An Interview With The Alternative Rocker and Mexico City Native, BETO HALE!
Posted On 01 Mar 2018
Alternative rocker and Mexico City native Beto Hale has released his third full-length studio album, Orbs of Light, featuring two stunning videos. The first, a VR/360°-optimized video for the power-pop masterpiece “Closer to You” and the beautifully filmed mini-movie for the thought-provoking title cut, “Orbs of Light”, both filmed in Mexico. Orbs of Light showcases Beto’s extroardinary depth of talent – he wrote, performed and co-produced about 90% of the album and recorded it at his 2,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Los Olivos Recoding Studios, in Los Angeles.
Beto explains: “This [title track] was originally conceived as a song about hope; amidst the negativity that surrounds us today, I am talking about being strong, believing in yourself, no matter how many terrible things you have witnessed or experienced. The Orbs (in my mind) represent the eyes, which in turn reflect ones spirit. It is also a song about connection; I believe the only thing that can possibly save us as a species is love, helping each other, believing in ourselves as a group. I believe there is true evil in the world, and one has to face it, bravely, to destroy it. Our generation has a huge responsibility to make the hard choices: are we going to be complacent, or are we going to act?”
Connect With Beto Hale Here-
Learn more about Beto Hale in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?’
Thank you for the opportunity! I am my recording studio right now!
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Care to share them with us?
I think it was a great year; I am very proud of my release “Orbs of Light” it had a great reception both from the critics and the fans. In terms of resolutions, I had two simple ones: Do what you love every day; and do what you don’t love with love.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I did. I remember playing with pencils and pens, as drumsticks, on a pair of toy drums; a tambourine and a little drum. The pens would leak ink all over the drums; that never stopped me though. I would play to albums all day long… Later on, I got my first real drum kit. By then I knew how to play some basic beats!
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your home has affected you and your music today?
My hometown of Mexico City is an incredibly eclectic city. It has people from all over the world, mixed in with the deep, mystical and warrior-like cultures, like the Aztecs, that preceded the arrival of the Spanish. So, growing up there, you are influenced by a plethora of sounds, tastes and accents; it all feeds in to your music, one way or another. I would not change having been born there for anything.
Let’s talk about your newest album, “Orbs of Light.” Where did the inspiration for this collection come from? Did anything surprise about putting these songs together? What was it like making it at Los Olivos Recording Studios?
I am always writing songs; it was only after I had a few of them that I realized I was making a new album. As the lyrics flowed, I noticed that the underlying theme was to transmit a positive message to the world; that, even in the face of disappointment, you can always look a t the bright side, whether in love, society or life in general. It was a privilege to complete this album at my new studio; some of the songs were actually started in my previous space; a bedroom full of equipment. So, the transition to the new studio was very inspiring and gave way to some of the great sounds you hear on the album.
How creatively involved were you with the making of then videos for “Orbs of Light” and “Closer to You”? I would love to know more about making “Closer to You” and how it was made to optimize VR devices and filmed in 360degrees? Whose idea was it to make it that way originally?
I was very involved in the main idea of making it a 60s-style party; that was my idea from the beginning. The rest was the conception of producer and director Andrew Donaldson and Gregory Allen, of PluralFilms in Mexico City. They were the ones who took my basic idea and made it to the great video you can now see. In terms of the technical information, I’d have to defer to the experts, Greg and Andrew! But it was Greg and Andrew’s idea to do it in this format; it was –and still is– an emerging format that is changing and improving every day.
As your third full-length album, how do you think this collection shows your growth as an artist? What has remained the same about your style and overall process?
I think that every time you record an album, you learn something new. One of the things that was different was the involvement of my three co-producers, Pablo Munguía, Brent Fischer and Sal Ojeda; each of them contributed enormously to the final product, and it would not sound as good as it does were it not for their involvement. I believe the songs are better structured, the performances (vocal and instrumental) are more precise and “tight” and the overall production is more pristine and polished (without losing a rock edge) than anything I had done previously.
After reading your bio, it’s clear that you have really had all kinds of positions within the music industry. Which job do you think really prepared you the most for a life as an artist? Which do you look back on and appreciate having the most?
Even though being editor for an important music publication was great in many ways, I don’t think any “day job” prepares you to be an artist. The only way to learn the craft is by doing it. Spending endless hours honing you craft, be it songwriting, singing, playing instruments, recording. There is no substitute for just doing it. And of course, performing on a stage; that’s something you will never get good at sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day!
Where can people see you perform live next? Do you already have some tour dates scheduled for 2018?
I am preparing some dates for Mexico City for this Spring. I will let you know as soon as I have the specific dates; I also plan to do some shows in LA, and in other cities around the US. Once they are confirmed, I’ll pass the dates along!
Where do you find that you at your happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music, writing songs or elsewhere?
Each activity fulfills me in different ways. There is nothing like performing live; the energy you receive from a live audience, especially doing your own music, is like nothing else. But the creative process, whether writing songs or recording in the studio, are also activities that make me very happy.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that your new music is going to reflect these difficult times?
I believe music possesses one of the greatest healing powers in the world. Through music, we can bridge cultural, racial, gender, and economic divides. There are few other activities which can bring people together like music.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Well, The Beatles were a huge influence and inspiration when growing up, and I still study and admire what they did. Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, and Radiohead are some of my favorites to this date. And I am constantly discovering new music, like that of Elise Lebec (aka Saqaara) an American composer, singer, pianist, songwriter, and producer who is combining the sounds of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, with her own incredibly original melodies, which seem to come from another planet. I have been fortunate to have been invited by her to collaborate as a guitarist on some of her new tracks, and am incredibly inspired by her work. Her voice is truly otherworldly! (Full disclosure, I am now her manager as well!).
What do you hope your fans take away from your music? Do you find that a lot of your music has a greater meaning behind it?
I hope they feel better after hearing than they did before! There is not a lot of mystery in my recent release; I think the message is pretty clear: a positive outlook on life.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself or your music with our readers?
I just would encourage you to check out my social media facebook.com/beto.hale
Instagram/Twitter @betohale and find my current and previous releases in iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all the other major platforms.