Indie RnB wrapped around rhythmic guitar, soulful vocal melodies and classic electro drum machine sounds. Reno Cruz writes songs about love. From the first flushes of romance, to overwhelming distress or lust. Read our interview with the artist below!
Describe your sound in 3 words
Psychedelic Intimate Folktronica
Tell us a few things about your new song Love Is A Wave. What is the main idea behind it?
Love Is A Wave is my attempt to explore the heady depths that an initial attraction can inspire. I wanted to capture the push and pull, the feeling of ultimate possibility that can be lost at any moment. Ultimately, the song speaks to the need underneath the feeling, the irresistible human drive toward new connections, the truth that “leaving is easy, but maybe I want to stay..”
Listening to your catalog I get the feeling that you are in love with your guitars. Was it love at first sight/sound? When did you decide to become a musician yourself?
I don’t fall in love with just any guitar though… I am most comfortable on my Yamaha nylon, a family heirloom that really sings with hard tension strings. I have a good relationship with my Strat, still getting familiar with my Tele. We’re all definitely in love…it’s complicated.
It’s funny, I never really decided to become a musician. I dropped out of school, tried to do other things but they didn’t work out. And music is always there in the background, the thing that I’m thinking about when I’m trying to do other things. This album represents the years of trying to articulate what it is I’m trying to do with the guitar, with songs.
Your most personal and honest lyric?
“I don’t know how
You see me through.
You think that I don’t
Have to lie around you.
But you’re the sun
And I’m your moon,
If we tried I’d just be orbiting
Drum machines are also common in your tracks. Do you use software or hardware? Any favorite one?
There’s a Roland Rhythm 700 on the record, and a Yamaha DX200 as well. I’m a fiend for drum machines, particularly sampled drum machines. A hardware unit is cool but you can do a lot more with those drum sounds once they’re sampled into your DAW of choice, which for me happens to be Ableton Live.
My favorite drum sound on the record is actually an Optigan organ that belongs to Hunter Davidsohn. We produced the song “Barnacles!” together at his studio in upstate New York. The Optigan is one of those old living room pieces, and you can play some wacky drum sounds off these weird floppy plastic discs. Had to go through a whole stack to find the right one but it’s always worth it to take your time with those things. I’m so proud of the sound.
Favorite album of the past year? Also favorite love song ever?
Best album of 2021 is “I Want The Door To Open” by Lala Lala.
Favorite love song ever……”A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell
Majority of songs talk about love. Do people sing about things they don’t have?
Sometimes. People sing about what their lived experiences, what they know. People sing about what’s going on around them, how it makes them feel. And sometimes people sing about things they know nothing about.
Everything I put in my songs is something I’ve really felt, heard, or said. Proud of that.
If your music was a film, which film would that be?
Holy Motors by Leos Carax
What is the most useless talent you have?
I know the parts for at least three different Mumford and Sons songs by heart.
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