In today’s era of internetting (cannot believe this is actually a real word on the first try), with more resources than ever before to discover fresh, new music – somehow it can still feel like the same hollow pop songs or lacklustre mumble raps are the only things regurgitated over and over again by popularist radio DJs or playlist curators.
This is why the beauty of authentic discovery will always remain. This is also why coming across an artist like Gabriel Garzón-Montano for the first time feels extra satisfying. The varied blend of instruments interlaced from track to track provide the perfect foreground for his melodic vocals to smoothly coast along the top of. It comes as no surprise that yet another talent would spring from the creative breeding grounds of Brooklyn and bring some quality soundwaves to our ears.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s music is infectious on every level, even if you strike the exception vocals from the tracks and enjoy nothing more than the instrumentation on its own. The proof of that claim can be fully validated by the fact that he released a fully instrumental-only version of his latest album Jardín.
I challenge you to throw on “Keep on Running” off and not immediately find your head bobbing, followed by the type of pursed-lip face scrunching that comes from hearing something too soulful to resist.
See the gif below for reference if you’re not sure what I’m referring to here.
(Yes, now you feel what I’m saying here, definitely.)
The French-Colombian son of immigrant parents, Gabriel Garzón-Montano had his mother to thank for the musical strains within his DNA. She was a member of the historically renowned Philip Glass Ensemble as the mezzo-soprano, along with playing cello, guitar and piano. In his youth, Gabriel would also go see his mother perform with the New York City Opera.
Gabriel released his second official album, the aforementioned Jardín through California-based indie label Stones Throw Records, and is really just top notch work through and through. His first album came in the form of the very well-received Bishouné: Alma Del Huilla, which was released via the Brooklyn-based label Styles Upon Styles <– their website URL is susrecords.com and that’s just too good not to mention.
The name for his debut album is a tribute to his heritage, with “Bishouné” stemming from a nickname that his mother affectionately called him as a child, while Alma del Huila is the name of the town of Garzón in Colombia, and of course, his father’s last name. Everyone loves a family man - fact.
Now, this is one of the crazier and just flat-out dope facts about Gabriel Garzón-Montano you may not have picked up on. This man was making music on GarageBand in his early days, and some of these tracks made it into his first album, including the song “6 8”.
In 2014, Gabriel would go on to tour with the absolute legend, Lenny Kravitz, as the opener for Kravitz’ European Tour. Gabriel received a message from Zoë Kravitz that a certain artist that goes by the name of Drake had really liked his song “6 8” …and as a result, the track was later used as the foundation for his song “Jungle” on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Pretty sweet come-up for an aspiring, young Gabriel Garzón-Montano at the time if you ask us.
It’s clear that Gabriel’s music has been finding the right ears and the power of word-of-mouth will never fail when it comes to true artistry. And Gabriel Garzón-Montano has that in spades.
That’s why We The Beat are happy to bring Gabriel Garzón-Montano to you live on Wednesday, September 19th at the SoHo Music Club in Santa Barbara, California. You can scoop up your tickets right here.
Cover Image Credit: Gabriel Garzón-Montano Facebook