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Paco García and his new project “Miope”

“Miope” [short-sighted] is Paco García Ariza’s new solo music project – a more personal starting point to portray his vision of life into his own sound and ideas. He is accompanied on stage by Jorge Conejo (percussion), Daniel Black Smith (synthesizers) and Sergio Ríos (bass). 

How did you get into the world of music?

I got into music when I was seventeen years old. My father had a workshop and I worked with him every summer. It became some kind of tradition that every summer my father would gift me something that I asked for – it was always something related to music. My last year before going to university, I wanted a drum kit and asked for one so I could learn to play it. I started a cover band in Montilla, just for fun. I have to admit, I’ve never had that much fun. We didn’t sound very good, but it gave me an incredible feeling. From there, I went to Malaga to study and I began to have some projects, like tributes and such, always playing covers. Years later, I started another band in Montilla called Mr. Mackenzie, making original music. That was my first real and serious encounter with the idea of truly committing yourself to making your own music and expressing yourself.

How was your new project “Miope” born?

This new project was born because I’ve always loved music. I’ve seen and heard many things, I’ve sung covers, but I dreamed of singing something that was mine. In other words, singing my thoughts, my stories… When I started with Mr. Mackenzie, some of the lyrics were mine, and others were written collaboratively or by fellow bandmates. I realized that I didn’t really like the Spanish indie scene in general. It took me a long time to find Spanish music that I liked, but I found some things that I started to like quite a bit. At first, I didn’t really know how to sing in Spanish because I’d been listening to music in English for a long time. Unbeknownst to me, the starting point for “Miope” was about five years ago with loose songs and ideas. Until a couple of years ago, when I decided that I was really going to try to do my own thing and, little by little, it seems like I’m getting there. I’ve been composing and coming up with ideas for a couple of years now. I record and work on everything by myself. I looked for a band to be able to carry out the songs that I’ve already recorded on my own, but can’t perform live without a band. 

Being this your first time delving into a solo project, what would you say was the most challenging part?

The most challenging part was transitioning from the world of ideas to the world of action, which is what happens with everything in life, especially with creativity. When we imagine something, it’s usually different from what we end up doing. The hardest part is taking that leap and starting to search for sounds, compositions, lyrics… The most difficult part for me was the lyrics – to sing something that didn’t make me feel embarrassed. Hearing what you’ve written and liking it is more than enough for me, even if the audience doesn’t perceive it the same way. But, without a doubt, the hardest part was artistically exposing yourself and realizing that what you’re doing has value. From there, it’s about going further and composing another song or a new guitar arrangement. When you finish and look back, it’s often not what you imagined, but even if you had, you wouldn’t have gotten this far. Ideas and unfinished projects can’t stay just as thoughts; you have to get them done. 

What does the name “Miope” mean?

Aside from the fact that I am short-sighted, which isn’t the reason, I came to the conclusion that the things I was singing about in my songs were a way of seeing reality from an artistic point of view. You can listen to my lyrics and not feel identified with them nor see them the same way I do. So, it’s a kind of artistic myopia. I mean, I can see something as white but for you, it may be green or gray. I liked this reasoning, which is why I named the project “Miope”.

What would you like to convey with your songs?

I like to convey what I believe is real life and what I think is not talked about enough. I’m quite tired of lyrics that sell, because I think they’re very misogynistic, platonic and portray basic feelings. I can relate to many of them, but we don’t focus on other, deeper matters, even if they don’t sell as much. All of my lyrics to date are, inevitably, autobiographical. To a greater or lesser extent, I’m talking about things that I see, feel, or have experienced, because this way, I can tell my stories with more nuances. I tried to write in English, but the hues and sensibility are not the same as in your mother tongue. My lyrics talk about normal things in life with a certain poetic touch, without it being clear language. I have songs that talk about anxiety, another one that talks about my grandfather… I like to perceive music as a kind of game of magic. If you have the possibility of giving it a little mysticism, do it. 

Your style of pop is a bit out of the ordinary, did you want to establish that difference?

Honestly, yes. Not in an artificial way, but I believe the music that I like is melodic, without any strange tricks. It plays with nuances and non-primary colors, just like a painting. What I say in the description, and I’m not sure if it’s true or not, is that it’s a type of pop or style that’s not black nor white. It’s a rocky terrain. Something may be melancholic but able to transmit happiness, and something else may be happy, but leaves a bittersweet aftertaste. I think that’s life. Embracing that term, from an artistic point of view, is a declaration of intent that makes me feel good about myself because I’m singing what people want to hear.

What was the first song you wrote? What was the creative process like?

I had to write my first two lyrics on an airplane, no kidding. I wrote them from there because I have a problem with life, just like everyone else, we’re subject to many technological and social stimuli. It’s like you can’t find a moment of peace, or you want to convince yourself that it doesn’t really exist when it actually does, but you have to look for it. I wrote my first lyrics on a plane going to a festival, the year of the pandemic. Normally, I know what I want to say beforehand with the music than with the lyrics, because I’ve spent more time making music than being a songwriter. I think that time was the worst by far, but it was a declaration of intent. The song is “Has salido” [You’ve left] which I consider the single, even though I haven’t promoted it. The phrases hidden in the chorus, like “no hay miedo a perder” [no fear of losing] or “la luna esconde mi piel” [the moon hides my skin], reference the fact that I don’t know who I am. Sometimes I show a side that I don’t even recognize as me. The lyrics resemble what can happen to all of us, as people. What annoys me the most about the world of indie is the shallowness of it – having to dress in the most original way or having the best Instagram profile. In the end, we’re all equally irrelevant. That’s what makes me a bit pessimistic about the world, but I also believe there are exceptions and a lot of music that I love. Those were the first lyrics and, from thereon, other issues like doing stupid things for love or disappointing someone because you’re not honest. It’s like some kind of quiet reckoning. In other words, expressing an opinion about life based on what you’ve done in your life up to today.

After this experience, do you prefer working solo or in a band?

It’s funny because I think there’s no right answer to that. I think that, in a solo project, there are many ups and downs, but in a band, it’s quite the opposite. In my case, what I think happens is that I’ve never been in a band where I’ve been the lead composer. What I like most about a band are the conversations, how you get carried away by someone else’s style and someone else gets carried away by yours, how you find a word or a sound when your mind is starting to block… On your own, if you have the tools to move forward little by little, you’ll be putting together something that speaks to all aspects of how you see music. To conclude, I could say that “Miope” has a sense of full responsibility, self-confidence and self-control. I’m learning, little by little, and I’ve never had this feeling before, so I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. But life offers a lot, and I don’t think it’s exclusive to have other projects or ideas, to have other ways to achieve your goals. Your personality can have multiple meanings, and one doesn’t have to exclude the others. For now, I can say that it’s the project that’s suddenly stirring things up in me that have never been stirred before, because it’s the first time I’ve exposed myself to it. 

Do you think it’s difficult to innovate in the world of music?

Yes and no. I think it’s difficult for people to accept things that are seemingly new because it’s easy to take forty records from the ’50s to the ’80s and think you have all existing styles in your hands. But the reality is that there are more and more mixes, and the flavors are no longer so primary because they’ve already been invented. Today, a person can make country music and mix it with another style that hadn’t been done before. I believe music is noteworthy and remarkable, like new things that are being done, but the media aren’t interested in that because it wouldn’t grab our attention. That’s why I think the music I’m making is pop, because it sticks to your memory and has a chorus and a verse. It doesn’t play with that feeling that if nothing happens in the first fifteen seconds, your song isn’t worth being on the radio. There are a ton of people every day releasing new music and styles that redefine where they come from, without being repetitive. I refuse to believe that, because I listen to music every day, and I know there are still wonders out there. It’s increasingly difficult for something to not resemble something that’s already been done, unless you play with technological elements. 

Do you have any future projects?

Right now, I’m focused on “Miope”. I’m working on other projects as well, a group in Montilla called Mr. Mackenziewith the Malaga artist Daniel Black Smith, and playing guitar with Mar Louise. My wish is that this continues to work. I like to keep my expectations under control, to know that what I already know I like can take me to my new favorite places. It’s about thinking that Miope’s best song doesn’t exist yet. My plan for the future is to keep things going well, to take things slow and beautiful, and enjoy the music. I’m also going to release a series of videos on YouTube to get this project started in a more unique way. This way, when people listen to us, they’ll also see us as an immersive experience. 

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