Israel Roig is a Spanish composer who composes, performs and produces his songs by himself, without the help of any other human being, in his home studio. He talks to Tunebubble about the algorithm genre trap and believing in a bit of magic...
What does a typical day in the life of Israel Roig look like? It depends a lot on whether it is a business day or not. But in both cases I get up very early. I am not a professional musician and I have to earn a living working on other matters. I used to spend my free time playing various sports, including soccer. The pandemic has deprived me of the possibility of doing many things, like everyone else. But it has also given me the opportunity to spend more time on music. Now I dedicate all my free time to music.
Since when have you been making music and has it always been a dream of yours to become a musician?
In my youth I was the singer of a rock band. When I left I spent several years learning to play various instruments on my own, in a self-taught way. I also started reading books on music theory, harmony, composition and, later, on music production. You could say that I've always been making songs, but I never recorded them until I felt ready to do it, about ten years ago. Dedicating myself to music has always been a dream that seemed unattainable to me due to the circumstances of life.Last year I decided to publish my songs. I am aware that living from music is not easy and even less at this time. But, at least, I am going to try to send my message to the world, through my songs. Finding people who like my songs, despite not being well known and not having the means to do an effective promotion, is something that makes me very happy.
And if it weren't for the music, what would be your dream job? I'm a lucky guy. I have a job that I like and it is not difficult for me to go to work every day. I am a nurse in a rural health center, quite far from my home. Still, I consider work only as a means to earn a living. For me, life is what begins when you leave work.
Is there a certain venue where you would love to perform?
There is no specific site. When I close my eyes and try to imagine it, I see people listening to my songs. That direct feeling is what calls me. Perhaps, what I would like most is to travel the world, to take my songs to those places where there are people willing to listen to them.
Your songs are a very successful mixture of pop, rock, country ... difficult to identify a certain genre, but is there still someone who influences you when you write the music? I hate labels. However, although they have always been there, the new digital age forces you to define labels for your music before publishing it. And, if you don't do it correctly, the algorithms of the different platforms will offer your music to the wrong audience. I have real difficulties with that. It's like a nightmare to me every time I fill out the pre-release forms for each release. I'm a rocker, my favorite band are The Godfathers. I have my soul tattooed with the lyrics of his song Birth, School, Work, Death. Also, I listen to the rock classics of all time. But I like music in general, from Norah Jones to Spanish Antonio Vega (you should listen to this man, who wrote some Spanish pop hymns, before making your next playlist), even flamenco, jazz or country. From all that mix is where the music comes from when an idea appears in my head to shape a song. Although it is true that I have a tendency to create catchy choruses and to build songs with a very pop structure. In any case, and I know how complicated that is, I refuse to label myself within a specific genre. I make songs that move me, that tell stories that cross my mind and heart. And then I throw them out into the world hoping they find a listener who experiences the same or something similar to what happens to me.
You're working on a new album and it's the first time that you're not acting as a solo artist but with two good friends, Carlos Sánchez 'El Muchacho' on drums and Fernando Rossi on bass. - tell us a little bit about the collaboration.
To understand this collaboration, you first have to believe in magic. I already had my next releases prepared for a long time, because I am publishing the songs that I have written throughout my life. But a few months ago Fernando, the bassist of my old rock band, contacted me. I hadn't heard from him for many, many years. I had had some contact through social networks with Carlos in recent years, but nothing more. The fact is that Fernando brought us all together in a WhatsApp group and we resumed our friendship. One fine day, Carlos offered to collaborate with me and Fernando is one of those people who sign up for a bombing. I couldn't refuse the offer. Thanks to technology, I send them my tracks and they send theirs to me. Then I go back to remixing and remastering the project that I already had prepared. We started with a rhythm of one song a week, something crazy, but that shows the illusion that the three of us put into this project. Now we have slowed down a bit to be able to attend to other obligations. I can't say when everything will be ready. But the truth is that I don't care. It is proving to be an unforgettable experience that fills me with happiness. And besides, every song on the album gets better with the contribution of these two friends.
What is your passion besides music? I have my streaks. I do many things and when I start to do something I leave my soul there, from sports to any DIY project. I would say that my passion is life itself. That is why, in these times of pandemic, I have taken even more refuge in music. For me, life has a soundtrack. Give us your top 10 favorite tracks!
It depends on the mood, but here I go:
1. Birth, School, Work, Death - The Godfathers 2. Crazy - Aerosmith 3. El Sitio de mi Recreo - Antonio Vega 4. Love Her Madly - The Doors 5. If I Only Had Time - The Godfathers 6. Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles 7. You shook me all night long - AC/DC 8. Rock you like a hurricane - Scorpions 9. Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns'n'Roses 10. Lithium - Nirvana
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your music? I would like people to give an opportunity to the music that we make who do not have the means to reach the general public. New technologies allow us musicians to put our work within the reach of anyone and I believe that the public who really loves music should select music keeping in mind that there is this underworld of unknown musicians. And one more thing: today's music lacks people with the passion to discover new talents, not just for the sake of making money from them, but because they simply exist somewhere. And for that reason, in such a wild industry, initiatives like Tunebubble seem necessary and highly worthwhile.