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Southchild

Southchild is an independent band from Seville mainly influenced by the typical rock, soul, and blues from the 60’s and 70’s (The Beatles, CSNY or the Police) and current bands and artists like Matt Corby, Sticky Fingers or Arctic Monkeys. Rafael Monodero (vocals and guitarist) and Edu Quiroga (guitarist) are the architects of the project that was born in June 2021.

How did the project emerge? 

In 2020 Edu and I (Rafa) were working on a project called Joe Harper and the irreleband for which we released a demo and performed a single concert the weekend right before the lock down. Just like what happened to other bands, such a long break, added to one of our members leaving, we were 3, lead to the group dissolving. However, we would keep composing, sending each other ideas just for fun. Edu started learning music production since we decided to record and produce Pictures of You ourselves, where I was more focus on the composition and Edu on the production. We were left really happy with the final result, and we decided to release it and to start a new project just the two of us. We wanted to change several aspects compared to the last one and we started looking for a new band name, which finally came out as Southchild after a few weeks of brainstorming. 

South means the origin, it means Seville, Andalusia, the place you were born will always leave a mark one way or another. Child is a reference to the childhood, many songs, mostly the first ones deal with my childhood. On top of that, child symbolizes emotion, sensitivity, innocence and specially the illusion of children, essential to enjoy, understand and create music. 

Later in March 2022, Morillo joined the band as pianist/keyboardist, Emilio as bass guitarist and Javier as drummer to take the songs live, giving the last touch of the sound and shape the project Southchild. 

If you had to define your music…

Southchild can be defined as alternative rock with reggae and soul influence. Even if we are 5 musicians with different references and tastes, and we have no rejection to compose and try different genres, in the end it’s something we do for fun and we don’t want to limit ourselves in that sense. In the end we believe that what characterize a group is its sound, not a specific genre. 

What messages would you like to send to your public/audience? How do you usually compose? 

I personally compose most of the songs. First of all, I start from an idea, and I try to shape it at home, recording the different instruments in case they are needed to show the idea and making a first draft. Then, it will be sent to the rest of the band so that each of them can compose their part, since they are all more specialized in their instrument than I am so they can achieve a composition they feel comfortable with. I also like it that way because at the end always something different come out from the initial idea, which arouses curiosity to find out how the song will turn out. In the end, the work beforehand done at home is really important and also bringing material to work on in rehearsals. From our experience, improvise on the spot doesn’t go too well. 

About the lyrics, I always try to talk about personal and private matter as a tool to free oneself and to reflect on it. When it comes to writing, I think it’s essential that the composer put a part of himself in it and exposes himself in a certain way to give value to the song. It’s also important that the lyrics allow people to identify and connect in some way. It’s all about finding a balance between the personal and the everyday stuff. I think Edu also shares this vision of the lyrics when he’s composing. In other examples such as El Fugitivo for which

the lyrics tell a story and are more narrative, I usually turn to Emilio because he is good with this type of lyrics, he is a person with a lot of imagination.

What could you tell us about the recording and production process? 

In our case we recorded and produced both at home and in studio. They each have their pros and cons. At home you have more creative freedom, and you can work in a more relaxed way than in studio, and you are not conditioned by money which in emerging bands is usually something quite limiting. However, usually, in studio there is a better equipment, and you work with someone specialized in production. The production time is usually much longer than the recording time, so having someone to produce the song allows you to dedicate that time to other aspects of the band. 

But both ways have one thing in common and it’s the great deal of work behind of it all. Most of the time people are not aware of the number of hours of work and dedication there are behind a 3-minute song. However, for us, it’s a part of music that we truly appreciate and enjoy. We always say that going to the studio is just like a theme park for musicians. We view it as something to enjoy and work in a fluid and relaxed way, but in order to do so, it is essential to work before coming to the studio and to have things clear. 

In our case, we recorded the last 6 songs in Sputnik with Pablo Carrillo. We are really glad and proud of the final result. Pablo is an outstanding professional and he became a great friend of the band. On the other hand, the studio has an incredible equipment and if added to someone who masters it well such as Pablo, everything can only go smoothly. Also, the figure of the producer is important in the compositional part, he also gives his ideas and contributions and it’s important to keep a good communication between both parts and to have clear the final form of the song you want to achieve, in this regard we work very well with Pablo.

What is the live experience like? 

For us, the live show is the culmination of the process, it’s the goal of all the previous work. You are showing face to face everything you have created. We always try to pay attention to the live show, to transmit and for the audience to enjoy as much as possible, but it is essential that the band also has a good time and that there is a good vibe on stage. We have a wonderful loyal audience which helps us a lot to enjoy and create a fantastic atmosphere. 

It is necessary to perform a lot in concerts to learn and “get the hang of things”. We learned a lot this past year thanks to all the concerts we gave, but we still have a lot to learn. We also had the chance to share posters with very good bands with whom we have good relationship and many of them are already good friends, which helps a lot when it comes to organize and enjoy. 

What do you think about the mainstream concept?

We think that labeling something as mainstream is like putting a barrier in both directions. This leads to people not wanting to listen to music they don’t know about simply because it is old or not mainstream and they are closed to discovering other music, and in the other way around there are people closed to listen to what is fashionable because they assume that it will be bad, and they only want classic or old music. In the end, because of prejudices you are depriving yourself of discovering new music and besides, the mainstream concept is turning music into something ephemeral, to use and throw away. You can like all music, music can make you feel things regardless the era and genre. 

The existing offer of playback and broadcasting platforms today is very wide and varied (Spotify, YouTube, etc.). But it is still difficult to make a name for yourself in the industry. How do you value these resources regarding your project and what use do you currently make of them? 

Nowadays it’s very easy to have your music uploaded on all platforms which helps a lot to show and share your music with your followers. However, there are so much new contents coming out that it makes it difficult for people to discover you and therefore get new listeners. That’s why it’s very important nowadays to promote your music well on social media. 

If you could apply any measure to improve the local and national music scene, what would it be?

The main thing would be spaces to give concerts and organize events. We are not aware of any public space for concerts or rehearsals that can be accessed for an accessible and reduced price, in the same way that there are public sports facilities. There are fewer and fewer live music venues in Seville and those that exist have rental conditions that many emerging bands can’t afford. I think there is no awareness of the musical movement that exists and how it contributes helping the artistic richness of the city and especially how it helps young people. 

Finally, what are the Southchild’ short and long-term goals and projects? 

Right now, we want to take a break from concerts in order to compose new songs, record and prepare a new merchandising.  From now on, we still have two songs that we recorded in December to release. Souldelight is coming out on April 21st, a song in which we have stepped out of our comfort zone a little and we are very proud of it. We will be back on stage when we’ll have new material to show and the merchandising that match. And about our long-term projects, we would like to be able to participate in some festival and leave Seville at some point to play abroad. To keep learning, creating, growing, and enjoying Southchild.

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