ASDRU SIERRA
Asdrubal Sierra is a gifted musician, composer, and singer/songwriter. He is the co-founder of the multi-Grammy Award-winning multi-cultural, multi-genre band Ozomatli, spending the last 19 years as the group’s lead vocalist, trumpet and keyboardist.
Apart from Ozomatli and in collaboration with musician/producer and director Balthazar Getty’s Purplehaus Music, Sierra is working on a powerfully unique album, "Abstrakto," being produced by Getty. Described as a cinematic, alternative, Latin sound, the album’s debut single “Marcando Paso” is set to drop August, 2014.

After migrating from Mexico, the Sierra family settled in Southern California. Born in LA and displaying true musical aptitude at a very young age, Sierra had the uncanny ability to make music out of any instrument he touched. His grandfather was a musician and singer signed to RCA Victor in Mexico form the 40’s to 60’s and his father was a great bolero-trio vocalist. Sierra chose to hone his inherent musical skills on the trumpet due in part to his great love of jazz. He attended the Hamilton Music Academy High School in Los Angeles and went on to attend college studying Music at the California Institute of the Arts. Once in college, Sierra was exposed to many genres of music, ranging from salsa, Latin jazz, funk, R&B, soul, rock, Middle Eastern, flamenco, classical, world music and rock en Español.

Sadly, during this exciting period of musical growth, Sierra suffered a major tragedy which forever changed his life and the lives of those around him - the loss of his brother, Raul. Taking a painful leave from music, when Sierra returned to the craft he loved he joined the just-forming Ozomatli and aided in fronting the group with his straight from the heart lyrics and songwriting like the song he wrote for his brother, "Cumbia De Los Muertos."

As part of Ozomatli, Sierra garnered two Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album of the Year Grammy Awards, One Latin Grammy, three Latin Billboard Awards, three Alma Awards, a BMI Songwriting Award, and a Latin Spirit Award, awarded for humanitarian efforts.

When not performing internationally with Ozomatli, or working on the single “Marcando Paso” for his passion-project Abstrakto, Sierra is composing scores for numerous feature films, television shows, big budget commercials and even video games. His career collaborations are vast and impressive and include greats like Carlos Santana, Maná, Black Eyed Peas, Dave Stewart, A.B. Quintanilla and Los Kumbia Kings.

Having travelled the world with his Latin rock, hip hop, world, fusion, funk-style music, Sierra’s performance highlights are as eclectic as his music having performed at the Democratic National Convention, SXSW, Coachella, numerous performances for President Barack Obama-related events and symphony collaborations with several prominent orchestras including the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

One could have never guessed that the young child who didn't speak until the age of four, would be destined to become the fiercely passionate, intense, world-renowned, award-winning, humanitarian, musician, songwriter and vocal talent - Asdru Sierra.


BALT GETTY
Balthazar Getty has been making music in various capacities for the past 25 years including producing the highly acclaimed Ringside project as well as various hip hop and electronic albums. It was extremely liberating," says Getty, describing a manic three weeks in which he holed up in his pool house-cum-home studio, self-producing an album using a Pro Tools rig that his wife and close friend Joaquin Phoenix together bought him, roped in a slew of his talented musician friends for impromptu recording sessions, and walked away three weeks later with an organically created debut album under the moniker of his new project, Solardrive.

"It was one of those things," he says, still seemingly dumbfounded that an album was the end-result of an almost obsessive, self-taught three-week crash course in new-age production. "I just sat there for a week and taught myself by trial and error. And I ended up making what I thought is a very interesting progressive album."

Solardrive is a nine-track LP, and one that Getty describes as a "serendipitous" affair, made on the fly with whomever happened to temporarily take up residence at his LA digs. "Whoever was at my house at the time," he recalls, "I'd be like, 'Hey man, you know how to sing right? Well, you want to jump on this thing?' The right group of people kept showing up at my house and I pulled them into the studio."

What emerged is a cohesive collection of songs, veering from new-age funk to blues and electronica that Getty says draws elements from many of the albums that shaped his adolescence; specifically, artists such as Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead stand out in his mind. "It's a throwback record to the records that I grew up loving," he says, reflecting on the sessions. "It’s a very moody kind of album that you can kick back and chill to and you can put on from beginning to end."

Solardrive’s highly versatile debut, which Getty says "captures a moment in time," is speckled with guest appearances from several of his longtime friends, many of whom also happen to be fixtures on the LA music scene. There's Ozomatli multi-instrumentalist/lead vocalist Asdru Sierra showing up on the Prince-echoing, Eighties-style ballad "Go Away"; Mother Tongue bassist David Gould rolls through and lays down a world-weary, blues-drenched vocal over 4-bit keyboards on "Desperate"; Rain Phoenix, Joaquin's sister and a supremely talented vocalist delivers an achingly beatific jazzy turn on the minimal "Monster." Phoenix's guest appearance, much like the album, Getty says emerged from a set of beautifully coincidental circumstances.

"It was a total fluke," he says. "I had done this beat and I was with Joaquin and he had this a cappella from his sister. And we ended up dragging in Rain's a cappella for this song she'd already written. I literally just placed it right over the top of ["Monster"] and, like a freak of nature, it linked up almost perfectly. The fact that it was in key and in time was like a one in a million."

Key to the album's tight aesthetic, Getty adds, was his ability to exercise restraint: even when feeling the impulse to add, subtract or alter the ten tracks that now comprise Solardrive, he ultimately felt it best to leave them in their originally created form. The album "was almost like it was a painting,” he says. “And I didn't want to go back and start adding new colors and different shapes on top of something that I feel really encapsulated that time and those three weeks. I just left it alone as a testament to the space we were in then."

The forthcoming release also marks another milestone for Getty: Solardrive is the first album to be issued on his new record label, Purplehaus. Getty views this new business venture and creative undertaking as something made possible by today's ever-evolving music-industry. "These days, if you have the focus and a little bit of funding you can create something substantial," he explains. "[The Internet] leveled the playing field. For so long the labels and the publishers had all the power.

"Now you do a song on your Pro Tools rig, you upload it onto YouTube and for whatever reason it connects with the public. 24 hours you've got 100,000 people that are listening to your song. Nothing's stopping anybody from chasing their dreams."

And Solardrive is only the beginning of what promises to be a jam-packed year for Getty: the multi-talent also plans to release the debut album from his hip-hop duo, The Wow, alongside rapper KO The Legend, in addition to another Ringside album.

"In some way I feel the most at home there," he says. "There's nothing like the instant gratification that you get from going in the studio and leaving in a couple hours with something you can listen to. It can be an addictive feeling!"