I was able to chat with Marcus Figueroa, the guitarist/bassist who travels many genres, today. Let’s take a look at what he had to say…
1. What made you decide to pursue music? Who were your inspirations?
The feeling of learning my first song on my first guitar was what really made me pursue music. I bought an old crappy acoustic guitar at the flea market for $40 when I was 17. The first riff I learned was the intro to "One" by Metallica. I was so proud that it urged me to learn more, and more. That then led the way to teaching myself how to play more complex songs, and creating originals. My biggest inspirations at that time were Linkin Park, Metallica, Korn, Chili Peppers, and other bands in that spectrum.
2. So you have RITMO which is the production side and Marcus Figueroa who plays amazing guitar and instrumentals. How do you separate the two?
Being in touch with multiple genres in the music world, I learned a lot of artists and producers have some kind of alias they go by. I came up with "Ritmo" (which means rhythm in Spanish) due to the fact that when i first started playing guitar, I only considered myself a rhythm guitarist. When i was running my small production business, one of my clients jokingly said "I have my first official Ritmo Production"! Then and there i instantly decided to use the name Ritmo for my production name. (It sounds pretty catchy too) When it comes to playing the instruments i love, I go with my regular name Marcus Figueroa. I feel when i play guitar, bass, or piano its a natural event. There's nothing as raw or natural than someone sitting down with the instrument they love and letting their god given talent take control. So when it comes to natural talent, I go by Marcus Figueroa.
3. What are the goals that you want to achieve in this independent world?
The goals i want to achieve in the indie world, is to become a reputable studio musician with no boundaries, and to simply continue to make music that the people love, and can relate to. Overall, I want to be able to grab people emotionally with my music. All my music comes from a deep emotional side of me. I want to be able to have people listen to my music, and instantly feel an emotional connection, no matter it be good or bad.
4. You have recently moved from Sacramento to Nashville recently. Why the sudden change?
I've lived in Sacramento for over 10 years. I've been in and out of various bands, and projects in the area, but unfortunately as hard as I tried to make a solid band, or group, it never seemed to work out. Dedicated band mates are extremely scarce and hard to come by because they're already involved in over 2 or 3 bands/groups. I was given the gracious opportunity by my now manager Lilly Mac, to move to Nashville, and help me pursue my career to the next level. I'm extremely happy, and thankful to be here, and i cant wait to show this music city what i'm capable of.
5. What is the best part about being a musician? What is the best part about being a producer? What is the worst?
The best part of being a musician for me is the creative process, and the pure excitement when I come up with a new riff, that leads to a new track. Once i come up with that first melody, I get in my zone, and everything falls into place smoothly. The best part of being a producer is being in control of my own tracks, and constantly learning new techniques to help improve my process and sound. Its always a learning experience being a producer. I still have a lot to learn, so i always keep my eyes and ears open to see what i can use to my advantage.
6. Do you think you'll stay independent throughout your career?
I would like to stay independent throughout my career. Mainstream media on all levels is extremely manipulative. I've worked too hard and come so far to be controlled and taken control of. Music needs its freedom. That's what music has grown, and thrived off of for so many years. It deserves to have its name replenished with true genuine talent. I wish to remain independent until the right opportunity is laid on the table.
7. What are your pet peeves?
I don't have too many pet peeves but three. If you begin to tell me something, but then cut it off with a "no no never mind". That gets me every time. FINISH YOUR SENTENCE! Don't ask my opinion for something and then completely disregard it. Why did you ask me in the first place?? Lastly, don't be a liar. I'm an individual that is straight up. Please don't beat around the bush, and show me the same respect I show you.
8. Name your top five desserts?
2. Ben and Jerry's Chunky Munky
3. Carmel Cheesecake
4. Classic Root Beer Float
5. Snicker-doodle Cookies
Thank you so much for that amazing interview. If you want to connect with Marcus Figueroa, friend/fan him at the following sites…