Humans make mistakes, take things for granted, and experience pain. You cannot run from it. Embrace your missteps and march forward. Humanity demands it.
This is the message of Peruvian-born singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and producer Arturo Rojas’s single, “Te Diré (Ser Humano),” part of the artist’s debut, self-titled album, “Arturo Rojas,” that dropped in April. Check it out “Te Diré (Ser Humano)” on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIAVPeHGR5I
Rojas left Lima for New York City when he was 20, where he spent six years. He later crossed another border, relocating to Toronto to start in the Music Industry, Arts & Performance program at Centennial College. He’s found his home in the Canadian metropolis since.
Growing up, Rojas had a wide range of musical influences pulling him in multiple directions. His mother listened to Spanish pop ballads, his father preferred salsa, one uncle engaged with metal, another uncle obeyed classic rock, and his grandparents enjoyed traditional folklore music. They all imparted their styles on him from a young age, he said.
In “Te Diré (Ser Humano),” which translates in English to “I’ll Tell You to Be Human,” you can feel the musical mutt in Rojas. The Spanish influences are obvious given the entire song is in his native tongue, but you can feel that there’s more happening than that. At times, the vocals have a punk twist, while the instrumental borrows from the pop, folklore, jazz, and salsa realms.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/6BIqXeVwYYUx4T70zWU0Lo?si=75b347d1e0f64ea9&nd=1
Put simply, “Te Diré (Ser Humano)” delivers something you don’t expect.
“My style is a mix of pop, rock, and Latin,” Rojas said. “I’ve even heard some people refer to some of my songs as punk.”
Though “Arturo Rojas” was the artist’s first album, he has plenty of experience in the music world. So far, Rojas has performed live at venues in Toronto, New York City, and Peru, including Tapestry, The Free Times Cafe, Grossman’s Tavern, Supermarket, Not My Dog, and more. But when he came to Canada, he started from the very bottom.
“When I was new to Toronto, I didn’t know anyone, so I just started playing on the streets and in parks,” Rojas explained. “Eventually, people started handing me tips and inviting me to open mics. I grew from there, and eventually I was hosting the open mics and playing longer sets.”
The artist said his personal life is the main inspiration behind his original music. He uses the musical process to better grasp himself and life as a whole.
“A lot of my music came out of a time when there was a lot of fear and uncertainty in my life,” Rojas said. “Being ill makes you realize that we only have so much time and energy to live. Music helps us understand ourselves and life better, it protects you, and helps you to forgive yourself and others.”
That shines through brightly in “Te Diré (Ser Humano).” The song acknowledges the fear and pain behind knowing the wrong decisions you made in the past while insisting we must forge on anyway.
“Oh, si pudiera
Cambiar algunas escenas,
Borrar aquellas escenas
Cuando no era yo el que actuaba
Y te hacía llorar
“Pero no llores tanto,
Te necesito para poder seguir
Translated into English:
“Oh if I could
Change some scenes,
How I wish I could
Delete those scenes
When I wasn’t myself
And I made you cry
“But don’t cry so much
I need you to be able to continue rolling
To go around singing,
But you don’t need to know Spanish to appreciate or feel the mood of Rojas’s track. As the artist loves to point out, music doesn’t abide by the same rules as traditional languages.
“Music is the universal language,” Rojas said.
Go check out “Te Diré (Ser Humano)” and the full-length album “Arturo Rojas” to hear for yourself.
Check it out the website for more information: https://www.arturorojasmusic.com/