GOT THE BIRD.

The Corporate America suit and tie was killing my spirit eight hours a day. This day in particular was a stressful one. Reality was I needed this job. I had three little boys at a home and my wife was in school full time. I am a creative. An artist. A free spirited thinker and communicator. But the more I walked through those Corp doors, I began to question myself. Was this it for me? Would I be doing this for the rest of my life? Now let me clarify, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Corporate jobs, suit, ties and being clean shaven. Many people thrive in that world and do an amazing job. They were designed and created for it. 

Me? Not so much. I'm a jeans and T-shirt kinda guy. And a hat. ..always a hat. I thrive on everything creative. I write songs then I sing them. I'm an actor. I act in TV shows, commercials and when I get lucky, in a few films too. I write stories in hopes to produce and direct them into feature films.  I also help companies and brands create the best formula to tell their stories through print, design and video production. Everything creative... So let's get back to the story of the stressful day and the moment I got the bird.

I walked up the steps to my kids school.  The tie was loose and my shirt was no longer tucked into my pants. I could hear the rumble of my kids through the door. I really was not in the mood to be happy jolly Dad this evening. I stopped for a few seconds and had to remind myself that my shitty day had nothing to do with my boys nor my beautiful wife. They were my safe place. They were the few things that mean the whole entire world to me.  I walked into the classroom and it happened. Zion, my middle dude, charged towards me and gave me the BIRD. He said,

"Papi, I made this for you." He handed me a stencil of a bird and pointed at the colorful feathers he glued on it, just for me.  I looked down at those little brown eyes looking at me and the craziest joy took over me. It was the greatest gift ever that evening. It was exactly what I needed. A reminder! A reminder that everything would be ok. Tomorrow would be another new day. A new chance at life. And so this bird went on being a reminder for me of just that. A new day. I framed the darn thing! 
 

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Months later I began brainstorming and working on ideas for a logo that I could use for the art I create. So I thought, why not the bird? I scanned it, photographed it, smashed it into Photoshop and BAM, there was my new logo! If that weren't enough, I even had a tattoo made of the bird on my forearm. A constant reminder that today is a new day at life. And a great one it has been for the most part. Life still tries to get best of me sometimes. Being an artist can be extremely disheartening. I quit every few months, but I quickly wake myself up and remind myself that I was created and designed for this. But sometimes another sign would be great! Wouldn't you agree?

So this past week I had another moment of missing my Dad. It's always so tough and the reality is I will never get over his departing from Earth, but I want to believe with all my heart that he is still here, and very much alive in the memories and legacy he left us.  My brother Luis called me this day and said, "Do you remember when Dad used to call you El Gorrion?" I laughed because I  definitely remembered and it triggered tons of memories. "But what the heck is a Gorrion? I've never known what it was." Turns out a Gorrion is a tiny bird. That evening I went online searching for a Gorrion. And sure enough, there it was. A little darn bird. My heart beat escalated looking at this little bird, and glancing at the bird  tattooed on my forearm. As if it were yet another sign and assurance of this path I have chosen for my life or perhaps the path that chose me. A father knows. My Pops knew, he knew ever since I was a little dude.  My Mark!

 

The signs are there my fellow friends and readers. You were made for this! Don't let anything nor anyone talk you out of the dreams you have. But rather use it as fuel to keep you moving forward. Open your eyes and ears... You will see it and hear it.

Cheers,

-JS

 

Death, Life and Rebirth.

On December 26, 2014 my Father went on to be with the Lord in heaven. He was the hardest working man I knew. Loved unconditionally. He never turned away from a challenge. Dad always said, "if someone ever asks you if you are capable or skilled to do a specific task and you don't know how, always say that you do and figure it out."  My father was a dreamer and a visionary. Dad often shared with me so many stories. At times they just didn't seem real and a bit exaggerated. Until I heard very close family members who knew may Dad from an early age tell those same stories as memories of my Dad...

Life doesn't quite feel the same anymore, it's very much different.  Even though I am peace with his departure from this life, his death is still very strange to me. He's no longer a phone call away, but a memory of conversations once had. Every time I found myself discouraged I'd pick up the phone and call him. He always had the right words to say or sometimes just him listening and not saying anything was enough. As an artist, songwriter and storyteller, it's been extremely difficult for me to pick up a pen and paper and write anything. My heart races with anxiety. My melodies don't start and others don't end.  There is a huge space not being filled anymore. I wake up in the middle of the night and for a brief second feel as if this is all a dream. But it is not. Life moves on, waiting for no one.  I know if he could speak to me one last time he'd say what he would always say to me. "Go on and continue doing what you've been destined to do. Take care of your family and do everything you can for them. Live out your dreams. Todo en su tiempo Yessi. Tu Dia va llegar. My kids were created to do great things."

My fathers Death has reminded me of life. Life is here, right now. I'm slowly standing up again and letting the dust settle inside. There are words to be written, stories to be told, and melodies worth coming to life. Tonight I am taking the first steps again and singing some of my songs in Nashville, TN. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous and scared, but showing up is half the battle. Next week I step back into the studio to begin working on my next EP.  So much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to. Let this next journey begin. Here's to you Viejo! Love You and miss You.

JS.

 

"GRACE" Now Available!!!

 Without  your endless faith, love and support, none of the music and art I create would be possible nor relevant! From my Live performances to my online features! Download my new song "GRACE" HERE!!!
Thank you!

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In 2011 I released my first ever solo project titled, "Fuser".  A project which was a long time waiting. I'm extremely proud of it's outcome and more importantly the lessons I have learned as a singer-songwriter in the process. Since then I've been working very hard on writing new material. A few months ago I decided it was time for a new chapter of songs to begin. Now,  having a song produced, recorded and released is no easy task and requires a financial commitment. As an independent artist, husband and father of three amazing boys, pumping out new music takes a long time of planning and saving! I had no idea how I could even get started! 
I thought, If I can only get ONE song going, maybe it could build momentum, open doors and create new avenues to continue doing what I love to do... Writing and creating music and songs!

My amazing friends in Atlanta, Joseph & Michelle Bulger adopted the lyrics to a song I wrote, they fully funded it's production from beginning to end, and this new chapter begins!  I am super excited to introduce and release the first of multiple new songs, "GRACE"! Head over to iTunes HERE and download it! Tell everyone about it!

Joseph & Michelle, thank you for making this song a reality and being apart of this journey!

 

-JS

Song #2...Here we go!

 

 

New Music 2014

It's been almost three years since my first EP release, "Fuser" as a solo artist in 2011. Prior to that release I have always been a apart of an actual band.  Recording a project with only me and an acoustic guitar was a huge challenge. It felt like an extremely vulnerable decision to make. 


Listening to own voice has always been a strange thing. I've never considered myself a strong vocalist nor a talented musician. I pretty much self taught myself how to play instruments growing up in church. So diving into the solo world scared the life out of me especially in a city like Nashville where everyone is an out of this world amazing singer, writer and musician. But it was something I had to do, because it is what I love to do! Between 2010-2011, with the help of some amazingly talented friends I was able to record and release my first ever solo endeavor. The love and support I have received for that release has been much more then I could've ever imagined. My single "Someday" was featured and played locally on Nashville radio and the song went on to be featured in multiple films, another set to release this September.  Since 2011 I have been performing songs from that release as well as introducing new material. With my wife taking on her last year of Interior Design school, in August 2013 after my last show of that year, I decided to pull back from booking any other shows, recording new material and focusing on the home front instead. Since then though, I have been writing away...

Last month I stepped into a studio to begin the journey to what will be my sophomore solo EP. It felt amazing to be in a room again surrounded by gear, a talented producer and new material to bring to life. Stepping into the studio took me back in time musically. To my first time... You see,  growing up in church I wasn't allowed to listen to mainstream music. The Imperials, Carmen and Spanish gospel artists was as good as it got for a while. I constantly heard friends talking about various bands they were listening to, but I had no clue who they were, but I wanted to. One day a close friend to our family gave me a cassette tape of a record that would forever change my life of music. When I first listened to U2's The Joshua Tree I knew that this was something I wanted to do one day. Yeah, I was a late bloomer but it was better late then never.

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Going into the production of this next EP I decided to look to these first records for some inspiration. U2, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys,  Pink Floyd, Anything Box, Erasure & The Police. I am so excited about this! As of right now you can expect three songs to be released in 2014... a few more if I can raise enough financial support to pull it off! Can't wait to record these new tunes and share them with all of you! Thanks for hang'n with me all these years and reading this far down! Stay close and stay tuned.

Cheers,

-JS