There is no doubt the North Texas music industry keeps outsourcing some very unique sounds lately, so when we got a chance to sit down with Synth-Pop enthusiast Jose Sandovall we wanted to talk about what is happening there and why he is bringing an uplifting feel-good sound to Dallas.

NAKID: Jose! Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to interview with me, so I was doing research on you I noticed that you don’t have much of an online presence aside from music distribution platforms and Instagram, is there a strategic reason for this?

Jose Sandovall: No, it’s not. It just so happens that I just use Instagram a lot more than the other social media sites. As my career continues, I’ll be using other social media more frequently.

NAKID: Ahh I see, I was really starting to wonder if it was by design because quite a few people do that sort of thing purposely as a marketing strategy, so can you tell me what’s it like living and working in Dallas Texas, musically and otherwise?

JS: I love Dallas as a city and I like living here. But when it comes to working in Dallas, it’s just a job is a job. Now when it comes to music in Dallas, the music scene is becoming more vibrant and growing, which allows me to get excited about playing live shows and helps with inspiration.

NAKID: Right on that always helps with the motivation I would assume, what made you decide that music was a path you were interested in pursuing?

JS: I’ve always loved music growing up and pursuing it has always been a dream of mine. I grew up with my dad playing the guitar at every occasion, him singing Beetles and Queen. When I got into high school, I joined a band as their singer. Towards the end of high school, I decided to learn how to play guitar and write music and then decided to start my own band. My band that I formed gained a good local following, which boosted my confidence as a musician and made me think, “oh I can actually do this!” After a couple of years, we decided to go separate ways as musicians. I personally decided I wanted to learn music theory and move out to Los Angeles. I ended up enrolling and attending Musicians Institute for their guitar program in Los Angeles. After attending MI, I moved back to Dallas and then ended up connecting with Cody. Three years later here we are!\

NAKID: Wow that’s dope that you went to school to support those passions, who are some artists that really inspire you musically?

JS: I’m always getting inspired by different artists. During the writing and recording of, WAZE, these artists inspired me the most: Electric Guest, Wild Belle, Alt-J, Dan Croll, Poolside, Mikky Ekko, Washed Out, and Fly Golden Eagle. The artists I’ve been hyped on right now for inspiration for my current project are Justice, Daft Punk, Phantogram, Borns, Flume, Chet Faker, and Kimbra.

NAKID: I love Justice, Daft Punk, Kimbra, and Flume, definitely artists with an edge. Anyways as we’ve discussed a bit beforehand, I’ve listened to Waze, I dig it and I hope other people who haven’t already been blessed with it, will to, what brought about the advent of this project?

JS: Waze wasn’t a pre-thought about the project, the music Cody and I were writing just formed into it. Cody and I started working together and writing songs. As we kept working, we noticed that four of the songs had a way of flowing together and having a similar sound. Which brought about naming the EP, WAZE. Each song is a different way to unwind, slow down, escape, and hold on.

NAKID: I definitely here that elemental energy in a few songs on the EP, what is your relationship with Cody and how did you stumble upon that?

JS: Cody is one of my best friends and my co-writer/producer. We were introduced through a mutual friend about seven years ago, who was a guitar player for my band and was in audio engineering school with him. They eventually became roommates, so I was over there frequently. After moving back from LA, I ran into Cody at a local show and showed him some ideas I had been writing. We got together shortly after that and tracked a song that made us want to keep writing and keep working together.

NAKID: It’s so dope when you know you have this creatively symbiotic vibe with someone, happy you found that with Cody in this instance. Oh, Congrats on the Unwind Sokko remix hitting 100k plays on Soundcloud by the way! How did you link with Sokko and how does it feel knowing that your work is getting recognized in that way?

JS: Thank you!! I’m super stoked on it. Cody actually linked me up with Sokko. I feel very grateful for it being recognized the way it has been. It’s a great feeling and it gives me that drive to release/write new music.

NAKID: As it should! Are there any other artist(s) you would love to collaborate with?

JS: I’d love to collaborate with any of the artists I mentioned earlier.

NAKID: Dumb question, which should probably go without saying *laughs*, how would you describe your personal style?

JS: I like my jeans, my Converse, and a button down shirt. Definitely no logos!

NAKID: Yeah I definitely get a chiller vibe from you for sure, what were you doing before you decided you wanted to take music fully on?

JS: I’ve been chasing this dream of doing music for a while, but I was just skateboarding and trying to obtain my pilot’s license.

NAKID Oh that’s awesome, my cousin is a pilot so I know the love of being in the air in that way is unparalleled, well according to him it is anyway. Do you listen to any podcasts and if so what are you favorites right now?

JS: I think podcasts are cool, but I’ve never really listened to any of them.

NAKID: Well if you ever do, I recommend ‘this is actually happening’ by the permatemp corporation, it’s a really moving storytelling podcast. Could you tell us one odd thing we would be interested to know about you?

JS: One thing that’s pretty odd and interesting is that I just started brushing my dog’s teeth regularly.

NAKID: Hey dog’s need clean too, so I’ll go with it. Do you have any other interests beyond music?

JS: Skateboarding, flying planes, and working on my car (280z Datsun)

NAKID: Your car eerily looks like one of those old school Porsche’s, its dope. Do you consider yourself a romantic at all; I just get that vibe from you.

JS: At one point in my life yes. I’m finding myself more focused and occupied on my music now.

NAKID: Fair enough, we all have our moments. What would life look like if you woke up one day and you said to yourself, “I am so blessed, I love my life, I couldn’t ask for anything more because this because this is as good as it gets’

JS: As of right now, I would say there’s so much more to be done and that’s what’s fun, just knowing that there’s so much more to do. But I guess if I did wake up one day like that, then I would be pretty happy and living on the coast with a Pacifico (beer) and my dog by my side.

NAKID: I sincerely wish that for you. On Waze there are two songs that are probably the most personal to you and can you walk us through what each of them means to you lyrically?

JS: Unwind and Hold On.
“Unwind” is very personal to me. The timing of when I wrote this, I was just waiting for good things to happen and having that pressure on me about not growing up and doing things the way society drills into us as young adults. Like going to college, getting a “normal” career, meeting those milestones. So the song is telling the listener to unwind and just relax and just go with the flow.
“Hold On” is also very personal to me. At this point of writing, I found myself going out more, but not writing as much as I should. Not taking it as seriously as I should have been taking it. It was a frustrating time. The song is a reminder for me to just hold on and to stay focused on what my dream really is.

NAKID: Absolutely, it’s great how you use your music as motivation to keep up what you love. I see that you are in LA quite a bit, would you consider moving there especially for the sake of your career or would you rather just stick to Dallas TX?

JS: I love LA and southern California and I would love to move back one day if I had to, but if I hadn’t moved back to Dallas a lot this success with my music wouldn’t have happened. Dallas is definitely home and I’ll be sticking here for a while.

NAKID: Home is where the heart is, what’s next for you Jose?

JS: Definitely some live shows, releasing a new track before the summer ends called “Electrified High,” and writing and recording for the next single/EP

NAKID: That’s awesome we can’t wait to hear those. Any words of wisdom you could impart on my readers and I before we wrap this up?

JS: STAY LIT! (haha just kidding) but keep your dreams alive!

NAKID: Thank you Jose we wish you the best of luck. 

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Words by Vanessa Peters