Salsa is at the heart of Puerto Rican music. As a musical form it’s a blending of genres with inspirations from several cultural influences including Puerto Rican bomba, Cuban son montuno, Dominican merengue and Afro-American jazz. Translating to “sauce” in English, the word “salsa” literally means spicy and invigorating with a flamboyant flair. This melodic music has the ability to flow straight through to your soul.
David Antonio’s Self Description: Passionate and Infectious
Sony recording artist David Antonio is a salsa musician who describes his music as “passionate and infectious.” He candidly discusses what life in the music industry is like for him. On a very personal note he connects music to his personal life. He shares how he uses his music as a means to navigate life through love, pain and triumph.
Musical Family Roots
David Antonio was born David De Jesus Chacon in Chicago, Illinois. Music was a staple throughout the Puerto-Rican star’s childhood. He grew up in a family of musicians, so music is in his blood. As a young child he learned to play the piano. After sharpening his skills, he began both playing piano and singing at local festivals and open mic nights. Salsa and merengue came natural to him at a young age. However, for the budding salsa king, R&B, rap and disco also served as inspirations.
Debut at 16
Antonio made his presence known in the salsa community at the young age of 16. That’s when his professional career began. He started out playing with local bands throughout Chicago but finally became a solo artist in 2013. According to the musician, being a solo artist gave him the ability to do more with his music. “I was doing covers with bands and you know that you’re capable of doing much more,” he said.
Bad Management and Other Obstacles
According to Antonio, making his name known in the salsa community proved to be a challenge. For him, trust is a key factor when looking for management. Unfortunately, finding management and industry professionals that were reliable was difficult for the singer. Consequently, Antonio felt like he was taken for granted. So, the up and coming singer struggled to find good, trustworthy management.
This artist knows a thing or two about management problems in the music industry. “The music scene in the industry can be really crooked. I went through a lot of bad management, a lot of broken promises.”
Overcoming Negative Experiences and Trusting His Gut
For sure past bad management left this Sony recording artist with some negative memories. However, he didn’t let such unfortunate events get the best of him. According to Antonio, he’s overcome these issues by letting his instincts guide him on his continued path of success.
“You almost go off of [your] gut, which is hard to do,” he said. “But don’t jump into anything, give it time… you gotta have patience.”
He Won’t be Pigeon Holed
As a musician with more than fifteen years under his belt, Antonio gathers inspiration from other genres of music.
“One thing I don’t want to do it pigeon hole myself. I want to do more of an urban R&B. A lot of tropical music artists pigeon hole themselves. You’re stuck there, literally stuck there,” Antonio said regarding incorporating other genres into his music.
To Latin Musicians: Incorporate Other Genres
Nonetheless, for the salsa star, he believes that boxing yourself in is common. Not boxing yourself in is the challenge. Antonio suggests that Latin musicians look at popular trends in music. He suggests that they go for it and hope for the best.
“I’m trying to just go there,” I will look at the industry to see what’s going on and a use a lot of styles that are popular.”
“Throw your passion behind it,” he asserts.
Collaboration with Indie Artists
Although Antonio is a solo artist, he wants to collaborate with Chicago’s independent artists. He feels that by working with less known artists, it gives him the opportunity share his knowledge with them. At the same time it also gives them a new platform.
“We have so much talent, it’s just undiscoverable,” he said. “I feel if you can help then go for it.”
His Music is His Life Story
For Antonio, his music is his life story. The artist writes and sings about what he’s feeling or struggles he’s faced. From love lost to love found, Antonio’s music reflects happiness and sadness throughout his life.
“There’re different phases we go through in life, and one of the phases was hurt. A lot of the stuff I was writing about was pain. And there’s another phase when you’re happy.”
Nevertheless, with all the different life experiences he’s gone through, Antonio wants his fans to understand one thing. And that is that although his music may be based on sad experiences, troubles don’t last always. He insists that the different periods in our lives are all temporary. He advises that it’s really important to continue to push through.
Time to Sing a Happy Song
In contrast to his earlier music, Antonio latest song projects happiness.
“The first single that I had was about hurt and pain, the next one is about getting out of that and moving forward,” he said. “I would say in life whatever you go through, there’s a season for that and you will overcome that.”
Antonio is releasing his single, entitled “Amazing” this month. Additionally, next February his new album will debut. The album will incorporate the next phase of his life. In sum, it will detail his next life phase; how he conquered hurt and pain and how he found himself since. “Self-discovery,” he said. “I’m discovering who I am.”