A few years ago I created this program called DRS, making music videos with at risk / street involved kids. I commission songs from them based on a theme (this latest project was “fatherhood”), and, working with their local youth center, we develop the song and then materialize it with a crew borrowed from my work in ads and movies… and we shoot the video. People ask me why I do it, and I don’t know. In essence, it makes me quite poor, but it opens up my heart.
On the day we met for coffee (him) & tea (me), he seemed troubled by the day's paper that sat on the counter of the cafe. I couldn't blame him. The media had been a flurry of homicides & police incidents the last few days. While speaking, it struck me what a remarkable creature Nicolas was: someone who is unabashedly compassionate, radicalized, progressively political, outspoken, & articulate (in spite of his initial reluctance to prepare for our conversation with any written questions, citing its likelihood to be "too much work." At one point he stopped the recorder to protect the details of his new project. What follows is the crux of our talk, what didn't drift away from all the talk of dreams & images that speak to the spirit.
I first met Chico Sonido on the West Side at an East Side party. I was out in L.A. visiting my sis, selectah Xandão, and she brought me to Más Exitos, a party organized by Chico Sonido. He was spinning, so we kicked it on the dance floor to the mellow Romanticas slashed with beats and mixed with psychedelic 70’s overtones ripped from Spanish covers of songs like “Foxy Lady” and “Cruising Down Whittier Blvd”.