From Fort Lauderdale to LA, the folk-rock/blues artist and singer-songwriter D. Marin Perez questions his city's inequalities with a recent single entitled, "Los Angeles."
Finding a residence in songwriting, D. Marin Perez invites anyone into unexpected and relatable concepts through his tongue-in-cheek narratives that are nothing but sincere. The Cuban-American artist also serves as a community organizer and minister in Los Angeles. He finds himself compelled to write the snarky love letter and ode to the city's he's gotten to know.
Releasing his single, "Los Angeles," D. Marin Perez mentioned that the piece delivers commentary towards the ongoing inequalities between the homeless and the relatively well-off. Offering more of a folky rhythm and blues delivery through his story-like approach and upbeat instrumentals, D. Marin Perez has us tapping our feet with each clever lyric and groovy beat.
"Los Angeles" begins with D. Marin Perez's brilliant vocal portrayal, singing what seems to be a cheerful ode to his city, but listening to his lyricism brings more of a conceptual and highly realistic message. While accompanied by a soothing acoustic guitar, warm electric guitars, and mid-tempo percussion patterns, D. Marin Perez starts singing about the troubles our city faces.
Describing the city's homelessness problem and wishing to snap his fingers and help make ends meet while also touching on the city's pollution and various other issues, D. Marin Perez brings forward a highly realistic message to get his audience thinking. With the addition of bright brass instrumentals to end the song off with glee, we adore the humorous and blunt statements contrasted by the sweet sonics.
Catch D. Marin Perez's snarky single "Los Angeles" on all digital streaming platforms, and allow the piece to remind you of needed change.
We truly appreciate the realistic and sound message you've delivered with your single "Los Angeles." What inspired the song's lyrical content surrounding our city's struggles?
I was inspired to write a song about beloved LA after hearing “Talkin’ New York” from Bob Dylan’s first LP (1962) – it’s a quirky country song about arriving as a 20 year old kid in the Big Apple, and the hardship some folks go through. I thought, “Hmm, I have a lot to say about Los Angeles.” So I started mining my nearly 4-year experience as a clergy person and community organizer in Downtown LA serving an inner city church, and seeing firsthand the complex and devastating issues people deal with, particularly in Skid Row. Contrasting the realities of poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction with the apathy, wealth, and disconnection I observed among fellow Angelenos made me want to write a song like this. I’ll admit, not everyone’s gonna receive it with open arms. It’s kind of an indictment as much as it is a love letter. I like to say it’s a snarky love letter asking the lover to get their sh*t together.
Could you take us through your songwriting process for "Los Angeles" when writing about various issues and having them flow cohesively throughout the song?
It just happened pretty naturally and fairly quickly. I’d been dealing with these things in one way or another for the better part of 4 years, so I vented both my frustrations and my hopes. I hit on the systemic issues of housing and homelessness, wage stagnation, income inequality, loneliness (believe it or not, loneliness is a massive epidemic in LA, and big cities in general), and a generally apathetic mood I see among the more stable classes (I include myself there, too). That 13-mile distance between the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and the Midnight Mission in Skid Row might as well be 1,000 miles apart. For as much as I seem to criticize the utopic aims of LA culture and politics, I do believe we can shine our brighter light and turn this thing around. How? Lord knows.
Why did you want your instrumentals within "Los Angeles" to offer more of a bright and uplifting feel, contrasting your lyricism?
I think part of it is a stylistic choice – I’m a folk and Americana songwriter and I love the way those forms have always lent themselves to storytelling and consciousness-raising. But I think it was important to feel some of that classic “LA glitz” – the contrast between the weightiness of the lyrics and the lightness of the music captures that essential contradiction of LA culture, in my view.
Seeing as "Los Angeles" is the first single off of your upcoming album, "Change Is," how does the single prepare us for the forthcoming forward-thinking album?
My upcoming album “Change Is” isn’t really a political album; it’s not all about social change. The change I’m talking about has to do with those crisis points in life where the baskets in which all your eggs rest falls off its perch and everything shatters – so what do you do then? It’s about how, to some degree or another, life is about starting over again (and again). How could it not be? Aren’t we always changing? Isn’t the world always acting upon us, molding us and shaping us (for better or worse)?
I’d describe “Change Is” as having a clear Side A and Side B – the first four songs are somewhat raucous with full-band arrangements – electric guitars, rock organ, drums, etc. “Los Angeles” concludes Side A, as the fourth song. Side B is much more introspective and acoustic, it has a lot to do with serious heartbreak.
What can we expect to see next from you?
The next single I’m releasing from “Change Is” is called “When the Earth Quakes.” It tells the story of what happens when an ascendant, prophetic outsider challenges and speaks an indicting truth to the establishment, the power brokers, the powers that be. You know what happens? They get framed and crucified, or they get shot in Memphis, or convicted by a sham jury. “When the Earth Quakes” tells that story, in a loud, dark Americana kind of way. You can expect to see that release by February 17th!