The Baja based singer, songwriter, and producer, Labán has been honing in the musical craft since he was young. Drawing in inspiration from his emotions and channeling that energy into the song, allowing for Labán to create a personable experience that fits into any listeners' mood. Recently, Labán released his emotional album 'Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí,' and we are going to be diving into our favorite release off of the album "Hell Is Not My Nightmare," the feel-good vibes of this one are irresistible.
"Hell Is Not My Nightmare" has an incredibly honest feeling to the songwriting; it has a delicate balance of being uplifting and also tense. Telling us about how Labán's worst nightmares are far scarier than what most people expect, and when paired with a feel-good exciting instrumental, makes for a truly unique experience that we will remember for a long time. "Hell Is Not My Nightmare" features a patient electronic drum groove, excellent saxophone solo's that makes us want to get up and dance silly, funky muted guitar lines full of good energy then Labán's perfectly upfront vocals that we are addicted to listening to. After listening to "Hell Is Not My Nightmare," we definitely will be listening to "Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí," and we think that everyone should too.
Your latest release “Hell Is Not My Nightmare” feels like a personal story about your greatest fears, how do you find yourself relating to the lyrics?
Thank you BuzzMusic! Yes, it is a very personal song, it is meant to portrait different states of mind. This is the very last song I wrote for my first album and it sums up my experience during the last 6 years, the emotional ups and downs. I wrote the album during this period of time, I actually dropped and resumed the album composition a few times, that's why it took so long, so it also serves as a conclusion to both the album and this period of my life. I think that my artistry comes from a very emotional self, I sometimes deal with rapid mood swings mostly towards depression and music is what has kept me going. That's what is being represented in the lyrics. We’re loving the upbeat vibes in the instrumentation, how did you come up with the idea of heavily using the saxophone for this one? What was the recording process like for this one?
The song is different from the rest of the album. It actually represents what I want to do next, which is exploring the synth side. I'm actually a big fan of French house and the 80's synth-pop, and that was my main inspiration for the musical aspects of this song. Regarding the saxophone, Denver-based musician Jeff Miguel plays the sax on this song, I previously worked with him on my song Acércate and I'm just a big fan of his work and talent.
The recording process began with a provisional beat, I made the structure of the song with all the tempo changes and I built the melody, the main keyboard, the synths, the different basses, the vocals, and the lyrics around that initial structure. Then I proceeded to work with two different guitarists on different sections of the song, I then made the final selection of the guitar parts and I went on to work on the sax and the strings. For the final step, I revisited the sound of the initial beat and worked on the last details. We are definitely going to give a listen to the whole "Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí” after listening to this one, how does the story from each song evolve and relate to each other?
Overall, this is a very personal album, each one of the songs is related to an organ of the human body with a special meaning. The songs about heartbreak experiences, La Verdad Me Va and Acércate, the kidney and the liver respectively, both organs have detoxifying functions. Condena, which is about the critical issues of internal security in Mexico, is associated with the thymus, a specialized organ of the immune system. The heart is for Dueños de Aquí because it was the first single, as a symbol of its relevance. Hell is Not My Nightmare has the brain because it is a song about mental health. Feel the Distance is about migrants and their tough journey across the Mexican territory, they usually face very harsh conditions of poverty and vulnerability, they are often captured and forced to work for the criminal mafias or they end up dead. So, the bone structure is a very representative organ for this song. Quién da más, the lungs, is about the existential battle between our inner selves and the idea of what's expected from us, a suffocating situation from the perspective of the lyrics. And finally Para Ti, the skin, in this particular version of the song titled Diálogos de Seguridad Nacional, is about being happy about everyone around me and telling them about how making music makes me happy.
How has living in Baja influenced the music that you are creating? What are some ways you try to find your own unique voice in the city?
Well, I was born in Baja California, specifically in the border city of Tijuana. Then I moved with my parents to another city in the northeast region of Mexico when I was very little and I then moved to Mexico City when I was 16, lived there for several years, I studied industrial engineering and business administration and I wrote the album during those years. Now, being back in Baja California, I love the city of Ensenada and I think that Valle de Guadalupe is a stunning place, very inspiring. It opens a new chapter for me physically and emotionally. I've already started writing the second album, which is going to go in a more upbeat direction, it will pick up right where we left off at the end of Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí and it will take inspiration from English synth-pop, French house, as well as Swedish and Italian disco. What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
It has been tough and hard to stay inspired and focused due to everything that's going on out there. Musicians face some particular challenges along with the whole music industry. But if every crisis is in fact an opportunity, we don't have any other choice but to make the most out of it. Promoting this album and working on the next one has kept me inspired.