Interview with our ReverbNation Winners, Panama’s Patz and the Hashtags!

1. Who are you as artists? What is your story?

1.Three guys decided to start this project late 2015. We (Carlos Soto – Drums, Mario Fajardo – Guitar, Patricia Camarena – singer) had different musical backgrounds; jazz, rock, funk, blues, classical, soul, reggae, latin fusion, ... ...but we just wanted to make some music !

First we were working in our style, Mario gave the band this peculiar New Orleans sound from The U.S place where he lived in, Carlos gave it a rock twist and Patricia bring soul back with her voice ,and when bass (Dave Ocalagan) first came in from living in France,he gave the band a particular jazz sound from french jazz music festivals. Along came a sax (Alberto Borbùa), latin percussion (Luis Chung), Gio Massa (sax) Colombian in Panama and Adriana Gimon (keyboards) from Venezuela we were complete.

After a short period of jammings and studio time, the band decided to write original songs and put all those ideas to paper. The songs cover a wide palette that goes from old 50s rock, jazz and blues to modern indie & ska. The band`s first gig was on May 21, 2016 in the grand cultural event called Via Plural (Plaza 5 de Mayo, Panama) which took place at town square where many other artistic activities were taking place simultaneously, such as performance Circus, independent films` screening, etc. It was the perfect setting for a band introduction. In August 2016 the band recorded their 1st single “Everytime” at Backline Studios in Panama city. The single was released Nov 4, 2016 (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon music, iHeartRadio, etc.) In October15,  2016 the band is invited to headline the Expo Arte Femenino (Villa Agustina, Panama) and the reviews and press are all positive. In December 17, 2016 the band had an intimate show at Mojigato & ArtSpace (Bella Vista, Panama) where they also performed a tribute to Amy Winehouse and the buzz is real. Proyecto Manhattan and the Sunday Live Sessions invited the band to be the opening show of their 2017 season in January 15, 2017. The band had new material that was presented to the attending crowd and the burlesque part of the show wowed everybody. The band has continued preproduction of the debut EP to be release in Summer 2017 under the direction of Diego Gutierrez (Venezuela) and Janio Obòn (Panama)

2. Who are some of your favorite artists and music influences?

Our music influences came from Amy Winehouse, a woman with an extremely talented voice who has being credited as a detonating influence not only for Patz and the Hashtags as an indie-jazz band,but for artists as Adele,John Legend and Bruno Mars for bringing back soul vintage music and its value through the freedom that allowed women to freely express themselves about who they really are and the path that young women went through as artist in music industry. Other of our influences is Nina Simone because we admire her as a vulnerable and strongly passionate person in music and civil rights movement. Simone's style fused góspel, R&B and pop accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her voice and last but not least bands as Jamiroquai and Maroon 5 for its original mixture of genres such as rock-funk and jazz.

3. What makes your music worth it? To the world? To your fans?

The value of our music comes from how real it is for us and for the whole world. We believe that our music style tells a real story about one day in a regular person’s live, I mean, we drink some coffee, then we go to work, we deal with our bosses, people break our hearts, the next day we get up early to go to the radio and promote our single, we rehearse, then we go for a beer and talk, we just like the way we live and we embrace it. I know that it may sound a little bit contradictory being an band trying to make itself known as indie artists in a city where the mainstream success reigns. Most of the time we need to work double and that makes us feel proud of what we do as musicians and human beings. Our style mixes our multi-cultural heritage with a tinge of nostalgia for the old times. As we are a band dedicated to people we do not consider we have fans, we have decided to call them new friends instead. People who have listened Patz and the Hashtags around the world constitute a network of hearts tied to a bond that seems to be particularly emotional, it feels so friendly and just so real…

4. What is the future of the music industry?

We think that the future of music and it’s industry will be home-made music distributed through social media and networks all over the world.

5. What surprises you the most about the industry?

What surprises us the most about music industry in this days is that sometimes people stop being who they are and they sell their soul to make themselves a one hit artist. We think that authenticity has drawn from anonymity people like Ed Sheeran who did not fit into the canons or stereotypes of the music industry. It has been proven that talent has no restrictions and that authenticity touches hearts by making many people identify with the artist for what he really is.

6. What’s your Poison?

Our poison is the mixture of different genres including: Indie, Soul, Funk, Bossa Nova and jazz.

7. How is your Art “your religion”?

Art is our religion because we could not live without it, with every song we play we are worshiping humanity, its legacy, its inner desires and dreams as an anthropological act of devotion.

8. What are you truly creating with your music that changes the world, changes society?

The fact that people start to love themselves as they are in a society that has become fashionable not to be yourself. The music we create sweetens all that we went through in everyday life and how a person like us feels in their misadventures, Patz is all about overcoming the episodes of life and shining with the light of your heart.

9. What is the (spiritual, political, social, etc ) message of your music?

Our spiritual, political and social message is that we are all the same. Many people in undertaking a music project want to differentiate themselves from others and believe they are special. Patz and the Hashtags believe is that we all have a very particular way of being ourselves and that is what gives humanity that amazing touch, but we all feel like human beings, we have dreams, we live, we live as the way we think is the best one for us, we have ours particular way to be happy and choose a path to happiness, we believe that our live path deserves respect. In the events that impact our life the most is when we finally realize how similar we are between us and being human beings all we have in common. As a band we embrace normality and equalty, because being a hashtag has it’s own charm, we’re all hashtags and everyone deserve to feel that special charm. I’m a hashtag,you’re a hashtag and everyone could be a hashtag too.

10. Have you been “lucky” or “gifted” in the music industry so far? Tell us more:

We think that the mere fact of being able to meet in this moment of time or space to do what we love makes us feel lucky and gifted. Thanks to life we have been able to reach people around the world who enjoy what we do and make them feel happy and free. Some time ago, this guy approached us and said that he listened to our song every morning before going to work and he really felt that listening to that song makes his day a better one. It is a blessing to be able to touch the life of this guy and many others with such intimacy. Dedicating yourself to giving joy to others is the best of our gifts.

11. What do you really think it takes to make it in the music industry? Tell us 3 keys.

Hard work, Authenticity and feeling.

12. What is your main inspirational philosophy in life? Favorite quote?

“Don’t look for society to give you permission to be yourself.”      -Steve Maraboli

13. What do you regret the most in your music and would have done differently?

Actually we have been evolving a lot, I think we sincerely at this point can say that we do not regret anything. Every step we've taken has been done with the best interests for the band and every mistake we've made makes us more real and authentic. We appreciate all our way through learning. First we spent many months trying to create that peculiar style that we have now and I believe that all our scars make us beautiful and conscious human beings and that’s what we offer as artists.

14. Where do you see your career going in fve years? 10 years? Next year?

In the future we see ourselves traveling, exposing our music in many places. Being an example for our country, teaching to the young people with dreams that if they can achieve us. We definitely find ourselves introducing ourselves in many spaces, sharing with many people our culture and part of what we are. Making this style of music be respected,marking it avant-garde in many countries and including ours.

15. Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want your fans to remember you and your music?

We want people to remember our music as something real and daring. Like that friend who always tells a story, like that mother who works all day to support her children, like that bad moment that you overcame because we are all producto of what we have lived and we want Patz and the Hashtags to be remembered,more than for his music legacy Musical, be recognized as The true story behind daring to be your real inner and particular self.

@patzband (instagram and twitter)