Gabe Lopez: Mastering Music for the Masses

I am very lucky to be in constant contact with the most amazing talented people.  My mission to introduce you to them this year has been quite easy.  I am so pleased to be able to introduce you to Gabe Lopez in this piece.  Gabe is an LA based recording artist and song writer.  His many talents include: piano, guitar, and bass. All of which he taught himself.  He has trained in opera and studied classical theory and jazz.  Gabe was one of Music Connection Magazine’s hot 100 Unsigned Artists in LA.

I am impressed with Gabe’s sound as well as his achievements.  His music has been featured on NBC during their Olympics coverage and various TV shows.  He has written for American Idol contestant Jim Verraros and various others, which you will learn about in this interview.  Gabe also possesses a gracious quality that I think will get him far in life as well as in business.  I hope you enjoy the following exchange as much as I did:

Me: Thank you again for doing this.  I really am enjoying your music!

Gabe: Thank you! That really means a lot to me!

Q: I have read that you are influenced by artists like The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Sheryl Crow.  What artists in the top 40 right now influence you?

A: I love Adele. That voice is amazing. I’m also loving the new albums by Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Rihanna, Foster the People, and the Black Keys.

Q:  I know you write for other artists as well. Can you give us a few names?  Do you enjoy writing for others as much as you enjoy writing for yourself?

A: I’ve written for Belinda Carlisle, James Brown, Joey McIntyre, Varsity Fanclub, Bone-Thugs, Thomas Fiss, Jim Verraros, Richie Stringini, Shinee and some other cool peeps. I love writing for other artists. It’s fun to change your perspective, sound or production to fit another artist. It helps you to grow, too.  Other times it’s very liberating.  When I write for myself, it usually feels a little closer to home, so that form of expression is a little more cathartic, perhaps even honest.

Q: You have performed all over LA.  Where do you enjoy performing most?  For you, what makes a good performance?

A:  I love performing at the Roxy. There’s something special about the energy and rock history there. You can feel it. As for a good show – if I’m in good voice and if I communicate the songs well, I feel like I’ve done my job well. I have to move the audience to feel something.

Q:  Where else have you performed and how do those places compare to LA? Do you feel LA is home base?

A:  I’ve also performed at the House of Blues, The Derby, The Viper Room and other Sunset venues. I recently did a mini-So Cal tour and that was a blast! I’ll be in Europe this summer. But yes – LA is home base.

Q: Your song, “Sunday Summertime” was featured on NBC during their Olympics coverage and your song “Red Queen” has been featured on various TV shows. Is that a good way to get more exposure?

A:  Definitely! Radio-play can be hard, so my first album “This Is About You” found its audience through song placements in TV and film – some club-play, too. My new album “Shine Like the Sun” is getting play on Sirius XM Radio and some FM channels worldwide – specifically the singles “Boomerang,” “Saboteur” and “If You Could Stop Time.”

Q: The music business has changed so much.  What are the major challenges facing artists today, in your opinion?

A: There are a lot more avenues in which artists can be discovered. YouTube and satellite radio are kind of like “the new FM.” This helps to make up for the challenge of fewer labels, smaller record deals, a shrinking Top 40, and 360 deals that cut into artist profits.

Q: Social Media is a great tool for people in the entertainment business.  How do you use it to help you with your career?

A:  Facebook and Twitter, and at one time MySpace, have really helped me to grow my fan base, get people to hear about the new music, and to get people to shows.

Q:  Who are some of your dream duets?  What about artists you would like to write songs for?  Do you have any songs that you wrote with certain artists in mind?

A: I would love to sing with or write for Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Alanis and Tori Amos.
Working right now with Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin has been a dream come true.

Q: How do you feel about artist that rely heavily on production tricks?  Do you think we have moved too far away from real talent?

A: It depends. Sometimes the entertainment is about the aesthetic the production brings to the music, or about the production tricks helping to bring the music to the stage for an artist who is mostly a dancer or an artist that communicates with a combo of music and visual.  I think that’s cool. And that’s a different game from a singer/songwriter who plays live and can sing without studio wizardry. What bugs me is when someone tries to pass himself/herself off as an artist who can sing live when he/she can’t, or when someone takes credit for other people’s creativity and hard work.

Q: Are you planning to tour for the album at all?

A: Yes! Excited to book more European dates! US shows, too!

Q: You worked with Jim Verraros from American Idol. What advice did you give him about the business? What do you think of shows like Idol, XFactor, and America’s Got Talent?

A: Jim and I both endured a lot of dishonest people. It’s just a part of the business. I think we helped each other with his experience on the show and my experience in the biz. We were able to push each other. I think the TV talent shows are a great way to get discovered.

Q: You play piano, guitar, and bass.  All self taught.  When did you know you had a talent for music?  Was it always a part of your life?

A: I’ve enjoyed singing since I was 3. We didn’t have money for piano lessons when I was little, but I WANTED to play! Haha. So, I taught myself piano then guitar and stuff. I just knew I had a passion and loved playing music.   It’s my absolute favorite thing to do. I honestly love, Love, LOVE it. I have to do it. And I guess I’m lucky I have a knack for it? I feel blessed.

Q: Where can we find you online? Twitter, Facebook, websites, etc?

A: www.gabelopez.com
www.facebook.com/gabelopezmusic
www.myspace.com/gabelopez
Twitter: @gabelopezsongs

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: I’m working on my next album and working on projects by Belinda Carlisle, Thomas Fiss, Richie Stringini, Trevor Page and Chris Salvatore.

Q:  If you weren’t in the music business what other field could you see yourself in?

A: Acting! I love acting.

Q: Any last words for your fans?

A: Thanks for listening and thanks for your support! Come check out a show. New music coming soon! <3

Like I said, Gabe gets “it.”  He’s hard working, loves what he does, and knows how to work with others to bring out their best.  Give him a listen, you will be glad you did!

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