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A Conversation With Up and Coming Los Angeles Producer and Musician Beto Hale

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Born in Mexico City, this multi-talented artist currently makes his home in Los Angeles, California. Creative and always cutting edge, Beto Hale is an artist but he is more than that. He's a writer, producer, and father trying to make a living in a field we creative types dream about. His songwriting is excellent and the guy is a monster on the drums. Here is what Beto had to say:

We've played in several bands together a few years back in Colorado, how did you get started playing music?

Yes! I had a lot of fun playing with you!

In terms of my beginnings: I listened to the Beatles when I was eight and that was it! I started learning all their songs on the drums and then on guitar and piano. I took classical guitar lessons at 10; then was self taught for quite few years… then went into serious musical study around 18!

You've played/collaborated with some pretty big names. Can you give us a few examples and what you did?

Tony Levin (bassist for Peter Gabriel) played on my first CD, Sube. I met him after a show he did in Boulder, and just asked him straight out if he would do it! He was so cool about it and recorded some amazing tracks.

Here in LA I've written songs with some great Latin American songwriters, among them Alejandro Lerner, who is a huge star in Argentina and other countries.

What projects are you currently involved in?

I am writing the Spanish lyrics for Santino's album; he is a very well known indie artist in the L.A. scene; he is originally from Peru.

I am also co-writing and playing drums with Devlin Murphy, an amazingly talented young artist from L.A..

I am writing new songs all the time for a future album of my own. Not sure when it will come out yet!

What are your plans for the future musically?

To write, produce and play for other people's projects, collaborate with diverse writers, write musci for film and TV, and release many new albums (or whatever they will be called) of my own!

Is there a particular adjective or two you would use to describe the LA music scene?

Competitive. Inspiring.

What is the highlight for you so far, in your music career?

Honestly, I have had many. I was very fortunate to attend and graduate from Berklee Collego of Music; there, I was able to meet and collaborate with some amazing people. I also did a Masters in Composition at Denver University where I heard two of my pieces played by a full Symphony Orchestra!

Getting my first song publishing deal here in L.A. was also very cool.

But I am constantly striving to get better, so, just writing a good song and working on the arrangement and production here in my home studio, at night, when everything is quiet, is a highlight for me! That makes me very happy.

Are you working on any new music?

Yes; all the time. I have dozens of new songs; some in more advanced stages, some in their infancy.

Who was the best well known musician you've jammed with and enjoyed playing with most?

Carlos Santana; I was at an after-concert party in a Denver restaurant some eight years ago. Santana had played a show at Red Rocks with the Mexican band Maná and with Ozomatli, from L.A. All of a sudden, the Santana musicians, the ones from Maná and the ones from Ozomatli —and yours truly— ended up jamming onstage with Carlos; it was amazing.

I am still hoping I can get a video of the jam! He was simply going around the room with a mic, pointing it to each person who was soloing (I played bongos); his energy and vibe made us all play better, and it lasted for over an hour!

Any new bands out there that have caught your eye?

I really like Death Cab for Cutie. Their melancholic songs really get me. I also like a lot of what The Killers have put out. Neither are brand new, but they have been inspiring to listen to.

What would be your ultimate band to play in if you could pick each member?

Tony Levin on bass; Steve Gadd on Drums (they went to music school together!), Johny Greenwood from Radiohead on guitar; Herbie Hancock on piano!

Which musician, if you had to pick one, inspires you the most?

I think overall, Paul McCartney has to be at the top of the list. He is an outstanding bassist and guitarist; he sings like there's no tomorrow. And he has written some of the best songs ever written.

You can check out Beto Hale at his official website or MySpace page.

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