Born and raised in the Dominican Republic until about the age of 10 by my grandmother and uncle, I had a pretty interesting childhood. Between the age of 10 and 16, I spent a lot of time travelling from the Dominican Republic and the U.S. due to family members trying to decide for me which place was best for me to stay. Once the debates calmed down, I was “settled” to live in the U.S. with my birth mother whom I did not truly know.
I put the word “settled” in quotation marks because staying in one place for a long time did not happen at all. In my eyes we were more like nomads looking for a place to rest until we would pack up and leave again. To put in perspective; in about 3 years time I lived in Passaic NJ, Bronx NY, Paterson NJ, Clifton NJ, Manhattan NY, back to Paterson NJ were I finished my high school degree.
You would ask why am I going back so far back? Well, at currently 34 years old those past events shaped who I am in one way or another. I haven’t even mentioned the trauma that comes with up and moving without you knowing it's happening and losing all the connections you made in that one place. Imagine that happening over and over and over again. There were other traumas as well, which I may discuss later on.
Why all of this back story through a rough memory lane? Well, it was during those times that I discovered the power of music and how it helps you one way or another through harsh times and elevates you through good times. Around 1994 when all these events started to take place, a cousin/sister of mine introduced me to “Heroes Del Silencio” or Heroes of the Silence. This was an alternative Rock band from Spain that played around with rock and metal sounds in their sounds and I was hooked when I listened to them.
You have to understand this, I was raised in the Dominican Republic as a Catholic (until I got to the age of reason) and loving Merengue, Salsa and Bachata music, anything resembling Rock was not in my radar. If there was a movement of Rock/Metal at that time in the Dominican Republic I was not aware of. To my family and others, Rock music was synonymous with Satan and evil and any attempt to get close to it was a sacrilege. Having discovered Rock music at this point in my life saved me from many things, I could have taken a very different path in life that would have had a very tragic conclusion for myself.
Once I graduated from Rock to Metal, Heavy Metal etc; I realized that maybe I had the ability to create my own music or share that creative process with others. I started first in the Bronx, NY to try to form a band. At that time, I had found fellow musicians that loved Heroes Del Silencio and they just so happened to be Dominicans which was very odd and extrange to find. Unfortunately we never got past trying to cover some of the songs of Heroes Del Silencio because I was once again torn from that environment.
In the early 2000s, I had “settled” in Paterson, NJ where things musically finally had started to take off. Starting with a friend that gave me my first guitar, I took off with my musical endeavours in many directions. Nonetheless, my family was not happy to have a “metalico” or a metalhead be part of the family. Many attempts and discouragements took place for about four years straight. It had affected me to the point that I decided to go to college and lived there and during my short time there, I almost gave up music all together.
At that time, college was not for me and I knew this deep down but trying to satisfy my family I held on there as much as I could. Eventually, feelings of regret and not knowing where I was going in life finally took its toll. Once I had gather my conviction and proclaimed to my family that I was a musician and had deep and enduring emotional regard towards music, I was given an ultimatum; return to school and live the life that we decided for you or leave and be disowned. And so I left, not knowing how hard and difficult that decision was and how that decision changed the course of my life and how its still affecting it to these days.
The first single of the EP “The Monster”; “The Wolf’s Confession” speaks directly to this time of my life and how I fell into a deep depression that has followed me for years to come. After many years playing with bands and playing other people’s music I realized I had a story to tell as well, in my own way. It has been very difficult to put everything into words, but I thought that maybe music was a good way to speak and deliver that message. Now, don’t get me wrong or think that I am being condescending for what I am about to write next; but I do not write music for anyone. I write as a form of therapy and healing treatment for myself.
I contemplated for a long time to even make my music public, because it was not intended for that purpose. In my eyes, my music is not a form of entertainment, it is just an avenue for me to release this pain. My life partner Sara encouraged me to be open with my music and made a good argument for releasing it. “Having created such music for such a purpose, wouldn’t it be better for you to let it go out into the world and detach yourself from it. Letting it go is also a form of therapy, just let it go out into the world it may help someone, it may not but just let it go”.
There are a lot of things and events that I’ve left out of this biography due to not wanting to make things too depressing and/or sad (or cringey). There are a lot more things that have shaped my very being and the reason why I create heavy sounding music instead of something else, but I feel like the “music” should express that not my words alone.