Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Diego Borrero: I grew up in Cali, Colombia. I come from a family of music lovers. Although no one played an instrument, music was always in my house. From the Beatles, to Placido Domingo, from Sonora Matancera to Aretha Franklin. Music was always on, as a soundtrack for every meal, for every cooking session, for every arrival, for every departure. On Friday evenings my father would sit on the couch and play his vinyls for hours. I would join him and talked about rythms, movements and lyrics for hours. Then he would take me to my bedroom after I had fallen asleep on the couch. However, it was my mother who heard me sing for the first time in the school choir. After that she took me to piano and guitar classes, and she taught me how to conquer stage fright. At 15 I started my first punk rock band with my friend Leonardo. We were a sort of “White Stripes” duo with an electric guitar and drums. That was when it all started.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Diego Borrero: We used to play live a lot a couple of years ago in the US, particularly in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Since then, I decided to focus on finishing the album, building the best team and recording it. Now the album is ready to be launched and we are proud of it. We will start playing live again soon. The “Flash de la vida” tour is coming.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Diego Borrero: I don’t think that there is a magic recipe for that. In my case, the chorus and main sections of any song -both music and lyrics- always come to me when I’m walking, biking, or sometimes even sleeping. Then I grab the guitar, or whatever instrument is nearby -call it a computer or my 5 year old son’s xylophone- and the rest just flows out naturally.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Diego Borrero: Yes, please check out diegoborrero.co
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Diego Borrero: There is nothing embarrassing with any song. If they are in your playlist it’s because they mean something to you and if they managed to stay on it it’s because, somehow, they are powerful. Today, my Spotify and Deezer libraries are pretty diverse. Actually, let me check what I’ve listened to recently… There is Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse. Then I also have some Power Metal with Rhapsody and Helloween. In Spanish I have Gustavo Cerati, Kevin Johansen, Aterciopelados. Finally I also have some classics of Latin music like Billos Caracas Boys and Fania All Stars.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Diego Borrero: A year off, no thanks. I would be doing exactly the same I do now. I love what I do in terms of work, music and the time I spend with my family. For the money, call me stingy, but I would save it (laughs).
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Diego Borrero: For diffusion, the answer would be social media. It is an invaluable tool. In my case it has opened so many doors and has taken my music beyond frontiers. Thanks to social media, and the support of friends who genuinely like and support what I do, my music has reached out to new followers in distant countries. However, as a musician, or as any artist, I am convinced that you can not rely only in social media. You can’t and must mot measure your success in terms of likes, emoticons or youtube views. For real recognition you need to play live. That’s the best way to be in “communion” with your listeners and that’s what creates a symbiotic everlasting relationship with them.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Diego Borrero: Alive, there are so many, but right now, right now, I would love to go on tour with Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler. Also, now that we’re dreaming, I’d like to play with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra directed by Maestro Ben Zander. Dead, definitely with Edith Piaf, Freddie Mercury and Thelonius Monk. But beyond playing with them, I look forward to talk to them during diner after the show.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Diego Borrero: After having launched “Llevarte muy lejos”, a month ago, we are launching a second single “Dos señoras de sombrero”. This is the second release of the new album. I really like it and I am pretty sure that people are going to love it. It’s a song about a guy who goes to the airport every night to see if his love comes back from a long trip. It’s about love and hope, but its also about migration, diaspora. I come from a country were a lot of us emigrated during dark times a decade ago. Many of us, not only from Colombia, will see their own story reflected in “Dos señoras de sombrero”.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Diego Borrero: Of course. It was 1992. My father came back from a trip to NYC. He brought two great gifts for the family: a Discman and my very first compact disc: Use Your Illusion II. A masterpiece that today, almost 25 years later, is still in my top 5 albums of all times.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Diego Borrero: I will never forget my father’s advice that you can do everything you want if you are organized and disciplined. So far, it has worked for me. Music is one of my passions. But I’m also passionate about my work in international development which has taken me to many countries and introduced to me to the most amazing people around the world. From wherever I can contribute to change lives and create positive change, I will do it. I’m also a husband and a father of two boys. Building my life with them is the most fulfilling present. I owe to them all the joy in my heart. Life is too short and too beautiful not to make the most of it. We all are multi-dimensional beings and that makes our existence wonderfully rich.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2017?
Diego Borrero: 2017 will be a great year as we will be launching the album “El flash de la vida”. This is my second solo album which took me five years to craft it. It is a very honest album and I am extremely proud of it. The album opens with “Llevarte muy lejos” which as track number 1 opens the album inviting you to a journey (“Aquí comienza el viaje”) and will transport you through emotions, rhythms and tastes through the next eleven songs. It is an album to be heard completely from 1 to 12 as all the songs are deeply connected despite their diversity.