIN:
Kanvaz EP (2010).
The Smiths, La Quinta Estacion, Coldplay, Muse, Metallica, Mana, Caifanes, Camila, Michael Jackson, The Funk Brothers, Tina Turner, Al Green…Tupac and Biggie, too!
Though Kanvaz is best known as a pop-rock en Español band, the fivesome are truly an international outfit. Ask guitarist Jorge De La Paz about his band’s origins and you’ll get vastly more than what might be expected—in fact, membership in this group spans the origins of four continents. (For those counting, it’s North America, South America, Asia and Europe.
Founded by the band’s two primary songwriters, De La Paz and vocalist Stacy Tello, the act’s painted their creations on a sonic canvas of sorts. Take note: The name “Kanvaz” is not unintentional.
“When [we] were thinking of the sound we wanted to accomplish, it needed to reflect different layers of sound,” says De La Paz, “just like different paint and textures on a canvas makes a beautiful painting.” In short, De La Paz says that they wanted to create beautiful music—or a beautiful disaster.
Fortunately, Kanvaz hasn’t been a disaster, though it’s had to slug through the once-pigeonholing scene.
“It used to be that bands like ours could only play certain venues or certain nights like the ‘Latin Night’—I really hated that,” says De La Paz. “But now, especially on an independent level, music is just music. I think people are starving for music with substance, and if it’s good, you’re in. We have had some amazing experiences like performing at the Rainbow Room in Hollywood in front of a bunch of people that would never probably check out our music, yet at the end of the night, we had everyone dancing, and rocking to Kanvaz.”
The band recently rocked the studio with well-established producer Paul McKenna, garnering an education from the recording professional.
“Working with Paul McKenna was one of the highlights our lives,” says Tello. “We learned so much from Paul, things like ‘less is more’ . . . [he] really took us from being a rock/fusion band with eight-minute songs to making pop, radio-friendly songs, that simple is better. It didn’t mean we couldn’t showcase our talent, it just meant we could make simple, catchy, smart songs.”
Kanvaz at the Mission Tobacco Lounge, 3630 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 682-4427; www.missiontobaccolounge.com. Fri, 9PM.