Electrópico Sounds: Pauerful Music

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By: Daisy Magaña

The afternoon is slightly more humid than usual in Miami, and the sun wants to shine through the light drizzle that remains after the heavy down pour. Poking my head out onto the street and looking each way, to my left something catches my eye. A tall figure wearing colorful splash finished shoes and sporting a light neon orange colored rain jacket stands half a block away from me. Finally, his curly haired head and thick black squared frames look my way, and he shouts, “Wait there, I’ll come around.”

Toto González, or also known as Mr.Pauer™, extends a warm welcome como si en familia (as if we were family) and leads me into his studio. He doesn’t have a huge amount of space to work with but he has managed to include all the necessities: a recording booth, sound proof walls, sets of percussions, mixing boards, guitars, two very comfortable sofas and of course, an espresso machine. The atmosphere is very homey and the dim colorful lighting along with the smell of incense gives anyone who walks in the door a very Zen feeling.

Mr. Pauer, a name he created based on his persona, was born in Venezuela and later moved to Miami where he has now lived for more than 20 years. “I’m bicultural, bilingual. It’s writing power in Spanish phonetically,” said González. “That name combines my two worlds and how I grew up and developed as a musician.” The name isn’t the only thing that pays homage to his roots. Electrópico is the unique sound and distinguished genre he’s created that takes influence from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

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Electrópico blends dance music with various genres including salsa, zouk, reggae, cumbia, kuduro and merengue. “When I started creating electronic music and getting into music production—it [electrópico] naturally started coming to me,” said González. “I was trying to make music that was a little more electronic with [a] house sound [and] deep sounds but it started sounding very tropical…I embraced what was coming: all my Latin influences.” He described the whole experience as a beautiful moment of reconnecting with his roots and culture and studying the percussion rhythms. Mr. Pauer isn’t looking for a pure sound and reflects his bicultural background and natural sounds he grew up with while at the same time recognizing music around the world.

His latest work Orange reflects the multiculturalism that he is passionate about. What’s behind the album’s name? He partly pays tribute to his second home—Miami—where orange is the state fruit of Florida, but he also explains that when you peel an orange there are several slices and pieces—much like his current work. Orange features a diverse collaboration between 14 artists from 12 different nationalities and songs in four languages. Each artist brings their own musical talents to the album that was made in Miami with people who are from Miami. “The product [album is] locally grown but it’s an international sound,” González added on.

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“Pasión,” one of the songs on Orange, is a collaboration between him and Mexican singer and songwriter Dama Vicke. Listen to the song and you’ll notice that the song isn’t heavy on lyrics. Originally there were more, but at the end they decided to only record the chorus because it was that powerful. Orange has many songs that repeat a verse or words because Mr. Pauer feels it helps build a connection with a listener. The song “Pasión” dives in the world of over consumption and excess, “busco en ti lo que odio en mi…quiero más de ti busco todo en ti no te alejes de mí.” “Essentially the song says ‘I know what you have, I know that it’s bad for me but I want more of that,” said Gonzalez. “Nothing in specific.. It can be a relationship between two people, your love for coffee, chocolate, sex, work—it refers to any toxic relationship that sometimes it is very hard to disconnect yourself from.”

Orange took him about three years to complete and reach a point where he felt satisfied with the sound and the experience. How did these collaboration come to fruition? His music seeks to create a moment based on a feeling and what the instrument and sounds make you feel. Every artist featured on the album had the chance to listen to instrumental versions of songs Mr. Pauer had created and not until they connected with it did they begin the creative process of lyrics. It happened 13 times and Orange was born—all his collaborators shape the album like an orange; each piece [song] is unique on its own but together they complete the fruit [album].

Chicago, be on the lookout for Mr. Pauer because this is one artist you won’t want to miss!

Check out the recently released video “Pasión” at the YouTube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAtxSN8Id18) For more information on Mr. Pauer™, visit http://www.mrpauer.com/.

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