Ian Guerin Interview

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Ian Guerin, is an independent Mexican recording artist, songwriter and producer that recorded his first song at the age of 9 and has been making music ever since. A fan of the music of Prince, Ray Charles, James Brown, Tony Bennett, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Van Morrison and Tom Jones, it was Ian’s biggest idol, Michael Jackson, who actually inspired the singer to write his first song back in 2004, when he was 14.
As said by the singer himself, it was Jackson’s song “Butterflies” that first inspired him to pen “How Can I Explain” and “I’m Tired of Waiting”; his first two songs, then songwriting became a regular activity on his To-Do List.

Nowadays, Guerin, 24, continues to perform, write and sometimes produce his own music, and has made a career out of his life long passion since the release of his debut single “Bubblegum” in August 2010, and the release of his debut album “Madsexy” in 2012. As he admits, the road hasn’t been easy, it’s been a road full up of and down’s, wall tearing, and most recently, chart toppings and award winnings.

What is your name?  Ian Alejandro Guerin Arroyo, but I am best known by my stage name Ian Guerin.

Where are you from?   I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, but I moved to New Jersey, United States at age 7, then moved to Puerto Rico at the age of 10, then back to Mexico and have been living part time in the City, in the outskirts and in Los Angeles since.

How long have you been making music?   I have been recording since I was 9 and producing and writing my songs since I was 14 years old. I’ve also been performing since I was 12, I performed shows non-stop from age 12 till I was 17, but my formal debut in the music industry happened on August 27th, 2010, when my first single dropped worldwide.

How many songs /albums have you released to date?   Prior to the release of my debut single I’d have to say over two dozen cover singles, but just as Janet Jackson sees Control as her official musical debut, I see “Bubblegum” as mine, so from that moment on I’ve released somewhere around 8 singles, and my LP “Madsexy”. I would like to mention one of my latest singles topped three Beat 100 UK Charts (Top 40 World Chart, Original Chart, R&B/Hip Hop Chart), and Won an A&R Songwriting Award and a Press Award.

Can you tell us about your upcoming release and the background and inspirations behind it?   Cry is a song I wrote last fall after producing an instrumental with my good friend and collegue Carlhon Guerrero. We had the instrumental we did ready to become a great track and there was no song so I started trying to come up with a melody and it didn’t happen, so I went back to some file demos of mine and heard a line that I liked “I always knew If I lost you I’d die…” and I recorded it on this new track and went on to write what I think is my ultimate heart break song to date. The inspiration behind “Cry” is a funny story cause as you can see there was no heartbreak at the time, but things happened after that made me turn back to it for solace and then I realized what I had written and I realized that was how I felt at that time I just didn’t see it. I wrote that record for my neighbor, who I dated shortly early 2012. She and I didn’t work, but I was never able to shake her off, I remained madly in love with her for all that time and that hurt me so “Cry” helped me express that pain and the thoughts I had all this years and helped me finally get over that relationship for good. After that realization I decided that should be my next single and I gave the demo to my longtime friend/producer Azhmir Vangort, who is also a talented country pop/rock singer/songwriter, and he delivered the final production you hear today. We also changed the whole first part of the hook and some background harmonies and it turned out perfect. “Cry” debuted on the US iTunes R&B Charts at #31 and its Music Video debuted on the Beat 100 UK Video World Chart at #96. It also earned a Silver Video A&R Beat 100 Award, awarded for High Quality Original Video with Good Production Values, and an A&R Silver Song Award for being a “Well Written Original Song”. 

How have you ended up in the music industry?   I think it happened naturally, when you start as young as I did and when you discover how fun and fulfilling it is, its only a matter of time. For me it was a natural thing, I just didn’t see myself doing anything else and I don’t see me doing something else now so I think it’s just what I was put on this earth to do, even if that sounds corny or cliche.

What do you think of the music industry in 2015?   I think the music industry is going through some drastic changes and; therefore, we artists have to figure out a whole adaptation problem. See the industry is not a record industry anymore, cause it’s not about selling copies as much as it is about giving the fans a 360 experience, so we artists have to survive these changes and make it work so that we continue to have the infrastructure needed to entertain with the quality and the dignity that we’ve done it since the times of Judy Garland. I think streaming is incredible because consumers are back to hearing quality recordings instead of low-fi bootlegs. However, it doesn’t give the artist the revenue that physical and digital retail give and that affects our financial capacity to build great spectacles. Aside from that, Free Streaming I think sort of promotes the idea that music should be free and things that don’t cost are often confused with things that are disposable. I mean I know sponsors pay those royalties that consumers don’t, but I still think we have to sort that whole thing out so that it doesn’t create a wrong culture. Music costs a lot to make and just as lawyers, architects and all professionals get paid for their services, musicians should too, for both touring and serving music to audiences.

Who do you think the most influential artist?   Michael Jackson without a shadow of a doubt. He broke barriers and created pop culture as we know it. There would be no industry today if it wasn’t for MJ or at least it wouldn’t be as flamboyant and avant garde as it is today.

Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?   I’ve collaborated with many great developing artists and consummate producers like Az Vangort, but top line artists I’ve collaborated with DBXXL and Brent Fischer. I also had the chance to talk to Jermaine Dupri, but nothing concrete came out of those talks.

Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?   Dead Michael Jackson of course and Ray Charles. Alive, Tony Bennett. it would be a dream to duet with him. Production wise I’d like to work with Rodney Jerkins, in terms of songwriting with R.Kelly or Sia and vocally with Mariah Carey. I’d also enjoy collabowing with Ariana, Selena Gomez, Kem, Charlie Wilson and Tinashe, I’d for sure wanna write something for them or sing with them.

What was the first album you bought?   Aqua’s AQUARIUM.

What’s your favorite song at the moment? Mariah Carey’s “Infinity” I think, that’s a difficult question cause I love so many, I also like “Crash and Burn” by Thomas Rhett and “Morning Sun” by Robin Thicke.

Who is the most influential artist now, and 10 years ago? Ten years ago Mariah and Jermaine cause they were setting the sound trend with “The Emancipation of Mimi” , specially in R&B and Pop. Today I’d have to say Will. I. Am or Pharrell and/or Daft Punk, Will cause he revolutionized pop sounds and, alongside Guetta, made Electro-pop the trend in radio. Before “I Gotta Feeling” there was Janet’s Electro-Pop “Discipline”, but no one paid attention because it was ahead of time, after IGF everyone did it and it slayed. Pharrell and Daft Punk, because after “Get Lucky” with Nile Rodgers they turned pop music into real music again, and set the trend for what everyone is doing now. Bruno Mars has also brought pop music back to being real, but I think none of that would’ve happened without “Get Lucky”.

If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?   Michael Jackson’s, Prince’s, Mariah’s, Janet’s and Diana Krall’s, those are mandatory for me.

How do you think you differ from other artists?   I differ cause I actually allow all my musical culture and musical influences make a difference in my work. I’m not writing my songs thinking on what people will like to sing along to, I’m writing them out of my life story and feelings and hoping they’ll relate. I’m also not trying to be the most extravagant or taking my shirt off to the beat of my songs, I’m doing me and my music and hoping everyone will like it because they can relate and because they like the way I think and the things I say both lyrically and on interviews like this. I think I am relatable and not many stars like to be off the pedestal, I mean I don’t do it for the fame, I do it for the fun of it. Everyone says they keep it real, but are so rehearsed, I truly keep it real and there are others who do too and I relate to them. Musically I differ because, as I said, I let my influences play a part, so you can hear Jazz, R&B, Pop, and Blues altogether in one of my tracks and I’m not afraid the mix may flop, I never think that I just think trendsetters don’t follow guidelines or previously walked paths, they do them and hope for the best.

What is your favorite saying?   There are oh so many, it’s hard to pinpoint one, but I think “The Best is Yet to Come” is specially special.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?   Sleeping, readying psychology and studying the human mind, hearing music and singing covers, I love it!

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?  A single tattoo in my left foot, I did it out of love for my high school sweetheart and music when I was 17. I’ve learned to like it.

Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?   Well there are great things coming my way with “Cry” it still hasn’t made it’s radio debut but it’s been served to stations and airplay begins the second half of July so that ought to be exciting, I’ll be flying off to LA to do press and shoot the video for my next single while I’m at it so there’s that and I’m getting ready for live TV performances so I’m hoping everyone will enjoy it and hopefully help it chart on Billboard US. It’s available on streaming services and retailers now so people reading this make sure you pick it up, share the video and follow me on social media so we stay connected..

What’s in the pipeline after this project?   The release of my next single and my first R&B LP. Hopefully a distribution deal too. And may I say the title of that LP has been in the works since my high school days so I finally get to use it and I promise it’ll be heart wrenching. Last but not least I’m sure this will be my breakthrough album, I just see it coming and I’m not trying to sound full of myself, it’s just what I feel, this is the moment.

Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music.

Thank you for giving me a space and time to allow people to get to know me and my music better, its been a true honor and I hope everyone will feel this song and that it’ll help them pull through the down falls of love as it helped me.

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