Artist Spotlight Interview - Daniel Tortoledo

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Daniel Tortoledo's Live album is a refreshing and familiar folk rock performance that showcases his love to play live and makes us all miss seeing shows. 

A wonderful display of seasoned musicianship and raw talent, Tortoledo has a stage presence akin to some classic rock greats. 

You can hear Bob Dylan and Neil Young bleeding through from song to song as his band plays to perfection. 

You can easily see and hear how much of a good time these guys had performing for their audience and how the songs  came through the way they were meant to. 

Tortoledo has released a record that serves as a great follow up to his 2019 Throughout These Years album.  

Is that what this was meant for? We wanted to find out that and more so we sat down with the artist and had a chat. 

RAG: Okay Daniel, let's start things off with the Live album. This came through nearly perfect! it actually made me wish I was there. What made you release this record? 


Daniel: Well, first of all thank you very much for the compliment and for giving me the opportunity to be included in RAG. Originally this collections of songs was not intended to be an album I was just thinking about releasing individual videos which is still the plan but then I thought that recording the songs live was a nice way of concentrating a good amount of songs performed differently than the studio version. (Some of the songs were already released on my first album Throughout  These years, and some will be released in my upcoming EP.


RAG: Your previous album release Throughout These Years is so good Where did that album come from?


Daniel: That was an album that was recorded gradually over the years when I first moved to New York City, And he got completed with the collaboration of several musicians whom I really admire in this city.


RAG: Your style (which can vary at times) has southern undertones and loads of the classics in there. Who are some of your biggest influences in music? Who really changed you?


Daniel: It’s funny because I don’t think that consciously I’ve been ever influenced by Southern music funny enough I was born in Houston Texas but never really got any influence from that region of the country. Most of my influences our classic songwriters such as John Lennon  but I have also been very eager to expand to more modern songwriters contemporary writers such as Devendra Banhart, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes, people such Marco Benevento have been playing a huge influence more than the songwriting I would say is the way they handle the sounds in their productions.  I have been recently become a lot more intrigued in the synth aspect of sound creations and utilizing non-traditional elements to create percussion and emulate snare sounds.



RAG: You have a great fan base with over 10k followers on Spotify alone. Is there any advice you can give to aspiring artists trying to get heard?


Daniel: Just to clarify and be honest about the information I don’t currently have 10 K followers I have recently been more involved in the promotional aspect on Spotify so yes I’ve had 10 K listeners in the past month and a half. I have been working hard on the promo aspect of things approaching the new business model and the internet world with a more open mind. I respect the idea of releasing records/tapes etc etc\… but I am just trying to get out of my comfort zone in every aspect of music, whether it’s recording it, writing it, or releasing it. I’m also tryin to be smart about economics.


RAG: How and when did all this start for you?

Daniel: Luckily I have always been surrounded by music in one way or another, and I think the way that I have put together my music career has always been a bit of a disorganized way and I am being more conscious about it, I see my career as a big collage which is slowly making sense to me, and I’m happy with how my career has developed. I’m totally fine with being a late bloomer I plan to still be kicking when I’m 85 years old so i have time.


RAG: What’s next for you as an artist? Anything in the works even now?

Daniel: Currently working on releasing this Live album we previously mentioned. Also I have I’m working on the artwork for my upcoming EP, “Spaceships” which was recorded with all of the musicians in one room and completely live. I just added a few things here and there but it was certainly a challenge I wanted to put for my self.  There is another acoustic album 3 song EP which I will be releasing next year at some point and also writing a lot of new demos for a new album, which will be recorded hopefully in February 2021, just hoping things in the world are a bit more stable nay then.


Other than this project I’m starting to write music along with a visual artist from California, Lill Martinez who created the art for my song Dark Times (Brothers and Sisters) opening track for Through Out These Years, her work is fascinating…. Do your self a favor and follow her work


RAG: Just out of curiosity, what does someone like you do when you’re NOT working on music?


Daniel: I love a long long long nocturnal walk with my writing pad where I display ideas, (to be clear not a fancy tech iPad, I’m talking stapled scraps of paper, if I had a garden I ‘d been  pulling weeds and most likely growing tomatoes. Day dreaming is a big thing I enjoy.


Back in the day I used to not talk a lot about my teaching career but I also teach music and I am really pushing forward the  idea that humans should be as exposed to sounds as they are to colors and math. I found myself saying one day that I don’t like to mix my teaching and music career but it’s undeniable that the way I approach my fellow musicians at the moment of putting together new material has been possible for me because I have had the pleasure to be a teacher for over a decade now and those tools I have gained from educating opened a lot of new doors for thorough communication when I direct a group of professional musicians who know what they are doing. I accentuate thorough communication because that was one thing I was really bad at when expressing a musical idea, it was always a struggle.


RAG: Before we go, is there anything you’d like to express to your fans? 


Daniel: Wear a mask and believe in science, haha  but seriously do so….I can’t wait to perform for you at some point, but until then be patient, be cool and respect one another. 

Check out Daniel Tortoledo 

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