Ink Tone Swep Images Caroline Mahomar & Moises Morales Location Miami, Florida
Let’s begin in Panama City, and more specifically the Río Abajo subdivision, or Corregimiento, in which you grew up. Talk a little about your upbringing, the community which surrounded you as a child.
I was raised in Corregimiento in Río Abajo. The community that surrounded me, and where I was raised, was a community of low resources, but that didn’t stop me from becoming a better person, a student, and a better worker. Since I was little I always kept my faith in God, and knew that he would bring something good to my life.
Río Abajo is described as a West Indian neighborhood inhabited by those who immigrated from Barbados, Jamaica, and other parts of the Caribbean. What was the arts, music, and party scene like for you growing up?
It’s true what you say, Jamaica flow to the end! There was a lot of influence from English, then Reggae in Spanish surged. Every weekend there was a party, sometimes even Mondays and Tuesdays (Laughs!). Rio Abajo was a happy neighborhood. There was always a party, always something going on.
Your father is a chef, your mother an educator, your grandparent’s are of French heritage. Very diverse family and household. How did this influence your music?
In my music, one thing doesn’t really have to do with the other, but in my life, my life is really influenced by God. I feel like, when you’re in your room no one really knows what’s happening behind closed doors. And, as an educator, my mother put an incredible amount of pressure on me, but that pressure is the reason for who I am today. My grandmother was an incredible cook, her food was from another world. They always supported me. My grandfather made me a warrior, he used to tell me – “If you die, you died, you can’t do anything about it. I’ll have to bury you and keep moving forward” – what he said stuck in my head. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.
Panama City is known as a hub for commerce, Central American culture, and global tourism. Bordered by Colombia and Costa Rica, it also carries the stigma of organized crime, government corruption, drugs and weapons trading very similar to the U.S. How do you view your city? What should the world know about your country that perhaps only natives of Central America can really share?
I think that Panama is a beautiful country, it has many islands, many tourist places, with a lot of history. Aside from that, when people talk to me about drugs, corruption and all that, I’m knowing that all those things happen everywhere, so I put those things aside because they are problems from everywhere. And let’s focus on the positive and good things it has to offer – it has a beautiful culture, excellent art scene. I love my country like never before.
Music seems to be of great importance to you. What artists influenced you and your sound, your love of music?
Yes, first I was influenced by Reggae, in Spanish and English. I went to live for six years in the U.S., and there I discovered R&B and rap, and I think that influenced me a lot, Drake especially. When I heard his songs, they really impacted me, very much. Even today, my music echoes those influences; it combines that American sound with anything else that fits the flow.
When you created your first regional hit, “Miss Lonely” – a song you penned while chillin’ on your front porch playing your guitar – did you anticipate it having the huge impact that it had?
Well, Miss Lonely was the song that really put me on the map, as they say. And that day I remember it was late, like 5 pm, around that time. And I went to my guitarist Jon’s house and he started playing a few things, and then he said, “I’m not going to work on any music, brother.” So I grabbed the guitar and started messing around with chords, and I began to write. At the end, we ended up recording the song. And, yea, I felt like the song had some magic, but had no idea where it would go. Thank God, it surprised me. And now here we are.
Last year you dropped “The Sensation” EP, with the banger “Me Gustaria”, and then recently the single “Solita” is already a hit in less than a month. You’re a Hit-Maker, and now people will expect nothing less than big songs. Is that pressure in any way?
Uh, yes and no. I feel like the pressure is all about me wanting to make great songs for my fans and audiences. But, in reality, with the team that I’m surrounded by, and the producer I have, I think there’s going to be a lot – A Lot! – of great music, so wait for more music from me.
What inspired the title of your debut album “Sueños” (Dreams)? What is Sueños symbolic of?
In reality, everything in life is about dreams. I feel like when you don’t have dreams, you don’t have anything else, because you feel like what else are you going to do? A dream ends, you buy a car, and then all of a sudden you want another. Know what I mean? In reality, for the album cover, I related it to the Apollo 11 mission because that was a dream, too. No one knew that man would make it to the moon. So, we’re going to continue dreaming, we want to do more things, we have a lot of goals, so until the end with dreams.
You are currently on tour, how much do you love to perform live for the fans? What do you want each and every fan to experience at a Sech show?
Well, on tour and at a show I have a great time with the fans, with the audience. I think, more than work, it’s time to have a good time. Also, my team on stage gives off an incredible vibe. I want people to see and hear who Sech really is – that they live the experience with me in a party. That’s what I want.
How has hip-hop music and culture impacted your art, music, fashion, and your global perspective?
Hip-hop and R&B has influenced my sound. It’s impacted my music, always; ever since I heard that type of music. And also Biggie’s and Tupac’s stories, all of that called my attention, and I think it’s a beautiful culture, criticized in the beginning because it was related to the streets. I think the music speaks for itself, and it’s gone very far. And fashion, that’s my thing.
What next moves and new endeavors, in and beyond music, can we expect from you in the near future?
We’re coming out with a few remixes, a lot of great music, better videos. Better everything!