In the fourth edition of The Beat, our series of interviews with musicians, meet Pablo Sirvand, an up and coming Mexican singer-songwriter.
Opening the interview, and to get an idea of his music taste, I asked Pablo to open his digital music library, turn on shuffle and tell me the first three songs that appeared. The first song that came up was “Intentions” by The Whitest Boy Alive. Next was “We Take Care of Our Own” by Bruce Springsteen, followed by “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.
And on that note...
LAURA SCHERIAU: How long have you been playing music?
PABLO SIRVAND: When I was about 12 years old, I started to learn to read music and play the guitar. I used to listen to a lot of different styles of music, but was inspired by country and folk musicians. I learned how to structure music and started to imitate their style, and that’s how it all began.
You are a full time musician now. How does that feel?
It’s the best feeling in the world. I left my office job in the end of 2014 and I have never been happier. If at some point I realize that it was a mistake, and I fail as an artist, it will still have been the best mistake I’ve ever made.
How would you describe your style?
Because I am influenced by many different styles, like Bossanova, Ska and Country, to only name a few, I would describe my style as a mix between Latin Rock, Soul and Funk.
What inspires you to write new songs?
In the beginning, my writing was mostly inspired by personal experiences. But with time, and with more experience in songwriting, it was easier to involve personal feelings as well as observations I made, in order to use music as a therapy, not only for myself but also for the people that are listening to my songs. I want to make people feel good, and not only sing about that one love that is lost, but also about how to love yourself, how to be happy with yourself, in order to find that special someone who will love us the way we love them.
In the end, if we were all just light bubbles, no bodies and shapes, there would be nothing there to distract us from the beauty of the soul. And honestly, what else do we need to fall in love? My songs are not talking about one kind of love, but all kinds of love. Love for ourselves, our family, our friends, to be thankful that we are alive and also the impossible love, that we may have experienced in a dream, or an unconscious desire.
What value does music have for you?
Music has an immense value for me. It’s a beautiful and soothing language, addictive almost, and it makes me happy to play music, and transfer happiness, but also to listen to music and receive it. It is an instrument of peace and I hope to achieve that with my music. Like in Dr. Masarau Emoto’s experiment from 1994, where he said “Thank you” and “I love you” and good words to a glass of water. The crystals formed by this water were incredibly beautiful – quite in contrast to the chaotic and unsynchronized crystals that were formed when the water was exposed to bad words. With the gift of music that I was given, I am now saying “Thank you” and “I love you” to the world, hopefully changing one cell after another until the world is as beautiful a structure as Dr. Emoto’s crystals.
Many people work hard every day to maybe someday find out who they really are. Some may never find out. My music helps me, and hopefully others, to stand up high and find my way. To find myself and to achieve to be happy. And as a reminder that this special day, where we will finally show or find out who we are, is not too far away.
What was the biggest audience you played for, and how did you feel being in front of a big audience for the first time?
The biggest audience was at a concert in the Palacio de Gobierno de Nuevo Leon, so many people, and my face on the big screens, it was like a dream come true for me. The cameras on me, photos and videos being taken by people in the audience with their phones, that right there makes you feel accomplished. Like, people are actually filming your performance, so you must do something right! It makes you feel… big. Afterwards, you come back to reality and you realize that you’re only one of many, but that feeling, being on that stage, is addictive - the applause, the energy. I never want to leave the stage, I want to stay on it forever. It’s magical. It’s euphoric. And I never want to stop feeling that way.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
Probably a very bad scientist. I saw “La Bamba” in the cinema when I was very little. And the history of Mexican-American rocker Richie Valenz in the 50’s made me want to be a rockstar, so badly. But then I saw “Back to the Future” and I really wanted to be a scientist, until I realized that me and mathematics agree to disagree…
Who would you die to be on stage with?
That is not fair. Oh so many… I would be singing with Garth Brooks, Billy Joel and Miguel Rios, while Bruce Springsteen and Juanes are playing the guitar. And Paul McCartney would be on the bass, obviously.
And finally: Which song could you not live without?
Also a very difficult question, but probably an Oldie but Goldie “Higher and Higher” by Jacky Wilson.