Íntimo Phase I represents a new beginning for singer-songwriter David Alfaro. Not only is it his solo debut EP release, but it marks a pledge the L.A. native of Salvadoran heritage is making to his fans: to be as real and honest as possible in his music.
Alfaro started singing at an early age as a member of his church choir before learning to play piano and guitar. He went on to join a band called Arlequín, auditioned for the Telemundo show “Yo Soy El Artista” and eventually started work on his solo material.
The five tracks that make up Íntimo Phase I are a fusion of pop, jazz and blues. Alfaro teamed with producers the Julca Brothers (Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin) for the EP, which released Feb. 5, and recently sat down with Living Out Loud – Los Angeles to talk about the songs – including first single, “Eres Perversa,” which he just released a video for that was directed by Anthony Almonte of Cinema Giants, the production company of renowned director Jessy Terrero.
LOL-LA: Tell us about the concept behind the Íntimo Phase I EP.
David Alfaro: Everything started off last year. I started concentrating on my music and my writing skills. All of my songs are basically about my experiences, and two years ago I started to focus on: what am I gonna write, what kind of music am I gonna [make], what style, what am I gonna do? Little by little everything started coming out, and the first song was “Eres Perversa.” I wrote it for a woman who was very beautiful but evil at the same time. I wrote it in frustration because she would always manipulate me, and I got tired of that.
LOL-LA: When does the writing happen – in the morning or at night?
D.A.: I sleep thinking about music. I wake up thinking about music. In everything that I do, I’m thinking about music.
LOL-LA: As a kid, what were your musical influences?
D.A.: I come from a Christian background, and I was only able to listen to Christian music until high school. I love rock, so I was into all of that scream-o and emo stuff. I started my own Christian rock band. There’s a radio station called the 94.7 the Wave that I kept listening to. It’s mostly instrumental [music], so I wouldn’t get in trouble – jazz, blues, sometimes Alicia Keys and John Mayer. I love R&B, too, so I decided to mix it up and be a little bit more soulful with Spanish music. That’s how my style started to come in.
LOL-LA: This is Phase I. Is there going to be a Phase II?
D.A.: There’s gonna be Phase II, I will continue my story. The interesting part about the EP is that I’m telling you a story. The first song is called “Espejismo” and in it I talk about how I’m thinking about a woman and desiring that ideal woman. Track two, “Sirena de Cristal,” is a little bit of reggae, I’m saying that I found the girl and man, I’m excited. Number three is “Que Es El Amor,” and now we’re arguing and I’m trying to ask her, ‘What is love to you then?’ as I try to explain my side of it. Then it’s “Eres Perversa,” and now I’m mad, frustrated she’s always manipulating me. The fifth is “No Es Facil,” and now that my evil is gone, it’s a little hard to live without her.
LOL-LA: Is it hard for you to balance out all the types of rhythms, beats and sounds in your music?
D.A.: A lot of people told me, “You need to concentrate on your style, David. Don’t be jumping from this to that.” But you know what, I love music and sometimes if pop comes out or if rock comes out, I just go with the flow. Whatever the music asks for, I do it. I go along with it.
LOL-LA: Do you have anyone in mind that you would like to collaborate with?
D.A.: Yeah, in the Spanish industry, Juanes. Juanes has always been one of the people I’ve looked up to. I’ve heard that Sin Bandera got back together, so that’s exciting. There are a lot of artists, like Reik and Camila. Then on the English side, it would be cool if I did something with John Mayer, John Legend or Alicia Keys.
LOL-LA: Where do you see yourself in three years?
D.A.: Three years? Ah man, I just want to sing. I want people to connect with my music. My dream is for everyone to be singing my music and actually being able to connect with the lyrics and the melodies.
LOL-LA: You’re pretty much based out of Los Angeles. What do you like most about the city?
D.A.: I live in the San Fernando Valley, in Porter Ranch where the gas leak is at (laughs) … I’ve just been staying inside of the house, but what I love about L.A. is that when you go Downtown, it has a lot of culture. You walk outside, look at the buildings and see the architecture – it’s pretty cool.
LOL-LA: What advice would you give young people who want to have a career in music?
D.A.: Never give up. A lot of people are going to put you down, a lot of doors will close, but a lot of them open as well. A person should always stay positive because being in music is really tough. Surround yourself with positivity, and just keep writing.
LOL-LA: You dedicate the EP to your grandma. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
D.A.: My grandma passed away last year, and that was tough because I was recording and she was in the hospital. I wrote “No Es Facil” for a woman, but as I sang “no es facil olvidar,” it hurt. Even now, talking about it, it still hurts. I wish that she was here, could see me at a show or doing an interview, but unfortunately that can’t happen, so I wanted to dedicate the whole EP to her.
LOL-LA: How did you go about selecting the songs for the EP?
D.A.: I sat down with a producer out in L.A., Fausto Juarez, who is always giving me good advice. I gave him the top 10, asked his opinion and then asked my girlfriend and another friend. But I always kept “Eres Perversa” in mind as the No. 1 because it’s so honest and helped form the story for the EP.
LOL-LA: What’s the No. 1 thing you want your fans to know about you?
D.A.: I’m a sensitive guy, a shy person. I want people to know that all my lyrics are real. I’m just going to write about what I go through and be honest. What you see is what you get.
Íntimo Phase I is currently available. For more information, visit davidalfaro.net.
Karen Cruz and Yuri Shimoda contributed to this story.