Daniel Villarreal at SXSW

Daniel Villarreal at SXSW: + Interview

March 24, 2023 in Features

by hierba malita

Daniel Villarreal

On Day 2 of SXSW, still bright and early, I went to Lazarus brewing to interview Daniel Villarreal. He is a Chicago-based, Panamá-born artist who plays drums and DJs. I definitely recommend checking out his debut album, Panamá 77. It is a beautifully constructed work of music - giving psychedelic, world, light, jazzy, timeless, and groovy.

The following interview is in SPANGLISH !!
[Latinx gasp, crowd cheers, then faints]


How did you meet your bandmates?

I started the band over a year ago. I just released an album last year in May with this record label in Chicago called International Anthem. And then those are my longtime friends from the music scene in Chicago, and I incorporated [them] into this project and now we play the music live from my record.

What's your favorite song to play?

It will be of Ofelia. This is like… heavy on the organ and has a lot of sentimental melodies. And also it sounds very worldly, like world instrumental music, you know.

What do you use for your hair?

Oh well, I just put conditioner. Si, es natural, y a veces se enreda, but I try to take really good care of it. I used conditioner this morning and also slept like 5 hours. We just drove last night, desde Chicago - 17 horas. Salimos como a las 4-5 de la manana y llegamos aqui en la mieda noche. Y dormimos poquitas horas.

Opinions on Texas:

I love Texas. Texas is great. This is one of my favorite cities, Austin specifically. And I have a lot of friends here and I love this scene. I love the weather, I love the musicians and people. I always feel welcome here. Yes, se siente uno como en casa, tranquilo, buena comida, buena vibra. Siempre la paso bien chevere. Quisas manana me voy a montar caballo o unas mulas con unos amigos y nos vamos por ahi a ver.


E ido a Houston, de hecho toco en una banda de cumbia psicodélica que se llama Dos Santos, y e ido alla a tocar. Me guta Houston, buenisima vibra alla.

Besides yourself - Music you enjoy listening to:

I've been listening to…. this guy Yussef Dayes. El tiene buen album que esta en vivo, como en Joshua Tree, and I like that vibe. Others I like… I've been listening to electronic music like I love house music and stuff like that. Let me see what else… Brazilian stuff… Pero, especificamente, otros artistas del label que yo estoy. A veces, veo lo que hacen, y me gusta mucho. Como Jeff Parker, que es un guitarrista instrumental, y Makaya McCraven, que es un baterista. Hacen buena musica tambien. Pero… tengo differentes favoritos - como soy DJ, escucho de todo. O es como si uso una cancion solamente. Un poquito de cada cosa.

Dream Collab:

That would be… maybe with some of the local Chicago people that I would love to play with. Maybe the people from Wilco, do a collaboration with them. Also, like in the jazz scene, all the people from my label to do a collaboration, maybe with Angel Bat Dawid, she's one of the artists on the label and I like her stuff… Dream collaborations, like, I don't know. Actually, there’s a drummer on our label, Tom Skinner, he plays with Smile, which is this side project of the guy from Radiohead, y se llama Smile. Ta Buenisimo!

Anything else you do besides music?

Nothing else. I just play music. I'm a drummer, a deejay. That's how I make my life, my living. Y todo eso de lo que hago es relacionado con musica. Grabo, toco en vivo, ando en tour, colaboro con diferentes artistas, and I’m working on my new album too. I'm trying like to finish that in April. Everything I do is related to music. I try just to concentrate on the ball, everything for it. I don't want to do like a daytime job because that would take me out of my creativity

Biggest Lessons:

Be kind to everyone, be humble, be assertive, and also try to do the best you can and be yourself.

Shout Outs:

I just want to acknowledge the people here in Austin. They always welcome me. like the music community and also other artists that are doing this for SXSW. This is a great opportunity and also a networking way to meet other people and just to put your music out there, you know. I recommend to everyone.

Final Announcements:

Espero que puedan seguir la musica. You know, check out the album, check out the social media music platforms. There's new music coming out from me, and I would love for people to keep on supporting.

It was so nice meeting you and your band mates. You guys play lovely ~




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