‘Still Nobody Nowhere’ is a message of intent and a turning point for Antonio Garcia. Coming from a tradition of classical music, he is break free from the shackles he has placed on himself. However, this single is much more than a way to break free as he is collaborating with other artists for the #artpostcard2020 project. We sat down with Antonio Garcia to talk about the single, his project, future plans, music and more!
OSR: You studied classical music, but what was the first instrument you learnt to play and why that one?
Garcia: I started with piano when I was eleven years old. One day I went to a local piano concert with my mum and spent the whole week asking her for piano lessons. She listened to me, and from there I didn’t let go of music.
OSR: Your new single ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’ is part of the #artpostcard2020 project, can you tell us more about the project?
Garcia: #artpostcard2020 is a collaborative project that is being developed on Instagram. Part of the idea comes from ‘Mail Art’, a trend that began in the 1960s. Thanks to the collaborations that I’ve been doing with an artist and my friend Cristina Muñoz del Águila, it occurred to me to do something like this. I composed ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’ as a starting point for dancers, photographers or visual artists to create and share artwork, alongside the song. Using the hashtag, you can see all the entries, helping to create a space to find different artists willing to collaborate and try to create new relationships and connections between them.
OSR: Is there a personal story behind ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’?
Garcia: For me ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’ is about breaking principles and societal structures that did not help me to unleash my potential and made me hide myself in fear of what others would say. These last few years have been quite unstable for me. I could not find myself and I was increasingly unhappy with the concept of being a ‘composer of contemporary classical music’. It seems like a very rigid tag to me. Thankfully, taking this step and putting this song out into the world, I am less afraid to share the things I feel, to be more vulnerable and honest with myself and others. It is a very simple piece to listen to, but it is a frontier of what it was, what I am and what I want to be.
OSR: What was the most difficult aspect of writing and producing the single?
Garcia: The hardest part was deciding on an idea and sticking with it. I have started this single literally 20 different ways. None of those convinced me enough. None of them told me what they meant, none of them aligned with the meaning I wanted them to have. Now I listen to it and maybe I would change some things, but ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’ is precisely what it is meant for.
OSR: What was your creative process for the single? Did you have an idea of what you wanted the single to sound like or did this evolve as you worked on it?
Garcia: Yes. I was clear that the single should be attractive to visual artists, performers or dancers. On that basis, I wanted to do something honest, sincere and caring. Until then I had published and composed a lot of music without a clear purpose, without stripping completely. This time I wanted to be as careful as possible and give ‘him’ a lot of love.
OSR: Is there a message you would like people to take away from ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’?
Garcia: Yes, and at the same time, no. I think the main message is the union through honesty, introspection and intimacy as an act of rebellion. But that message wouldn’t make sense if people didn’t enjoy listening to ‘Still Nobody Nowhere’. On a musical level, this song is simply a warm place where you can stand barefoot and have a coffee.
OSR: Does your environment impact the music you make?
Garcia: Absolutely. When I spent the year studying in Helsinki, my music sounded deeper and more melancholic than ever. A year ago, when I started my existential crisis about who I am as a musician and what I want from music, my music went indecisively from one place to another without being very defined. Before anything, I am an artist who does what he does for who he is and for what surrounds me. I over-analyze my surroundings, every detail. This inevitably carries over to my music.
OSR: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Garcia: I am lucky to have met very interesting and wise people throughout my life. I would not know how to choose the best advice, but one of the ones that I have more in mind today is to move away from perfection and start with massive imperfect actions. Like I said, I am a very analytical person. This is fine, but to decide to take a step, I need a lot of time to think and ponder it.
At the same time, I am very passionate and impulsive, but first I need everything to be perfect to show the world my music or any idea. In the end, all that is fear made up by something called a “perfectionist”. So, I think it’s good that we all try to run away from that.
OSR: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Garcia: I feel very privileged with the people that I have had and I have the opportunity to be collaborating with, but if I had to choose anyone right now, I think it would be with David Lowery, the director of A Ghost Story. Since I saw it, I’ve been in love with the aesthetics, the silences, the time it takes. I think we could make a good team.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Garcia: I’m working on several projects right now that are really different from each other. I’m producing songs by various singers, composing for filmmakers and working on personal instrumental projects. If they all have something in common, regardless of style or genre, what you can expect from me these 12 months is the constant search for an intimate, personal and introspective sound in different fields. For me, making noise through vulnerability, finesse or subtlety is unbearable and I’m working on improving it. It’s my way of transgressing in light of a wild society by consuming, yelling, arguing and overstimulating. It’s my way of offering a warm space for those who need to relax, think or just let time pass.