Kingoroots, ex-Gondwana: “I work, music has never given me a living from it”

Before the Chilean singer kingoroots arrived in our country to be part of the concert that this Thursday, April 20, the Argentine band Riddim will offer at Sargento Pimienta, for his 27-year career, the former Gondwana vocalist spoke with La República about his beginnings in reggae and the new challenges that the music industry demands to achieve a little recognition.

Kingoroots, who is also a composer, guitarist and music producer, stressed that singing well or playing an instrument skillfully is not enough now. You have to learn other disciplines if you really want to get ahead with your vocation. On the other hand, the 47-year-old artist assures that music has given him many beautiful experiences, but that his work as a veterinarian is what has really given him a comfortable life.

—Do you remember how reggae came into your life?

—I came to reggae through a friendship. I had a friend who was fascinated by reggae. I lived in Brazil at the time, I was about 14 years old. Then, as a musician, I started to make reggae compositions. The first was precisely on those dates, when I was 15 years old. From there I embraced reggae to this day and it has been my favorite music for all these years.

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—Besides reggae, was there another genre that caught your attention?

—Yes, of course, my school was heavy metal. I started in music playing heavy metal from the age of six to twelve, more or less. Then I dedicated myself to playing blues, between the ages of 12 and 15. So I could make another style of music, there would be no impediment on my part. But I have dedicated my music to what I really like, which is reggae.

—Do you think you’ve had a bit of luck, since not everyone can dedicate themselves to music from a very young age?

—The truth is that I started (in music) through a brother who was a guitarist in a big cult band from Sao Paulo. I started looking at it and the truth is that this was the greatest influence for me to make the music. But the truth is that I have never lived from music. I have always lived on other things. In that sense, music has not supported my living costs, even when I was in Gondwana. I am a veterinary surgeon now, but I have always dedicated myself to other trades to be able to develop myself in music. I work, music has never given me a living from it. I’ve always had to work on other things to be able to feed and try to feed music professionally.

—And what has music given you?

—Music, on a personal level, has been my source of transformation, my beliefs, my feelings and my energy to live life. Music has given me the love of people and many joys. It has given me the chance to get to know beautiful countries like yours (Peru) and many other things, really. Music is always a light on the road, regardless of the fact that for many of us it is not possible to live from musicbecause music has always been that hope in life.

—There are many young artists who believe that you can make a living from reggae, what advice would you give them?

—More than dedicating himself to reggae, it’s dedicating himself to music. They need to know that the road is always hard. Even in the big leagues, it’s also hard to generate the salaries you expect and need.

Kingoroots confesses: “Music has never given me a living from it”

“Other advice?”

—Another piece of advice to someone who wants to dedicate himself to music is to have a passion for it, a passion for that path, to know that today it is no longer enough to be a musician, one has to be a music producer, one has to be a graphic designer, one has to be a video clip designer You have to be a manager, a press communicator and you have to do many activities that were not within the musician’s guidelines because, in the long run, the projects are done alone, unless you go to a record company and have all that equipment. of personal. One has to be everything, really. So they are more activities than just playing an instrument well or composing well. You need much more knowledge than that to be able to get ahead in music.

—But before the reality was different…

“Clearly today’s times are no longer like that. The truth is that music has pros and cons. Music, somehow, has always been a bit imprisoned by the interests of macro companies and that was the case before as well. Before it was more difficult for independents to get off the ground, except through a record label. However, today an independent can get by without a record label. In fact, record labels practically no longer exist, there are only two or three worldwide. The truth is that I prefer today’s times more than those of before. However, to achieve the goal, a multidisciplinary preparation of the musician is necessary.