Sunday, April 21 2024

Today we sit down with the funny and very friendly Roderiko Pop, a singer/songwriter from Argentina. Besides being a musician, he’s a terrific actor, a photographer, an artist, a graphic designer and a travel blogger. A man with many talents. We asked him about his music aspirations, his songwriting process and how he balances his personal life with the demands of his music career.

What initially inspired you to pursue music?

When I start to think about the beginning; I remember that I started creating songs when I was a teenager. Every day when I rode the bus to high school. Every day when I traveled on the bus, during the journey (which lasted 45 minutes) I was composing songs in my mind the whole way. And, when I got off the bus, I ran to a school table to grab a piece of paper and a pen to write down the lyrics I composed minutes before. By then I was going to the Conservatory to train as an actor. In the building in front of my school was the Music Conservatory. But since I had neither a father nor a mother to support me, I didn’t have money to buy a guitar, much less a piano. I spent 6 years studying as an actor and received my degree in that discipline, hence I did not need to buy any instrument. From those years I still have a backpack full of lyrics that I wrote at that time and that I will soon record as songs. From my adolescence until 2020 I did not like to show my creations. I also did things like learn to play the guitar and learn how to remaster records (something that taught me a lot about using all the programs to create music). Finally, during the quarantine I decided to make my own music. I wasn’t sure if I should sing in Spanish or English. I didn’t like my voice. I was embarrassed to show my music. But after hesitating for so many years, the quarantine pushed me to decide to make an album. Because if I died it would be a shame to go through this life without fulfilling my musical dream. Finally I managed to invent my own style and way of singing, achieving an original sound by pronouncing words strangely and having a unique style. And now I feel very grateful because many people like my work.

You transform traumatic events into art. Is it hard to do that? For example ‘Broken Kid,’ how did you manage to produce that song? Was it also therapeutic? And, how do you usually approach the songwriting process?

You must transmute suffering into some form of art and for me the best way is music. In my songs I use a lot of autobiographical information. When you look at the lives of many great artists, almost everyone has had traumatic childhoods in different ways, since we are all different. So, I feel that it is something natural for us that we create songs to reinvent these events. To compose ‘BROKEN KID’ I used my positive memories with beautiful images like me rollerblading down the sidewalk of my house and feeling the wind on my face on a sunny day. I also used my negative memories with ugly images like me looking at my face in the mirror seeing my broken nose after surviving an assassination attempt. What I did was transform those memories into poetry for the lyrics of my first single released on the last day of 2020. I create new music with catchy choruses quite easily and I write lyrics that go with flow. Maybe I am more limited in English since my native language is Spanish, but also in English my brain connects with the words to create rhymes and meaningful sentences. As for the sound production of the song, I wanted to mix some punk guitars with reggae. It also amuses me to incorrectly use English sentences that can be understood in Spanish in a different way. It is difficult to explain but there is an extra logic in the composition of lyrics in English.

How did you come up with the name? 

Sometimes I have the name of the song first and then I write the lyrics and the music, but generally I start with the music. Then the music tells me what lyrics I need to write; just organising the words I have in my head. Deciding the name of a song may seem simple but that is not always the case. I like the names to be easy to remember but at the same time I want the names to be unique.

What’s the most significant lesson you’ve learned in your music career?

My musical career is quite new and I haven’t done live shows yet because I’m very, very shy. Although I am an ACTOR and have acted on stages in front of many thousands of spectators, acting in a text play is something different because I’m a fictional character in that moment. Music wise, because I am not a super vocalist, I feel very pressured and afraid to show myself live. So I still need to learn from the public, which is the greatest teacher for any artist. As an indie artist though, I have learned to not to expect anything from your family and friends in real life, because the greatest support will be found in other artists who will understand what you do and will not measure your success by the money you earn. They know that success lies in fulfilling your dreams.

How do you balance personal life with the demands of a music career? You’re an artist, an actor, a travel blogger, you do so much… how do you handle that?

The truth is that I managed to make my album thanks to Covid, which forced me to spend a year practically without traveling and many months locked up in my house. Although it was a terrible experience for many people, I am grateful because without the lockdown and the curfew, I would not exist as Roderiko Pop, the singer/songwriter. Now that the world has gone to normal I feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want. In fact, I’ve been working on my new album for more than 2 years and I can’t finish it due to lack of time. I have even postponed this interview for almost two months because I went on a trip. The lesson I have learned is that I must choose and I have put aside my job of travel Blogger to focus more on my passion, which is music.

What’s the ultimate goal or milestone you hope to achieve with your music?

When we dream, We must dream big. It may sound pretentious but I would like to create a super show as I imagine it in my mind and be able to do a performance in one of the theaters that I like the most. I would love to be able to do a Symphony Concert at Harpa in Reykjavik and as a BONUS, since I dream big, let Björk sing a song with me. Another big dream I have is to find a music producer with a lot of money who will have all my albums and singles released on vinyl HAHAHA! I’m really not a self-centered person and I don’t need to feel the recognition of the industry and I dare to say, not even of the public. If it happens it’s welcome but not because I create music. I make music so I can say that I went through this life doing what I like most and fulfilling my dream. With this alone I am satisfied!

Can we expect a new album or new releases soon?

Absolutely! I’m finishing my second ALBUM and I have many collaborations on the way. In my musical career as a soloist, I’m working on NEW songs. I have 10 tracks in which I sing in Spanish, English, French and Italian. My idea is to get everyone to say “Roderiko Pop sings in all languages; and he sings badly in all of them.” Joking aside; I have realised that people like that I do not make an effort to pronounce words from other languages well, but that I sing while preserving my style and maintaining my “foreign” pronunciation that makes me unique. So, in 2024 you will hear a lot new material. I have 3 collaborations of new songs created by other musicians who have invited me to sing and create my lyrics over their music. And, also new alternative versions of songs from my first album ‘Tagati’ and remixes made by other artists too. So, follow me on all music platforms and stay tuned for what’s coming.


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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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