“As I get older I find myself writing about family and lots of love songs. I’ll sit down with my guitar or keyboard and just start to strum or play and get an idea. I try to hone in on it and see if it develops into something worth keeping.”
Check out the interview with Jose L. Ortiz Sr. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Jose L. Ortiz Sr.: Back in 1964 when the Beatles first came to America on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was playing drums in the Church and saw the Beatles and my whole life changed. That’s when I started this journey. I was watching every show that had any music groups, duets, and bands of any sorts. No matter what sized group they had, I was right there to watch and be mesmerized. That was the beginning of it all!
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
On my gigs of course, radio appearances, phone calls, and Music Xray. I use my record company Tate Music Group to help me find links to music that gets played for free to promote. Family, friends, and mostly my musical friends in the business. Lots of them work for musical companies and help me to get my music heard or talked about.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The music business has changed in the last 20 years or so. It’s not what it used to be like when there were retail stores & you could put your CD or record on consignment and hope for the best. Even Radio stations won’t play your music if it doesn’t sound like everybody else either.
I just keep writing music because it makes me feel good. It’s my therapy and I will never stop because writing music has no age. I perform for the joy of it mostly these days.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene has changed here as well. Gigs are getting harder and harder to find on a local level. Seems like you have to have a hit to go on the road to keep yourself in the loop of things. Being on an island is equally as rough. You can’t play originals because the tourist won’t let you when they come. All they want to hear is familiar songs from the mainland like Jimmy Buffet, Van Morrison, etc. There are a few places where you can play originals, but are few and far in between.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
Hopefully the music will drown itself because of lack of creativity. We are so sugar coated in America and rely on others to put out garbage just like junk food. People don’t want to listen to something new because it’s too much trouble. They’d rather hear something familiar and be done with it. It’s up to the musicians to step up and take chances again like it used to be if anything is going to change. Let’s see if history repeats itself.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Try not to go around the block to get across the street. What I mean by that is, I guess, give the people what they think they want and then when you have a following hit them hard with what you really have inside you. Make them believe in what you are doing this for.
What inspires you to write your next song?
As I get older I find myself writing about family and lots of love songs. I’ll sit down with my guitar or keyboard and just start to strum or play and get an idea. I try to hone in on it and see if it develops into something worth keeping. Then I put melody and try to come up with a subject that touches me or my wife or kids and family. Listening to more and more garbage on the radio also inspires me because I know I can write better music than what I hear.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I clear my head of anything that is negative around my thoughts. I don’t think about paying bills, family problems, or troubles. Just let yourself go as if you are going into a trance or yoga or meditation. There is no end to exploring music because there are so many avenues to pursue. Sometimes even your emotions that you have inside may trigger a song to try and convey your feelings about that situation.
What do you think makes a great song?
It’s my opinion that makes me know that it’s a great song. After being around for 50 plus years I think you should know what a great song is. It may not be commercial and what the public wants, but like I said before, they wouldn’t know a great song from a horrible song. They are so programmed to listen to garbage that when a great song comes along, they think, since it doesn’t sound like what they want to hear, that it must be terrible.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
My name of my imaginary group is Joe Business & The Bad Mo’ Stanky’s. My Cd is called Out Of My Mind & Into Yours. I am also on You Tube with a video my son put together called “What Duh.”
Official Website: www.badmostankys.com