Featured Track: “Vuelo” by Love Cast
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself! Name, brief bio, how long you’ve been recording as Love Cast, all that jazz.
Hey folks! My name is Abner Parra and I was born and raised in the South Bay. More specifically, the Inglewood/Hawthorne area. I’ve been recording music as Love Cast straight out of high school, so about three years now. I had been playing music since middle school, but only realized how much I enjoyed making my own sounds when I had a project for a music class.
I had always been searching for a sound that I felt represented myself, which is in part why I hesitated joining a band. I find making music to be a very meditative space used for self-reflection and realization.
Since the start of Love Cast, I’ve known I want to write in both Spanish and English to fully show demonstrate my roots. Being a first generation Mexican-American, I’ve always had a difficult time dealing with my identity. Now, I’ve come to realize that I am a blend of the two, and want to show that through my music.
Let’s talk a bit about “Vuelo”! This is a great song, and it’s got the SoundCloud play count to match. How did this blow up to the degree that it did? Did it get attention on any local stations or just word of mouth?
“Vuelo” is one of my more popular Spanish songs. All my friends were reposting it on SoundCloud as soon as it came out, which really propelled its into peoples’ SoundCloud pages, some of which already had a really big fan base. SHIDÜ and Cuco have been the biggest catalysts of my music; they have a really big fan base and I think it helped push “Vuelo” to 5k listens a week. Once it got exposed to more people, I noticed it just kept getting reposted.
I love the guitar tone you utilize! Very ‘80s shoegaze and jangle pop, brings to mind a band like Lush or The Smiths (“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” in particular) for me. You use it on “Vuelo” and your next biggest song, “Nothing Inbetween”; what do you think it is about that sound that attracts you and others to it?
My sound consists of me trying to do the most of what I can with what I have. I was given a little used guitar processor when I was 16 and it’s the one I still use now. Funny enough, I plug my bass into it as well, just to give it a different sound. I don’t have a pedal board just yet, but with time, I know my sound will naturally develop and grow with me and Love Cast.
In addition, I noticed that this seems to be the song of yours with the most solidified rhythmic backbone, with a beat that could be comfortable in hip hop production. Had you been listening to or working with any hip hop artists at the time that inspired experimenting with this sound?
The beat in Vuelo is all MIDI, which ties into my trying to do the most with what I have. The beat came out of my own heart with no specific influence in mind. With that being said, I’ve made a lot of friends this year that are amazing rappers that look for new, interesting beats. One of my closest friends is Adam Es. He’s also from Hawthorne, and he’s hit me up on collaborating; I’m super stoked to announce that we’re in the works on a song or two.
One of the most readily identifiable things about the track is that it’s in Spanish. I know it’s a “basic” question, but would you mind explaining a bit about what the song’s about to those who don’t speak the language?
“Vuelo” is my interpretation of what being in love feels like. It’s basically about, although it’s sometimes hard to explain, love making some feel like they’re flying and falling at the same time. Being a very optimistic love song, it being in Spanish adds to the romantic essence I try to evoke to my audience.
It’s no secret that, for better or worse (probably for worse), English dominates the global music market. Did you have any concerns releasing a song in Spanish in terms of reach or accessibility, or was it a no-brainer for you?
As an artist, I don’t ever make music to accommodate any given audience. I simply make sounds that come from my own heart and mind, not focusing on whether or not it’ll be accepted by others. With that being said, there are tons of non-Spanish speaking fans that enjoy listening to “Vuelo,” which only reinforces my ideology.
Photo Credit: Jerry Rangel
I notice that “Nothing Inbetween,” “Vuelo,” and “Chula” all have the same cover art on SoundCloud. Are these pre-releases for an EP or album you have cooking?
For the better part of there months, I’ve been working on an EP which is going to be released on April 28th. This EP will include remastered and redefined songs you’ve heard, like “Vuelo” and “Nothing Inbetween,” but will also incorporate another song or two that I’ve been working on. My goal is to have my first full length album by August.
I know that you’re a DJ on UCR’s radio station. Do you see your time as a DJ influencing your music at all, through inspiring you to continually seek out new and underground music or anything like that?
My role as a DJ on KUCR has always been to show people music they might have never been introduced to, along with introducing them to music that is still in the backyard show scene. Being a performer that’s good friends with other performers, I’ve been exposed to a lot of new music, which has helped influence my shows. I also try to incorporate my love for and appreciation of music by making little KUCR jingles for my show, Syncing Feeling.
I think my favorite song of yours might actually be the “Need to Know” demo from a few years ago. Very early Beck, sound like it’d be the credits song for an indie movie, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing. Do you still work in a more acoustic, folk-y style, or have you moved past that? Why or why not?
As you can find on my SoundCloud, I have a lot of demo versions to songs I plan on putting on my album. If you really like “Nothing Inbetween,” I recommend checking out how it sounded when I didn’t know anything about MIDI and/or mixing my tracks. At that stage, I was really influenced by the fingerpicking style you find in songs like “Dust in the Wind,” and artists like Iron and Wine. I plan on keeping that element in some of the songs in the album, and it will definitely be incorporated in one of the songs in the EP.
What would you say the biggest change is in your outlook as a musician in the three years you’ve been active? What’s next on the horizon?
The biggest change I’ve come to experience as an artist is not having expectations and just keeping true to myself. I’ve learned to only focus on satisfying myself, because I’ve learned that only then can people truly get a feel and develop an appreciation for the message you try to evoke in your music.
Thanks a bunch for taking the time to answer these questions!
Special Thanks to Thomas Seraydarian, Crossfader Magazine, and all those who support DIY artists.