A Conversation with Martín Buscaglia

Martín Buscaglia (ph: Joaquina Rijo)

The son of Horacio Buscaglia (a key musician in the development of popular music in Uruguay), Martín Buscaglia stands as one of the most peripatetic performers in Uruguay. He has played with international artists such as Arnaldo Antunes, Kiko Veneno and Julieta Venegas, and his Uruguayan peers include Rubén Rada, Jaime Roos and Jorge Drexler.

After refusing to issue a live CD for a long time, a series of events led to the release of “Somos Libres” [We Are Free] last year – a live recording that summarized his career, both with grace and finesse. It included covers from artists as diverse as Jonathan Richman and Mandrake Wolf, and texts penned by his father and compiled by Buscaglia himself and the poet Macachin, on a book titled “Mojos”.

As arises from the conversation we had in his house/studio, what held “Somos Libres” together was the fact the album was not conceived as a live recording, but as a voice/guitar concert – a format Buscaglia has rarely favoured throughout his career. And the very essence of the CD was determined by the fact it was recorded without premeditation. The decision to release the full performance was taken later.

The following exchange took place a couple of days before Martín presented “Somos Libres” at Periscopio (a new, alternative venue that seats about 120 people) and two weeks after he had presented it at the prestigious Solís Theatre in Montevideo. You can read the original post in Spanish (as published on Cooltivarte.com) here.


Your antipathy towards live albums became publicly known when you started promoting “Somos Libres”. How far does it really go?

I can count the live albums I actually like on one hand. If you asked me about studio albums, I could easily name a hundred. But when it comes to live records, they are far and few between. There’s one by Sam Cooke that I’m really fond of – he was an old school soulman, a bit of a father figure to Otis Redding and all these soul singer that were extremely moving. And the album I’m talking about is one that was recorded in Miami – a place you would never deem as very delicate. And that’s a record you can’t stop listening to once it’s spinning, you can’t listen to just one or two numbers. And you end up thinking that a lot of children were procreated that night! [Laughs]

And then, there’s this live album by Roberto Carlos that I discovered one day I was flying by plane. I found it using the flight’s thematic selector, it was a show recorded for the MTV Unplugged series. I chose “Brazilian Music”, and this very crystalline and delicate sound came through. And since it was a MTV unplugged show, it was freed from that kitsch aura that most of Roberto Carlos’ recordings have. The guitars were acoustic, and his voice sounded really divine. That was an album I listened to a lot, and which I also recommended and gave away more than often.

But I’m not very keen on live albums. When the DVD with The Bochamakers was ready, they asked me “Don’t you want to release the audio as a separate CD as well ?”. And I refused, because you might sound superb, but there’s something missing on a live CD.

There’s an image on your blog that I think says as much… it’s the one showing a sign which reads “These things we stare at, also stare back at us”. I think that’s the problem with live records – the context that permeates and (eventually) completes the event with its presence is missing.

Exactly, that’s the one element which is missing. And it’s something pivotal that in no way can be apprehended. It depends on so many factors, and not even having all of these under control means you will be able to set it down on tape. It’s something magical. That’s why there’s so many concerts that work wonderfully even though the technical aspects are not immaculate. And there are immaculate concerts in which that magic is sorely missing.

Summing up, then, what an artist experiences live with the audience is what turns a live show into an epiphany.

Yes, any religious ritual is made complete by the others. And in some cases (like music when we place it in such a plane), it becomes very specific. There are others which are more intimate by definition, like reading a book. In that case, it’s just you reading a book in the way you like best. But as far as music is concerned, there’s something more clearly defined between those who give and those who receive. We are talking about a specific night, with a specific ambience and illumination. And it all comes together into a singular thing which is lost on an audio CD. Continue reading

Nadia Costa (Uruguayan Artist)

(English version of an article first published on Cooltivarte.com. You can read the original post here)

A young Uruguayan singer and composer, Nadia Costa started studying music formally in 2004. That year, she began learning how to read and write music, and how to play the guitar. She started penning her own compositions soon afterwards, writing a series of ballads and pop rock numbers (the genre she relates the most to).

By now, she has already been a member of several bands such as Sadirban (2005), Sueños (2009) and El Cardenal Sebastián (2010). With these bands, she’s taken to the stages of venues like El Tartamudo, Apartado Bar, Bluzz Bar and La Comuna. And she’s also played the Hotel Sheraton, and many shopping centers in the country. In early 2012 she was chosen as a contralto singer for the choir Coro Fermata.

Nowadays, Nadia Costa is recording her first solo album. This will include 13 original compositions, and this interview is a way to bring you closer both to that specific project, and to Nadia herself.

Q: Tell us a little about who you are and what you do, so that people who are completely new to you can have an idea what to expect from your art.

My name is Nadia Costa. I’m a musician, singer and composer. I’m a girl that’s full of dreams, eager to share my songs with the world, and to do what I love most of all: to sing, and to be on a stage, giving my heart to people.

Q: How old were you when you first started writing songs?

A: It’s a bit crazy, you know, because when I was a kid I didn’t play “normal” games – I used to pretend I was a singer, and when I was 7 I “wrote” my first “song”. And that was the coolest thing in the world. But writing songs was just a game then. It all changed when I was about 15 (when I had gone through all the different experiences associated with growing up) that I started writing in a more heartfelt and thorough way. By then, I had begun studying guitar, and I started having more musical ideas. It was then that I came to realize my first song wasn’t the one I had written when I was 7. No, the ones I began penning when I was 15 made me become aware that I truly wanted to devote my life to music.

Q: What’s your creative process like? How do you write a song?

A: Personally, what I aim to do is to touch people’s hearts, to reach out to others in a special way. I want people to take my lyrics to heart, and to be moved by my songs’ melodies. When I write, all that I want is to come up with a phrase, a note or a melody that would be of use to others. I want to make them ponder on anything that’s bringing them down, so that they can overcome such difficulties. That’s the kind of thing I find truly fulfilling.

Q: Which national and international musicians do you look up to?

A: I’m keen on many international artists, for the fact that I like to dip my feet everywhere, and learn a little from everything. Stevie Wonder is someone I’m really fond of. I’m taken by the sonority of his voice and the way in which he sings, that man will never cease to amaze me.
John Mayer is also someone I hold in very high esteem. He’s got a very distinctive way of writing, and I love his musical style, the romantic rock he plays.
Then, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift are two female artists I really admire. I love the country pop they play, they’ve both got lyrics which tell stories that you don’t know how will end until the very last verse. As a writer, these are the kind of lyrics that turn me on.
Yet, my biggest musical reference is Luis Fonsi. He’s a complete artist. He’s got just everything: technique, feeling, emotion, humility and a very characteristic voice – it can be both sweet and aggressive.

And as far as Uruguay is concerned, Rada is a true touching stone for everybody, and someone I had the pleasure of meeting in person. Other artists that I listen to include Fernando Cabrera, Alfredo Zitarrosa, No Te Va Gustar… these are just a couple. There are actually many artists that I listen to and which captivate me. I’m very open-minded in that sense. I listen to pretty much everything.

Q: You’re recording you first album, what’s the experience been like so far?

A: I’m bringing all of my illusions into that process. I’m enjoying each and every step of it, I’m trying to enjoy it to the full. It’s a lengthy process, and it’s easy to get anxious along the way. But I’m doing my best to take it calmly. I want the album to shape itself in the way it should, these things take time. And I want everything to turn out as it should, I’m too much of a perfectionist (hehehe). Ideally, the album should be out in early 2014. And live dates should start being added soon. Continue reading

Martín Barea Mattos (Uruguayan Artist)

Martín Barea Mattos is a Uruguayan poet, musician and performer. He was born in 1978, and (to this date) Martín has released four books of poems. His most recent title is “X Hora X Día X Mes”, a collection of poetry he published in 2008. And that also happens to be the name of the band he currently fronts. X Hora X Día X Mes recorded “Odisea en el Parking Planetario” [Odyssey in the Planetary Parking] in 2010, and the band has been playing the album ever since, honing its live act.

I became acquainted with Martín last year, when he was a guest speaker at a poetry workshop I attended. His artistic vision and commitment made a deep impact on all the people who were there that day. And I have wanted to feature him on MusicKO ever since.

A month to this date, X Hora X Día X Mes played a defining gig at the Teatro AGADU in Montevideo. At around that time, Martín was interviewed by Cooltivarte. You can read an English translation of that interview below; the original is found here. It is an excellent way to become acquainted with his work, as he elaborates not only on his role as a musician but also as an artist.

In addition to Martín on voice and guitar, the band is made up of Facundo Fernández Luna on guitar, Pelao Meneses on percussion, Luján Fernández Luna on accordion, flute and vocals and Juan Tolosa on electric bass.

All the photos that you can see on this post come from Cooltivarte’s director, Federico Meneses.

For those who are getting acquainted with this project now, how would you introduce “X Hora X Día X Mes”?

“X HORA X DÍA X MES” is a musical project that keeps the emphasis on what’s being said. The texts themselves are what shape the music. The album can be downloaded at www.feeldeagua.net.

Is there a reason the album has been issued independently? Is that an artistic gesture?

The album has been issued independently because our art is not something that could be labeled as massive. It gives us the chance to do things as we see fit. Artistically, it enables me to lead the course.

At this point, what are your musical references?

Personally speaking, my references go from Charly García and Leo Maslíah to Fernando Cabrera and Darnauchans, and certain stages in the music of Jaime Roos and Caetano Veloso. Throw the Beatles and Kiko Veneno into the mix, and that’s it!

If you had to pick three songs that are representative of your work, and that you would recommend to someone who’s new to it, which would they be?

“Autocracia”, “Para los que Sueñan Despiertos” y “La Verdad de la Milanesa”. Urbanity, waltz and hypnosis. Continue reading

Joel Oberstein (New Releases Now!) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the last part of the conversation I had with Joel Oberstein from New Releases Now! You can read how it all started by checking yesterday’s post, and see what I had to say about the site when it was first reviewed on MusicKO here.





When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

I’ve always loved music, and my parents turned me onto a lot of good stuff growing up.  I’d lock myself in my room, blast music and study every photo and word on an album.  It’s difficult to remember the first thing I ever bought, but I’ll go with the vinyl single of “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace.

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

Yes, I was in a few local bands…one of them was called Soaked, which had a few songs featured on the TV show ‘Party Of Five’ several years ago.  Continue reading

Joel Oberstein (New Releases Now!) – Interview (Part 1)

A new interview fresh from the oven for you. The interviewee this time is Joel Oberstein from New Releases Now!, a site that was recently reviewed on MusicKO.

This is the first half of the interview. The second (“Music & You”) has just been posted. Give it a look.

Full Name: Joel Oberstein
Startup: New Releases Now!
Position:  Co-owner / President






Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

We’ve been in the music marketing business since 1995 and despite the fact that we’re living in the information age we found that there wasn’t a comprehensive source for retailers, radio programmers and on-air personalities, music supervisors, clubs/concert promoters, and others in the entertainment industry, as well as music fans to sample what was being released each Tuesday across all genres of music.  Having grown up in the heyday of record stores, we like to think of it as a virtual new release end-cap.  We keep release info active in the system well past street date, so if you’re interested in seeing what came out in prior weeks you can do that.  Users can also search for titles by genre or even record label, so if you’re a fan of Prog Rock or Sub Pop Records for instance you can easily find those titles as well.  NRN Radio then allows a user to stream a track from those selections.  We also partner with several popular music related and pop culture sites such as Ranker, Popdose, The Music’s Over, and American Music Association (to name a few) to provide content for them.  In addition to being a high traffic site, we also deliver NRN electronically every week to a large industry/fan mailing list.  As a huge music fan, it’s the type of service I would sign up for if I didn’t work in the biz just so I could stay up to date on what’s going on release-wise.

What was the original launch date?

November 2009

What has been the response so far?

People seem to like that it’s easy to navigate and has what they’re looking for in one place.

In which countries has it been more successful?

Since we’re based in the U.S. that’s where most of our traffic comes from, but we do see a lot of activity in the Europe, South America, and Australia/New Zealand.     Continue reading

Brian O’Toole (Vibin.fm) – Interview (Part 2)

Want to learn more about the music that brings the best out of entrepreneurs? Well, below you’ll find what inspires Brian O’Toole (founder of Vibin.fm) the most.

This is the second half of an interview we conducted earlier this week, right after I reviewed Vibin.fm on MusicKO. The first dealt with the startup itself, and you can read it here.



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

I’ve been intrigued with music since I was little. I remember my first CD I purchased was ‘Korn – Freak on a Leash.’ I took it to the counter and my mom saw the ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker and about lost her mind. Somehow, a bit of convincing did the job and I was the first in my 3rd grade class to have the CD.

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

I was not in a band. So, no, there is no clip on YouTube of me performing, but I do have lots of talented friends.

Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

I like all types of music genres. I really like Kanye West as an Artist. When I say the word ‘Artist,’ Kanye really does just that. He creates an experience in every song, every music video and every CD. No one does that better than Kanye. Continue reading

Brian O’Toole (Vibin.fm) – Interview (Part 1)

I’ve got a couple of cool interviews to share with you over the days to come. The first is this one with Brian O’Toole from Vibin.fm, the site that is aiming to become “the Pandora for electronica”. You’ll see from this interview how passionate Brian is, and how much he believes in what he’s doing. That’s reason enough for most people I know to check the service he’s created. I encourage you to give it a try – remember, you don’t even need to register for an account to begin listening to mixes and playing them to your friends as if you were David Guetta.

Well, if you’re aiming high why not aim for the top, I ask you?


Full Name: Brian O’Toole
Age: 23
Startup: Vibin.fm
Position: Founder & Creative Director





Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

Vibin.fm was originally thought of inside a nightclub. I was out with a few friends and was completely overwhelmed to see just how much everyone loved electronic music. I’ve seen many different eras of music (90s rock, punk rock, 2000s rap, etc), but have never seen a generation of people so in awe with the club’s music – especially the DJ. I thought, why not create this experience for people to enjoy before the club, after the club… whenever! With that, Vibin was born.

To me, the most distinctive feature is the ability to press one button and stream unlimited, hand-crafted radio of your choice. Whether it is a favorite genre, favorite artist, DJ mix, or raving city, Vibin.fm allows you to party your night away in just one click. You can also filter each station by Tracks, DJ Mixes, or DJ sets. My favorite filter is DJ sets (40+ minute individual mixes), which bring the club experience to your computer. My other favorite feature is the ‘Discover’ mode. This feature helps you find new artist to enjoy, simply by entering an artist. Once you found one that you like, press ‘Listen’ and you’re all set to vibe!

What was the original launch date?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

The response has been awesome so far! We had over 2,000 page views in the first 4 days and have been featured in over 20 blog articles. Surprisingly, Spain has been the largest traffic source – especially in the city of Madrid. I’ve always wanted to visit Madrid, so I may have to plan a vacation in the near future. Continue reading

Motoi Konno (Mashroom.fm) – Interview (Part 2)

The final part of the interview with Motoi Konno from Mashroom.fm is posted below. If you’ve read yesterday’s installment and enjoyed it, now you have a chance to know about the music Motoi-san has always been inspired by.  Just what you need to start the week in a motivated way, wouldn’t you say?




When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

I think it was when I was 6years old. My mother taught me how to play the piano.
The first album that I purchased was probably a SPITZ’s single. (Japanese pop band)

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

Yes, I’ve been playing blues for the last 10 years and I am blues guitarist and singer in Japan. And this is my channel.

Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

Blues, Soul, R&B, MOTOWN, STAX
I really admire many blues artists. Especially, Robert Cray, Lurrie Bell, and there are plenty of others. Continue reading

Motoi Konno (Mashroom.fm) – Interview (Part 1)

Motoi Konno, one of the founders of Mashrooom.fm (a web service for creating your own mashups using different YouTube videos) was kind-enough to answer all the questions I put his way about his startup, and also about the role music has in his life.

This is the first time that I interview someone from Japan, and it’s really refreshing to have the insight from people living in what’s unarguably one of the most technically-developed countries in the world.

You can read the original post on Mashroom.fm here. And if you wonder when you can read the other half of this interview (“Music & You”), then that’s just been posted.

Full Name: Motoi Konno
Age: 28
Startup: Mashroom.fm
Position: Music Manager/Marketer





Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

1 years ago, I and co founder Makoto Watanabe watched the video of Playing For Change. There were a lot of professional musicians and street musicians playing together there, no matter how different were their lives and their languages. It really moved our hearts. And we simply thought “We want to make this happen on the web!” That was the start.

What was the original launch date?

It was 27 January 2012

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?  

So far, it hasn’t been so bad but we hope to have more active users per month.
Right now, our site is visited from 59 countries. Spain and USA are the most active ones.

What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?

We want to support musicians and artists all over the world. So, in the future we want Mashroom.fm to become a platform where they can sell and exchange their work. We want to change the fact of gifted musicians and artists not being able to earn enough money to support themselves. Continue reading

Mike Bishop (Record Together) – Interview (Part 2)

Find below the second part of the interview with Mike Bishop from RecordTogether.com. This is where we talk about the artists he likes and his musical background. To learn more about Record Together itself, read the first part of this interview and the original blog post.




When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

The first album I purchased on my own was “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Consequently, it also became my favorite album.  It was so scratched from being played there were only a few songs left that didn’t skip.  The bass on that album was my biggest influence in learning how to play.

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

I’ve been playing in bands around the Twin Cities, Minnesota area since I was 12.  I played in “Modern Day Supplement” for about 5 years, and then 6 years in a band called “Live From Heaven”.  Here’s a clip from a Live From Heaven show:


Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

I’m partial to rock music, but really enjoy anything with a groove.  Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Rage Against the Machine, Garbage, Nine Inch Nails.  I can usually find at least one thing to appreciate in all music. Continue reading