“Instead of screaming about what's wrong in the world, I’m singing about what’s right,” says Zaragoza. For audiences who have only witnessed his ferocious performances with the Hollywood-based metal band Sinicle, the concept of Zaragoza performing acoustically based music as a singer-songwriter might seem a complete departure. “It’s a side of my artistry that hasn’t been expressed,” Zaragoza says. “It was a natural progression.”
Zaragoza’s newest songs are illuminated in vivid detail on his debut solo EP, Child of the Sun. While the tracks include full production arrangements with drums and bass, two of the songs are presented in their most essential forms, with only guitar and Zaragoza’s compelling vocals.
With his new music, Zaragoza retains the intensity of a rock performer as he approaches the acoustic guitar percussively, highlighting harmonics and tapping techniques. “I acknowledge these roots, but the sound allows me to go deeper into a softer, acoustic realm,” he explains.
As a solo artist, he now has the freedom as a songwriter to create a quantity of songs, and then select the best ideas to complete, record and perform. Initially, he allows the lyrics and melodic ideas to exist only in his imagination. “Then it’s like a sling shot – I head back to my guitar and boom - the song is written.”
Working with Southern California- based producer Mikal Reid, whose resume includes artists like Mick Jagger and Ben Harper, the two tracked in Reid’s studio in the hills above the city, in what is Zaragoza describes as “An all wooden room. It’s like recording inside of an acoustic guitar.”
Originally from Reno, NV, Zaragoza was born to music. His late father, a formidable harmonica player, was a front man for local blues bands. Jamming in the garage until all hours was a family tradition. “My father instilled in me how important it is to play from the soul,” Zaragoza recalls. “When I picked up the guitar we played together with a musical relationship.”
Zaragoza formed the band Sinicle, who after building a substantial following with an impressive amount of regional performances, moved together to Hollywood, CA to attend Musicians Institute and launch a recording and touring career that has included concerts and festivals nationwide, bolstered by a notable series of albums.
With his evolution into an acoustically based singer-songwriter, Zaragoza notes that his life experiences guide the themes of his new songs, especially the transforming warmth of a deeply loving relationship. ““We’re in a cultural cycle,” he concludes. “The backlash is to go back to the basics: Love is the most basic human need. My music is not about me, it’s about us.”
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