Following on from an impressive run of releases these last few years, Cuban-American singer-songwriter Coral Gables is now looking to cross the first major milestone of his career so far with his vibrant debut album. 'Still Alive'.
Featuring the previously unveiled offerings 'Let's Talk', '100 Fires' and 'Artifact', 'Still Alive' makes for a wonderfully warm and dynamic listen. Filled with rich and soaring textures, a flourishing atmosphere, and his own captivating vocals at the helm, this is certainly a full-length we will be coming back to again and again.
So with the new album available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The piano. My abuela would play Cuban standards during the summer and at any parties we had at their house. I also love how inviting the piano is to play - everything is laid out before you with endless possibilities.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I listened to a little bit of everything. Growing up, we listened to plenty of Spanish language music like Celia Cruz, Juan Luis Guerra, and Buena Vista Social Club around the house. As I was discovering more music, I listened to a ton of Blink 182 and Rage Against the Machine and later shifted towards indie with Bloc Party and TV on the Radio. Essentially a mix of everything.
What was the first album you remember owning?
It’s embarrassing but I’ll just own up to it - Astro Lounge by Smashmouth. But my first album I bought with my own money was Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut. I’m still proud of that one.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Hey Ya by Outkast. It’s an amazing pop song - super catchy, quietly complex, and universally loved. It’s one of the few perfect songs, in my opinion.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Ideas usually pop into my head so I’ll record what I can with whatever instrument I have around me, or even just my voice, to get the idea down. My goal is to capture the excitement and energy of what the song can be.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
There’s probably too many to list. I’ve been really enjoying new albums by Alice Boman, Rozi Plain, Yves Tumor and shame lately.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Another tough one but I’ll go with artists that I’d like to have a conversation with before the show: Sufjan Stevens, Christine and the Queens, or Peter Gabriel.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
I love seeing a song go from idea to record. There’s something magical about getting chords, melody, and lyrics together to create a song.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The uncertainty of it all. But that’s life, right?
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
The life of an artist is an ongoing journey. Be present, be perceptive, be honest, and enjoy the process.
Coral Gables' new album 'Still Alive' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.