This morning I met the biggest rock band in Venezuela, La Vida Boheme for a 9am interview. I was actually surprised they had made it out into the lobby as they had a performance slated at 3am the night before. A couple of the members were half-asleep, but after I started talking to them in Spanish about Rock Argentino, Borges and Grunge music, I had their attention. I was in talking about their recent relocation from their hometown of Caracas to Mexico City as the situation in Venezuela became too unstable for them. The last straw prior to them leaving was their manager being kidnapped and killed, something I did not want to dwell on. Instead we talked about how welcoming Mexico has been as their new home and how Mexican culture has a history of welcoming immigrants and refugees from around the world. The guys were quite humble for a band that has won several Latin Grammy’s and has a huge following in Latin America and they invited me to their concert showcase later that evening which I tentatively agreed to. (Later, when I showed up at the showcase, I got a big hug from each of the members, like we had been old friends for years).
Later I had an interview with Mariana Vega, a Venezuelan-Canadian singer who recently won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist. She was incredibly nice as we talked about a variety of issues from life in Venezuela to being a Canadian immigrant. Next up was Vakeró, a Dominican rapper who has a really compelling rags-to-riches life story. His attitude and way of speaking (in my 2nd language nonetheless) was kind of intimidating. But to my surprise, he was interested in doing an improv vocal collaboration and we played a couple songs together that might have worked as a better ice breaker had we don’t them from the beginning.
I finished the day with some deliciously tender BBQ brisket that I knew was going to be perfect when the cook asked if I wanted a “lean or marbled” cut (marbled of course!).