Calgary’s Felipe Alberto a Peruvian Musician With So Much Soul, Shares His Music Ventures With Us!
He might be from Canada but he isn’t like any other musician here he’s true to his Peruvian roots.
The first thing you notice about Felipe Alberto is his demeanor and the way he carries himself confidently. We met up with Felipe Alberto, Calgary’s Youngest rising Peruvian musician, to talk about his new album Alma del Ayer! (Soul of Yesterday) Felipe Alberto is the dark handsome cultured type. He has that hispanic background look that’s very apparent. Felipe strolled into the restaurant of 500 Cucina in Calgary, we noticed his natural pride and intense eye contact as he came in, we were hooked right away! He had this calm and classy way about him that is undeyable.
Felipe has a classy Peruvian style indeed, you could almost picture him riding a horse but he was wearing a long designer burnt orange tweed jacket and a dress shirt with jeans instead. In his music video for his single, he is that handsome Latino hero riding up on a beautiful horse, every woman’s fantasy! When you see his music video La Apañadora you’ll know what we mean. We wanted to coin him the coolest Latino recording artist right there! Talking to him for a few minutes led to a cool conversation about why he did the album as he sported a smile as he talked about his family, the feeling we got from him was that he is living in a Peruvian mind set but a modern day life in Canada. The single is a modern take on the Peruvian cowboy searching for his love. Felipe was born in Canada but is 100% Peruvian cultured! His heritage is right on the surface. He now lives in Calgary and he isn’t like anyone else we know. Right away we were enthralled. He sat down with two of us and played his new music video before it had been realized. The video was shot by L & C Style, a well-known production company in Calgary. He wanted to produce a quality video for his all in Spanish debut single. We know the women aren’t going to be able to resist listening to this handsome, powerful and unforgettable voice, paired with rhythmic classical guitar and clapping.
Felipe has a beautiful singing voice, he has a deep tone and does a charismatic performance in the video for the song, La Apañadora. We noticed the singer had long even nails on his right hand, he told us he maintains his long nails for picking his guitar. He likes to stay authentic especially for playing this album of old popular Peruvian classics, to try to be true to himself and his culture as much as possible. He thinks it sounds better for Latino music than using a plastic pick. His music video is about serenading a Peruvian woman in modern day with flash backs of the old country. The song however remains true to the original classic. He has his band playing in the video of the modern day scenes. It came out as more of a short than just a music video. It really tells a story. From the beginning it starts off in present day and flashbacks to the old country and then back to modern day! It follows him winning the girl! He cast an actress that he’d been searching for that had the right look of a Hispanic women to make the video again as authentic as possible. Felipe cast Jill Maria Robinson an up and coming talent from Romania. The two worked very well together filming and have become good friends. L & C Style shot the video for two days. Felipe shared he couldn’t be happier about how the video came out. The story is very clear even for people who don’t speak Spanish And the video has a translation option as well. There was a crew of 7 people, it was a cold the days during filming but the crew made it through by throwing jackets on them in between takes. He wants all cultures to enjoy his music, it’s not just for his culture and he wants to influence people to listen to Latin music in Calgary.
Felipe is not your usual starving Artist/Musician he is a lawyer turned musician. This explains why he is so articulate and draws you in as he is sharing his story. He is an intellect and sees things in a different way. As he put it, he sold his soul for a good career but it was not what made him happy. Within Felipe is a passion to share his Peruvian music that he is trying to keep alive. Music is more than selling CDs to Felipe it’s been a way of life and a way to celebrate his heritage! Felipe wanted to do a CD in tribute to his Peruvian background. He had this desire for many years and made the transition to focusing on his music since 2013. His new CD has 10 tracks which are in the genre of what you’d call Latin or world, in Latin America this would be called Criollo music. It’s a traditional sound from his grandfather’s generation of music and he’s trying to bring it back into today’s world. “It’s not that we need to change the traditional music, just the vehicle in which we see the music being shown,” states Felipe. The sound is still crisp and it’s not out dated like yodeling, or Polka, so it remains romantic and the lyrics are full of feeling.
As a boy he spent countless hours with his father singing Latin-American songs of the early 20th century and listening to old vinyl records. Enamoured with the legacy of Hispanic music, he taught himself guitar chords from an old songbook and learned strumming patterns from his Uncles. In the summers, as a child, Felipe went to Peru and spent his time with his family, so he remains tied to the land. His earliest memory of playing music was clapping along and signing with his Dad and Uncles that would play guitar. By virtue of that fact he is an only child, family matters the most to him, growing up close to his parents and relatives.
This young musician has been enjoying playing since he was 14 years old. As his appreciation for Latin guitar grew, so too did his desire to discover more. On his summer vacations he began to take guitar classes with Master Pepe Torres at his academy in Lima, Peru. There he began to better understand the interplay of the different sounds in traditional music, while appreciating stories and anecdotes of the composers and original singers of the songs he loved so much. In his first album, Alma del Ayer, is an album Felipe hopes that offer a fresh take on Peruvian music while maintaining the authenticity of the art form. Felipe says “I think everybody is searching for their identity, but because I live in Canada I look for something to hold onto and that’s this music for me. I grew up listening to Latin and Spanish music.”
Some of his musical inspirations are artists like, Diego el Cigala for re-popularizing the old Latin-American songs that people were beginning to forget, Oscar Avilés. Pepe Torres for bringing Peruvian guitar styles to the world stage, and Carlos Gardel because his style is classic.
What’s important to Felipe is to build a legacy and the love he has for the Peruvian musical style. Felipe shares, “I don’t want this style to die, it means something to me. Playing this style of music is a life style and recognition of its history, I don’t ever want to let go. My ancestor are there with me when I play.” In the music video he wanted it to be as authentic looking for the video as possible. Bringing props from Peru he had got as a child to add an extra visual link; the hat he wears, the sashes, and horse saddle. They are intentional and important to the music. “The history of the culture could be taught from a music. If you really listen you can hear that it once was a ranching country with a deep Latino attachment to romantic heroes who spare nothing when it comes to love. Music is an imprint, it is a mirror image of the idiosyncrasy of a culture at the time it is produced,” shares Felipe. When his dad would have friends over, his dad played and it made him so happy that a young Filipe said, “I want to learn to play more”.
Felipe comments, “you can substitute the Peruvian Latin American Youth for any ethnical youth that has immigrated and lives as a diaspora in a different culture. The Problem they all face is being a mixture of two cultures, one of which is absently present.” The food, the stories especially, we live in a world of immigrants and for the second generation of Canadians there is tie to the land that isn’t lost on them. Felipe was brought up Peruvian and Canadian. It’s important to get out your story, reliving.” Filipe wants to bring to his listener the memories of a country so that they too can hear the sounds of a land that perhaps one of their ancestors lived in. And for those of us without one, we can simply imagine.
“I just want to keep singing old songs and keeping them alive. I would love collaborate with more musicians and cover old songs from all across the Spanish speaking world,” states Felipe. For us non-musicians the music is here for our hearts because Filipe has taken them from Peru and brought them with him to Calgary. In less than a month he has been noticed by Oscar Pasache, of Pasache Music, who now is his biggest supporter. He contacted Feliep after seeing his new video, to have him play at a tribute concert to his father Felix Pasache in N.Y.C. Felix was one of Perus most famous composers. Several artists are flying from Peru to perform as well. This Peruvian musician’s album dropped this March 2015! Felipe has passion for his culture and to keep it alive with his music, he does an amazing job!
His cd Alma del Ayer music is on Amazon and ITunes!
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