The warmth of E. Arenas emanates through his music. It's evident in the energy that comes out in his work with Chicano Batman, and it's no different in his solo project.
“Family, recipes, traditions, language ... all these things matter,” Arenas told me.
Music is definitely his true language, the boat in which he carefully packs everything important and sends it toward an endless sea of processes.
“Once you put out music into the world it’s no longer yours,” he said. “It becomes defined by your audience and they build stories and memories around your compositions and they take a life of their own.”
"Nariz," his self-produced album, took six years to complete. He told me it was a great relief to release it in 2016 and make space for new things.
His collection of works reflects upon various themes and problems that are close to him, including community-building. Ballads, sambas, corridos y tropicalia sonsome of the rhythms that help him convey his truth.
On "Bunuelos a Monton," a song that came out in December, he talks about “learning recipes from your family before they die so you ain’t stuck looking up recipes on YouTube trying to match the same flavor your abuela [grandmother] made for so many years.” And there's a lot of power in that.
“Mar Iguana,” a quebradita, reflects on the state of marijuana in the Golden State -- but he also asks the question, “What happens to all the California inmates that are doing time for a crime that is now considered legal?”
He always has a heart-to-heart dialogue with his audience -- he's one that prospers in the present, but he also searches for foundations to build a future that doesn't forget its past.
Austin Ford (keyboard), Kevin Martin (guitar), Will Logan (drums) and Andrew Freire (bass) support him on his Southern California tour -- and now they're coming to the Mous Tache Bar in Tijuana on May 12!
“For the first time we play Tijuana,” he said. “We’re bringing excitement, and that I hope we can trade with our fellow Mexican public.” See you there, gente!
Translated from Spanish by Rutger Rosenborg.