2_3_DiscoverBenelux_Issue14_January2015_Scan Magazine 1 26/01/2015 19:14 Page 16
Discover Benelux | Cover Feature | Gabriel Rios
Over the course of 2014, Rios published a new single each month online, ahead of his full album release this year. He said this was much less stressful than doing it the conventional way and would like to repeat this in the future.
when we were just playing in the house, the three of us, we realised we could make a whole record with that palette of sounds, with the three instruments.”
An unconventional release After three years Rios returned to Belgium with his new repertoire. Instead of putting them together in an album, he decided to release the songs one by one over a whole year. “I’ve always wanted to do it, release a song each month. I just didn’t have the occasion yet to do this,” he says, talking about this peculiar way of putting out his music. “It was much more fun to do it this way, less stress.” Over the course of 2014, a new song of Rios appeared online every month, ahead of his upcoming album release this spring. Although all the songs were finished, he found it very comforting to be able to break in the final ones a little more, just as he did
16 | Issue 14 | February 2015
with the earlier material he had rehearsed while in New York. “There is something about playing songs to people, that really shapes the song. Even if the structure is there, the lyrics are there, playing them a lot before you record them makes you more comfortable with them,” he says. At first, Rios was apprehensive that his new sound would not go down as well as his more commercial pop songs, but it turned out this wasn’t the case at all. “We had a lot of connection with audiences who apparently were not aware that this is what they wanted, it is almost as if we found it out together. We realised we wanted to do this, in a very simple, minimalist way and people responded to that very well.”
Winning over the audience To keep the pure feeling of his music alive in the album, all songs were recorded as
live, instead of each instrument separately. This fleshed out set-up is also now his standard arrangement for concerts, steering him away from his earlier work when he played with a full band. “When you start off at the beginning, your first two records, you are doing everything you can to squeeze everything into a record,” Rios explains. “Maybe because I am older, I am trying to leave everything out that doesn’t really have to do with the song.” Recently, Rios played as the opener for Stromae, a Belgian singer-songwriter with songs that mix hip-hop with electronic music. “He just wanted us to play in front of him. He is very courageous, he doesn’t care if it is a whole different vibe or style,” Rios says. “The fact that we are so different, it made us stand out. People actually listened, we were so happy with his audience. I was really surprised, I thought it would be very hard, but there was a lot of silence.”
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