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"No Hay Diferencia", Interview with Paco Rivera

by Woody Price

Paco Rivera is a singer, guitarist, producer and composer. Born in Mexico, DF and now living in San Miguel de Allende, he is the founder of "Pilaseca", a band of Mexican funk that has toured throughout the United States and Mexico. With a career of 15 years in the music scene, he participated with his band in multiple festivals, such as Cumbre Tajín, South By Southwest (Austin), Jack Daniels Fest (Chicago), Vive Latino, Ford AmphiTheater (Vail) and other cities including New York, New Orleans and cities throughout the of whole the Mexican Republic. He worked with Thom Russo, producer and engineer of artists including Michael Jackson, Macy Gray and many more. He also collaborated with Francis Buckley producer of Alanis Morissette. As a composer, Paco Rivera has placed songs in foreign commercials, movies and TV series such as Jane the Virgin, Anónimo, History Channel, Lifetime, Paradas Conitnuas, Viajeros Por, Llamando un Angel and more. In 2017 he released his first solo album, "No Hay Diferencia" with duets and participation of Jenny Ball (Jenny and the Mexicats), Benny Ibarra and guest musicians of great level.

WP: Hola Paco, I would like to ask you a few things about la familia: where you grew up, mother and father, brothers and sisters. Was it a musical family? As a young musico, who did you draw your musical inspiration from? I've seen you always have the funk going on, whether Pila Seca or Atomic. Many grupos do a funky thing here in SMA, but there is something more compelling about your approach, it's very refreshing.

PR: I grew up in Mexico City with a very, very musical family. They used to do huge get-togethers every Friday or Saturday in my house with all these friends and musicians. It was tiring doing all this music in my house every weekend [laughter]], but I enjoyed it. The music they used to play and hear was Jazz, Funk, Soul and Bossa y Samba, a lot of Brazilian and Afro-American music. So that's why my music influence is Funk.

WP: I have been enjoying the shows you have been doing with Ana Red. She is a tremendous singer and bass player. I was very proud to see her perform with Malford Milligan from Austin at the Magic Town Music Festival. They had a good thing goin on. Is there anything you would care to share about the Festival?

PR: Magic Town is for a beautiful cause. The last Fest we had more than fifty different live acts. I was proud and happy that everyone at the Fest, all the bands were amazing. They were a lot of great musicians. It is for me the best festival in SMA to see live bands and great music, best vibes, great energy, original music. I think Rusty Henson and Carrie Cameron have been doing great work with the Festival and with the children in the community.

WP: Lets talk about your new CD. Are these all originals? Are any of these collaborations, besides the one I heard with Benny? It sounded like a different kind of writing than what I have heard in the past.

PR: Yeah, all my songs are original, music, lyrics and production. I have 3 duets in the album. My first single, with Benny Ibarra is very different of what I've been doing. I really like the duet and I think the voices are great together. He did an amazing job. Another duet is with Jenny Ball, the singer of the Jenny and the Mexicats. The third duet is with Ana Red, an amazing singer, great bass player and my love.

WP: Have you other projects besides Pilaseca and Paco Rivera?

PR: Lately I have been playing with this band Atomic [laughter] and it's such a therapy for my soul. Let me tell you a little bit:

You know, the music industry is very stupid here in México. This business of music is the only part of music I don't like. The music industry here in my country is very focused about what you hear on radio. Unless you pay a lot of illegal money to the radio people, then probably they will give you the worst schedule for your music to be heard. It is very sad, because I thought the people were starting to wake up. But it's the same old story, just with different actors, different people working for them. By contrast playing with Atomic is like therapy. I love to play with those great musicians, like Rick Schlosser, Doug Robinson, Raul, Ana Red, Armando Servin, and so many others. We have fun and whatever we want and need from our music. We forget all about the music business. We just play in the present. It's like food for the soul. What I try to do with Atomic is always change musicians, and make a different experience every time for the people who come to listen.

WP: How is the promotion going for the new CD? Is there any chance you will go on tour? I want to wish you buen viaje, Paco. I know you'll keep it funky.

PR: I'm gonna start my tour of Paco Rivera "No hay Diferencia" very soon. There are a lot of plans that I will be happy to show you on Facebook and all of my social media!

Facebook Instagram Twitter pacoriveramusic


Woody has lived in SMA with his wife Paula for three years, they are from Austin, Texas.
Woody has a local Band,as well as playing solo shows.

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Dee Dub/Drums

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