Multi-Everything:

Our Musicians and Music Lovers 

by Nicholas Ross, Junior Art Director

Last week we introduced a few of our Multidisciplinary, Multi-Everything people here at Dieste. This week we turn our attention to our talented musicians and music lovers.

Ignoring the influence music plays in our lives would be quite a difficult task. Walk around any modern agency and you will see headphones in, or on, ears everywhere you turn. You might even be treated to what others are listening to as they play their favorite jams for everyone to hear. We are in a Post-American Idol civilization, and it seems every network has music shows or an award ceremony. We even turned the latest iPhone update into #headphonejackgate.

Music, or tonal arrangements, has been around as long as can be remembered, and it seems that we are hard-wired to be emotionally responsive to music and sound. However, we have all developed vastly different tastes, or aversions, to music depending on our culture and our experiences.

Considering this, we want to give you a little taste of how music impacts several of us here at Dieste. Below you will find a look into how several creatives view and interact with music, whether they are musicians or just music lovers.

We are also introducing the Dieste Spotify, where we will pull recently listened to tracks from employees into our newly minted Dieste Radio playlist.

Follow our channel and playlist to experience our diverse taste in “good music” and even our guilty pleasures.

 

Alex Campo, Group Creative Director

How you got into playing music, what instrument(s) do you play? Or how did you get into music in general?

Never schooled, always empirical. Which means even when I’ve been playing music for over 30 years, I still don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. The approach can be very embarrassing or very liberating. I’ve always chosen the latter.

What is currently the most inspiring music for your music writing/work?

Because of the trial-and-error nature of my approach, I’ve always kept music very private and extremely separated from my work. I look for particular things in music and that does not render me a good judge when considering music for advertising. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive. I get inspired by work and the people I work with, but music just hits a different type of inspiration. Perhaps music takes me to a deeper, more intimate type of self-expression; whereas in advertising you should create ideas that appeal to the broader masses. For that reason I’ve always maintained a great divide between both muses.

 

How do you listen to music at work/how does it inspire your work? Are you a headphones person, or do you blast it for others to hear?

In fact, when you see me wearing headphones at work there’s an 85% chance the music is turned off. I mostly wear them as earplugs to mute my surroundings and isolate myself into concentration mode. Again, very counter-intuitive but it’s really hard for me to concentrate while listening to music because I love it so much, that I end up listening to the song and not doing the work.  As I write this I’m realizing that music does not inspire me. What it does is take me away, to a far a way place.

 

What is currently on your playlist?

Well, as long as there is rock guitar in it, I’ll take a listen. Bands that I’m currently into are The Japanese House, Tricot, Muna. It’s just a weird mix, I love heavy guitar, but I’m strongly oriented to pop. Yup, counter-intuitive. And that’s all I can say about that.

 

Gustavo Zapata, Head of Art

How did you get into music? What is your favorite thing about music?

In Colombia, where I grew up, there is a huge musical influence in different social contexts, and ever since I can remember, the music has influenced a variety of situations in life: happiness and sadness, a baptism, a funeral. My favorite thing is the particular connection with the memories and the experiences that the music brings you. If I could listen to particular sounds from my neighborhood from the past, maybe I wouldn’t recognize them, but if I listen to an old song by LOS CORRALEROS DE MAJAGUAL maybe I will remember a past Christmas with my family, when we gathered together to enjoy the food and the love.

 

What has influenced your musical taste?

The people with whom I have worked since I started in advertising 20 years ago have all influenced my musical taste. I met a lot of people in different agencies that introduced me to a lot of genres, good bands and songs. It’s something inherent to the work in advertising, because the music inspires and impacts your work in different ways.

 

Were you influenced by your parents or culture, and have tastes changed based on where you live?

Definitely the most important musical influence in my life has been by my family and my culture. As I mentioned before, growing with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that believed any celebration is an excuse to gather around music, food and aguardiente, the music connects me with those moments anytime, anywhere. I’d say that since my arrival to USA, I haven’t changed my taste; I have expanded my taste.

 

What is currently the most inspiring music for your work?

 I think that there isn’t a specific kind of music that brings you a brilliant idea. For me, it all depends on what do you want to reach. For example, if I’m trying to develop a concept or idea, I need something easy and soft: Bossa Nova, Jazz or Experimental things as Flying Lotus. If I need to carry out an art direction project, I could try with anything with more “cheerful”: 70’s rock (Grateful Dead!) and R&B (Marvin Gaye!), maybe trip hop, sometimes Brit-Pop (the music from those Manchester’s bands), Stereolab. And there is music for moments where you have close deadlines and you need deliver fast projects with the proper accuracy. You need synchronize your brain in a speed, so I usually listen from Salsa to Electronic music. The inspiration comes from an eclectic discotheque.

 

How do you listen to music at work/how does it inspire your work? Are you a headphones person, or do you blast it for others to hear?

At home, I use a BOSE sound link, it sounds really nice. At work I actually use headphones. If we are in a brainstorm, I share my Spotify with the partners. The music is so powerful and could inspire anything that you need.

 

What is currently on your playlist?

My playlist is a zoo. When I arrived here, Ciro introduced me to Spotify, and I immediately got hooked. Thanks to Spotify I have saved a lot of songs, bands and crazy things to my profile. (It sounds as if they would be paying me). A nice thing is the Discover Weekly, and depending on the music that you’ve heard, they recommend a playlist. I have found a lot of interesting things there. My profile is zetadezapata and you could take a look if you want it.

 

What do you think your taste in music says about you?

What I think my taste in music says about me is a difficult question, maybe I could say that my music taste says that I’m old, but I’d think that I’m open to listen any new form of music. So, it could be the capacity to adapt to any context and the continuous quest to know new things.

 

Ciro Sarmiento, Chief Creative Officer

How did you get into music? What is your favorite thing about music?

I’ve played guitar since I was 14 years old. I got myself the cheapest acoustic guitar I found and then moved to crappy electric guitar with the only budget I could afford. I dropped out of “Bachillerato” (that’s high school in Colombia) and just played and played guitar all day. Eventually I would meet other amateur musicians and formed rock bands of different sorts. The first time I listened to “Hysteria” (Def Leppard) I was 12 and it was mind-blowing, it opened this universe to me. After that, I started exploring to different genres: Poison, Bon Jovi, George Michael, Guns and Roses, Metallica, etc. I was really into 80’s heavy metal.

What has influenced your musical taste?

I was never influenced by my parents’ musical likes or culture. It was more of my own fascination for American pop culture, movie soundtracks and such. Back then there was no Internet so it was difficult to find new music. You had to go to the library and buy magazines or go to your friend’s house to watch some cable TV. I like all types of music but I have to say sometimes I get mono thematic with songs or certain albums that influenced my during my childhood.

 

What is currently the most inspiring music for your work?

Right now I am into Chet Baker a lot. It takes me to a different time. Also Foxygen, Bomba Stereo, David Lynch, Nina Simone, Eels, Iggy Pop, Gustavo Cerati.

 

How do you listen to music at work/how does it inspire your work? Are you a headphones person, or do you blast it for others to hear?

I have a small speaker and try not to bother others. As it gets late I turn the volume up. Noise canceling headphones when flying!

 

What is currently on your playlist?

I’m a conjunction of different cultures, different eras and different people from the moment I was born up until today. I could not live without music.

 

What do you think your taste in music says about you?

I worked on a Tumblr 6 years ago: the idea was to post a guitar solo each week, I would reinterpret and re-arrange melodies from movies and TV shows. Perhaps one day I will get back to it. For now, I just play at home whenever I have some time.

 

Michel Rothschild, Creative Director

How did you get into music? What is your favorite thing about music?

I have to give credit to my older cousin for getting me into music early on when I was 7 or 8. I started listening to Genesis Trick of a tail, Super Tramp Live in Paris, Cat Stevens, AC-DC and the soundtrack of Rocky are some of the most memorable ones. From then on it was just a matter of evolution. First it was an alarm clock with a radio, then my first tape recorder, first mini component, Walkman, disc man and so on. My music has literally been the soundtrack of my life. I remember places, smells, feelings and people just by hearing a song.

 

What has influenced your musical taste?

My music taste has definitely evolved just like with everything else in life. I definitely think that the cities and people I have been exposed have shaped and influence my music. I literally went from American pop to rock, music in other languages to now liking almost everything from regional Mexican music to obscure versions of Zydeco or old jazz.

 

How do you listen to music at work/how does it inspire your work? Are you a headphones person, or do you blast it for others to hear?

As far as how I consume music, I think that is as varied as my taste. I enjoy headphones when I want to disconnect from my surroundings; a method I use in the office seldom now a days since my responsibilities and tasks kind of ask me to be and do the opposite. For that reason in the office I tend to blast it for everyone to hear… and to tell you the truth to add some live noise to our sometimes eerily quiet office.

 

What is currently on your playlist?

For me music helps set the mood of my day, that’s how important its role is in my life. I definitely listen to lighter happier music or driving powerful music during the day to get me into that kind of rhythm and mood. But there are also times I want to be more reflective and introvert in my thoughts and I will listen to music that will help me achieve that state.

 

What do you think your taste in music says about you?

The more you are exposed to different versions or types the more you embrace the diversity in rhythms, POV’s and taste. And I think that is a principle for like in itself. So with that I do believe music can give you a glimpse of who a person is so obliviously I think that my music collection can give people a small glimpse into who I am as a person, but I will let them come to their own conclusions on that. So to help here is what is on my playlist right now:

Soffitucker, St Lucia, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Franz Ferdinand, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore and Lewis, Rob Zombie, New Order, LCD Soundsystem, Langhorne + Slim, Hanni El Khatib, Gorillaz, Johnny Cash, and Børns

 

Nicholas Ross, Junior Art Director

How did you get into music? What is your favorite thing about music?

I got a tiny classical guitar for my 10th birthday, and received lessons for about 6 months. I learned the basics and promptly gave up when I figured out how to skateboard. About 6 years later I decided to pick up music again since I was starting to get into metal and pop punk: two genres that definitely helped fuel my teen angst.

 

What has influenced your musical taste?

I was in a few bands in high school, but when I moved out and went to college, my musical world grew exponentially. There weren’t many things to do around campus when I first started, so I would write whatever music I was feeling that day since I needed a creative outlet. When I transferred to a different college, this changed my outlook on music again and gave me new opportunities to play. I grew closer to some of who are now my best friends and started a band that I am still in today. We eventually became Funeralbloom, an atmospheric post-black metal band with songs that grew to be over 14 minutes long.

 

Touring Texas and the East Coast with this band really opened me up to things I would have never experienced otherwise. It showed me a range of new music, new art, new ways of living, and new outlooks on life. I met people who ran music labels, or venues out of their house. People who organized art spaces, and helped amplify the voices, and art, of people who usually wouldn’t have had the opportunity. It is important to communities, and myself, to have access to this kind of creative outlet.

 

I constantly have This Will Destroy You in my playlists. I can’t drag myself away from their sound. It is very inspiring for my own writing, and my work. They are able to slow things down and take the listener on whatever journey they want. Thinking like this has certainly opened up possibilities, and ways of thinking that I apply to my work output. We endlessly try to take consumers on journeys and make them feel a connection with our advertising, but music usually accomplishes this quickly and in the least complicated way.

 

I also listen to Deafheaven, Hope Drone, Celeste, and Lantlôs. They are all in the post-metal or post-black metal realm. The aggressive, and insanely fast, drumming meshes well with how caffeinated I can be at work. Opening up to get lost in the walls of sound they create allows me to focus on whatever task is at hand.

Whenever I need to change things up I listen to CHVRCHES, Ben Howard, Black Marble, The Caution Children, The Japanese House, Purity Ring, Lymbyc Systym, Russian Circles, and The Head and the Heart.

 

What do you think your taste in music says about you?

I think my musical tastes say that I am not afraid to try different things out, and experiment or test boundaries. I like the grandiose, but not the overdone. Most of the music I listen to involves a unique level of detail, which I attempt to apply to my work and daily life. Whether I am designing something ridiculous, trying my hand at writing, drawing, or playing music I have found it is important to be able to be creative outside my work. It gives me a space to clear my head.

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Music drives much of our creative forces here at Dieste, and our tastes are as diverse as we are. Follow our Radio to keep up with the tunes that keep these creative juices flowing.

 

Gaby Sosa
Gsosa@dieste.com