Marco Landaverde: Music On The Mind

By Julie Abelson, Staff Writer

At first glance, senior Marco Landaverde is mistaken as simply another senior drowning in the stress of college applications. With the November 1st deadline steadily approaching, he is scrambling to get his applications in as he aspires to be a psychiatrist. However, Landaverde jokes that he will be the doctor in a band with his coworkers, because although he does have a fascination for people and the human mind, his real passion is writing and producing music.

Landaverde developed his love for music because of his dad. His dad, never being one to be talented at playing music, still had a strong relationship with it. Together, they were able to connect and build a long-lasting friendship through music when at the age of ten, Landaverde began playing music with his father. Landaverde is inspired to produce music because of his father’s influence. “He’s the reason why I started playing music. He’s my best friend,” Landaverde said.

Landaverde had a humble start as he mainly came up with the chords while his dad wrote the song lyrics. Landaverde describes this as a pivotal moment in his music career, because it was then that he discovered he wanted to write his own material.  However, he disliked the formal music lessons his father set up for him, and preferred to experiment with music himself. “I think teaching yourself is interesting. It keeps things interesting.” Landaverde said. Landaverde enjoyed training himself through watching countless YouTube videos of artists such as Jimmy Hendrix along with other various artists and bands. He described how he would watch, listen and mimic what he saw his favorite artists do. Then he would brush up on his technique with various YouTube tutorials.

Landaverde stays true to his roots by having his dad’s influence show not only throughout his music, but also his technical process of producing music. He first developed his music taste from listening to his dad’s iPod, and that influence can still be heard in Landaverde’s recent music. His dad’s liking for rock and roll and British bands inspired Landaverde to also love those same bands from The Cure to the Beatles. As his music progressed, his music taste did as well. He began to like Indie, bedroom pop and soul music. Now, he listens to bands his dad has never heard of. He thanks the internet, mainly Spotify, for his expansion in his music taste.

Landaverde is thankful for the abundant support he receives from his father, especially because he helps supply some of his recording equipment. Landaverde also uses his dad’s bass that he tried to learn on in his early 20s. He also enjoys recording his music on a four track recorder instead of digitally. He prefers using blank cassettes from when his dad made mix tapes in the 80s and making “stripped back music” because he is “always thinking about how the output sounds.” He enjoys the sounds of stripped back music. To him, it is “dirty” and “gritty,” two qualities he himself enjoys hearing in his favorite artists’ music. Specifically, Landaverde explains the extent of how much one particular artist, Knowledge, impacts his own music.

“The warmth of my music and my songs comes from listening to Knowledge. A lot of his music is gritty and distorted that also comes across in my music,” Landaverde said.

As of right now, Landaverde has some of his music published by the name of Ocean Child on Soundcloud as well as on Band camp, a website for independent artists to release and sell their music. Music has also been therapeutic for him because it is a way to express his emotional side. He described how he has never had such an avenue to express his emotional side until music. Landaverde believes that everyone has a side to them that they do not reveal in person or to many people. For him, this is his sappy side, as the main theme of his music right now is love. He explained how a year from now, the theme for his music could change drastically as he continues to evolve as an artist.

Landaverde constantly pushes himself to be better. He continues to listen to other artists for inspiration to be as good as them. To him, “life is about improving yourself. Especially with something that I’m passionate about, like music, I tell myself, ‘just be better. C’mon Marco, just be better,'” Landaverde said.

With the support of his friends, Landaverde is making substantial progress for achieving his goals. Senior Edward Byrd has especially been a big supporter.

“I love making music with Marco. He provides a different level of artistry every time we hang out. He’s one of my closest friends, so it’s fun to goof off with him. He makes the mundane part of music making so much fun,” says Byrd.

Senior Ellarose Winston has also played a significant role in the creation of his music with her support. Winston sees working with Landaverde as a stress reliever.

“Playing music with Marco was just comfortable, and I felt at ease. I wasn’t thinking about homework that was due the next day or college apps. I was just at peace” Winston said.

As for future plans, Landaverde intends to eventually put together an album of 10 songs and release it on Spotify by the end of December. Although he already has six songs ready to go, Landaverde admits that it takes time for everything to come together to make a song.

“The inspiration comes here and there. I’ll just be chilling, doing my homework, and then an idea will pop up. I’ll have to stop what I’m doing to write it down,” Landaverde said.

Landaverde plans to continue writing and producing music at college in his dorm room as he only needs his guitar, his Mac computer for the software, Logic and maybe his bass. He also aspires to book gigs and play concerts at the same time as earning his degrees needed to practice psychiatry.

Whether Landaverde ends up going into psychiatry or making music full time, he is hopeful for the future. He does believe there is a connection between human behavior and music. He also knows that whatever he may do in the future, he wants a field that is ever-evolving. Landaverde’s idea is also inspired by his father and his career choice.

“My dad has been an electrical engineer for 30 years. It’s never the same. In fact, the stuff that he’s doing right now is stuff he never learned in college. If I were to go into a profession, it would be something that I would have to adapt. I really do think I have that resilience in me to adapt to things,” Landaverde said.

Remember to check out his Soundcloud: Ocean Child. Also, keep an eye out for his album release on Spotify in December!  You don’t want to miss it!