Artist Paco and our music curator Sonca Nguyen are quite the talented pair. Paco is a singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, while Sonca is a songwriter, producer, and engineer. Put the two together and they’re bound to make great music. As we do these days, we all talked together, but separately, through a video call to discuss new music and a new label!
CROWDSURFER: Paco, you have had a couple of exciting announcements recently! The first being your new single, “Cold Love,” which comes out June 5th. How are you feeling?
PACO: I am excited! Not a lot of people know but I’ve had this song for about two years. So it’s been a minute, and I’m ready.
CS: Did the song change much in the last two years?
P: Initially, I was ready to put it out and ready to get started. But Brian Owens, my mentor, was like, “Wait, let’s develop it.” The lyrics, melody, all that didn’t change much; the essence was still there. I had some co-production and arrangement from Sonca, who first was just a friend and collaborator, but now is like my lifeline and partner in music. As well as additional co-production, drum programming, and counter melodies from Courtney (JR) Orlando, a Grammy Award Winning Producer and mentor of mine!
CS: And your other announcement is that you and Sonca created Crush Records as a branch of Life Creative Group. First, congrats! Second, when did you decide you wanted to make your own label?
SONCA: It was kind of random. When we first pitched this idea of Cold Love as a single, we pitched it to Brian Owens, the owner of Life Creative. He said, Let’s do it, but instead, do it as your own label.” So, we didn’t even have the idea to create a label intentionally, it just kind of happened because Brian made us realize we were doing everything a label was doing anyways and pushed us to go for it ourselves.
CS: What does Crush Records mean to you?
S: It puts in perspective what I want to do and makes other people take me seriously. Crush is an outlet for us to start a community where we can develop artists the same way we’ve done for Paco. I love the whole process of it, and I want to do it for other people. So, this means that I get to do this forever. And having this name under me gives me more opportunities.
P: It was kind of always the vision to start a label. To me it was just like, shoot, I can do that. It means that one, we’re business owners and that’s amazing, and two, we get to kind of help develop other people and do what we’ve just done. So as other artists come through the ranks we’ll get to write, produce, develop them as well. So that’s exciting.
S: That’s the best part! Working with people is my favorite part besides all the business stuff. And this is what Brian told us. He said, “I just want you guys to do this thing and then give back, give other people these opportunities.” And we were like, oh, absolutely.
CS: As we said, Crush Records is a subset of Life Creative Group. Paco, you’ve been with Life Arts and Life Creative for a while now. How has working with them impacted you?
P: Working with Brian and a non-profit organization such as Life Arts has legitimately given my life direction. Life Creative Group, the creative extension of Life Arts, was just what I needed musically to get my head in the right place.I was dropping out of college, not sure what to do, and I reached out to Brian on Facebook because a friend advised me to, and that’s how we connected. And eventually, I started working in a therapeutic songwriting program and I would produce the songs that they made in the program. Now I’m working with the non-profit side, still working with the therapeutic songwriting program, still working with kids from the Ferguson/Florissant area… but we’re also building the for-profit side now.
CS: Life Creative sounds like a great place to grow that’s full of support.
P: I’m very much a loner and an introvert, and I don’t feel a sense of family many places at all. But I do with these people. Just because they’ve invested so much in me and vice versa.
CS: Anything else you want us to know?
P: I’m not the only artist under Life Creative, so I want to shine a light on some of my peers. Christopher Daniel, who I produce for, and Malena Smith, who’s like a new Norah Jones. We have a couple artists coming out, and hopefully we’ll have a next generation coming behind me soon!
CS: We’ll keep our eyes out! Thanks for talking with us!
Be ready to listen to Paco’s single “Cold Love” on June 5th, and check out the promo video for a sneak peak at the song in the meantime!