We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonio Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Antonio, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I chose to pursue a creative career in music because there was no other option in my mind. From my earliest childhood memories, music has always been at the forefront of my focus. I am committed and will continue this path I am on. When I am an old man, this is still what I’ll be doing, regardless if I’m playing in a fancy concert hall or the corner of some dive bar. This long view approach has served me well, and I am learning to enjoy the process instead of being so attached to results. The ego is attached to outcomes and gaining recognition. Creativity flows when you let go of expectations and are present in the moment.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a quiet man who has something to say. That is why I write songs. To me, music is like an onion. It has many layers, each one revealing something more. At the core, I am a singer-songwriter in service to the song. I choose to use my adept guitar work and composition skills not in a showy way, but rather like the spices in a delectable home-cooked meal.
I am not a rock star personality. I’ll own that. Awkward at times, I am a quiet person. Still, I exude calm confidence and conviction. I find this combination makes me relatable, and people get on my side, wanting me to succeed. My path is slower than that of some other musicians, but what I am building is true to my character. I am most proud of how I try my best to do right by people and treat everyone kindly. I show up for others and support them in what they are doing. When I get in a groove or flow state, I am powerful at manifesting. The further I get down this music path, I realize it’s a journey of self-discovery and becoming more of what I already am. It’s a process of becoming myself.
There are not many people of color that play the same type of music as I do. Sometimes, It can be a lonely space to occupy. I used to see this as a challenge to overcome, but I now see it as a strength. Raised in Alamosa, CO, I was born into the Chicano culture of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. My roots in this area predate the United States’ western expansion, and my people’s history is not well known or well understood in the greater context. Being of a marginalized group, It can be a painful experience always to be seen as an outsider, especially in your homeland. Instead of hardening me, this has led me to be more open-hearted and live with more empathy for others. We are all marginalized in some way. I see music as medicine that can heal the hurt of the past, transmuting it into hope and healing in the process. The overarching message I have for the world in my music is one of inclusiveness. I am a bridge-builder. In a world divided, I use music as a unifying force to bridge the gap between racial, economic, and cultural divides. Music is the common ground – the meeting point. A place to both share who we are and to put aside who we are.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This almost feels like a trick question to answer during the Covid-19 era. Lol. The thought of having a close friend visit me for a week right now is a welcome respite from the isolation of the past nine months. Some of my favorite places to eat, drink, and hang out have sadly closed down during the pandemic. As a Longmont resident, my favorite community hub was Still Cellars, a distillery and Arthouse that hosted live music, movie nights, plays, and art shows. I’m going to miss that place. Food and drink wise, I am a fan of Longs Peak Pub and Taphouse, especially during their annual Stout Month held every February. I like going to Sakura Japanese Cuisine In Longmont for special occasions, which is always a top-notch experience. Rosalee’s Pizzeria is deserving of a mention as well.
Nature is something that recharges me, so I’d also want to take my friend to some of my favorite outdoor areas. As a Colorado native who grew up in the San Luis Valley, I know some off-the-between track areas where one can get away from it all. My favorite place in the world is a secret spot in the San Luis Valley on the banks of The Rio Grande River. Since this interview is in print, I’m not going to say anything more about it 😉
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give 300 GIANT SHOUTOUTS to my friends, family, and fans who backed the Kickstarter campaign to help fund my new record Roots and Wings. Through their generosity, we were able to raise over $21,000. It was not easy for me to ask for help, but when I did, I was reminded that after years of walking this path as a working musician, I’m not alone on the journey. The friendships and connection I have made through the music are what makes all of this worthwhile. You, my community, are what nurtures me, and you are what gives me roots. THANKS FOR GIVING ME WINGS AS WELL. I am grateful to each one of you. The album’s release date got delayed due to Covid-19, but I am happy to share that Roots and Wings is coming out on New Years Day 2021.
Cassidy Wayant Gerardo Brucker