Labán - 10 Questions Music Interview
Labán is a Mexican singer-songwriter who is based out of Tijuana in Mexico City. Labán credits his upbringing for his passion for humanism and social entrepreneurship; his parents, both social activists and a graphic artist, instilled a sense of social responsibility early on. From the age of 3, Labán showed a great interest in music and began studying the violin. Today, he is a songwriter, musician and producer. Labán's first album Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí is soon to be released. The principle of respect for human life is part of the album’s concept and a central idea and each song is associated with a vital part of the human body. The function of each part is related to the song’s intention. Jazz, Pop, RnB, Funk and Rock are the vibes on this album. The lyrical content goes from protest against corruption, impunity, extreme income inequality and violence to frustration and existential crisis to love relationships and friendship. Four singles are out, Dueños de Aquí, Quién da Más, Para ti and Acércate. Labán is one of the artists who will be featured on BWH Music Group’s On Peace Street, a compilation album featuring 19 songs about peace and social justice.
What is the name of the song you have on Peace Street? "Dueños de Aquí"
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or, what is the song about? Dueños de Aquí is a protest song against corruption, impunity, extreme income inequality and violence inspired by the political and social climate of Mexico's current reality.
How did you write your featured song? Or, can you describe your songwriting process? I usually work on the melody of the song first, then I decide what the song will be about and while I create the melody I start writing phrases that fit both the melody and the theme of the song.
Who are your major music influences? Back in the old days, it was all about Amy Winehouse, Shakira, Feist, Morcheeba.
When you wrote this song, did you have a goal in mind? For example, were you trying to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to your heart? Yes, it's about social conscience. I think that being aware of the common problems we face and the possible solutions is part of our role in democracies. I believe that fair competition in life is necessary 'cause that's what drives us to be better and that's the base of progress and development, but "fair" means that everyone is entitled to have some basic needs fulfilled in order to compete, (safety, good health and quality education) then it's up to each one of us and our own merits. The thing is that, right now, we focus the purpose of ambition on accumulating wealth, making it an end in itself, and it does not necessarily matter how much we contribute to society or worse, how many people we screw in the process (corruption, unethical behavior).
How did you get started in music? I started playing the violin when I was 3 and music itself was always a very important part of my life. My parents had thousands of CDs and LPs and I grew up listening to all kinds of music. I started making my first music compositions when I was in high school and a few years later I started writing this first album.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what was the most challenging and why? The last song I wrote for this album, "Hell is Not My Nightmare" is a progressive dark ballad, it features synth and dance elements with a sense of nostalgia. It's a song about mental health and I wanted to portray different stages of depression in terms of emotions and thoughts. It was a challenge because I experimented beyond the classic structure of a song and I really wanted to give this very important topic a fair and respectful treatment.
How do you think music help promote world peace and social justice? Do you have a favorite social justice song? "Music makes the people come together", as Madonna would say. Music is a way to connect, to get our minds and bodies in sync and that feeling can be shared by different people while listening to the same song, thus establishing some sort of harmonious connection, if that makes any sense. As for my favorite peace and social justice song, I can only think of Zombie by The Cranberries, which is a real icon of a song for me.
What’s coming up in the future? The album is set to be released before the end of the year and I'll be visiting California and Baja in the next few months where I'll be promoting it with some live shows.