Musician in the Making – The Simpsonian

todayNovember 22, 2023 1

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Many people say that the universal language of the world is music, for it has the ability to overcome language barriers, geographical barriers and cultural differences. You don’t need to speak the language of a country to appreciate the sound of their instruments; to feel the rhythm of their songs flowing up through your feet; to get the urge to stand up and dance. Angel Soto discovered the power of music at the age of four. 

Growing up in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Soto was introduced to music at a very early age. 

“I have a family that is very musical, so I have been singing since I was like four or five years old, and growing up I would sing at family parties and events. Then, in high school, I joined a mariachi club and that’s where I learned how to play guitar and how to perform in front of an audience,” he said. “It made me realize music was something I was really passionate about. As soon as I realized music was a big thing for me, I started writing music myself and it’s something that I didn’t even really need to think about. I would just go to my room and write music.”

Despite his young age, Soto had a lot of great experience performing locally with his high school mariachi club, and they even took home a 3rd place prize at a competition in Tucson, Arizona when he was a sophomore. 

He was also fortunate in his exposure to different styles of music early on. 

“Growing up my dad sang a lot of ballads and a lot of slow, guitar ballad-music, so that’s what I was focused on. I am now into romantic pop, and in high school I found this style called regional folk pop in Mexico. It’s a mix of Mexican aspects of music with pop – very slow paced music,” he said. “It was a movement that happened throughout my high school years and it’s more focused on sad emotions, which is kind of corny, but for me sad music is the music I love the most. It comes from a very vulnerable place from the artist, and when people write about vulnerable emotions, it’s the realest you can get.”

This is where, for Soto, the universal language of music really shines through. He sees music as a place where he can find comfort away from everyday anxieties, and no matter the original intention behind a song, there is always a personal meaning you can pull from the music around you. 

“Music for me is a little bit of an escape. I feel like when I’m really stressed out and I’m listening to music, it helps me forget about those stresses and it’s the same when I’m performing,” he said. “That’s why a lot of the music I have written is really personal to me, and I usually write about what is going on in my life. It’s really therapeutic for me.”

Although passionate about music, Soto still has his reservations when it comes to pursuing it as a fulltime career. 

“When I realized I had the talent to write music, I was like ‘wow this could be my life. I could professionally make music and become an artist,’ but as you continue towards that goal, you realize all the work it takes behind the scenes and how much work you have to put into it. So, at first I was like I have to go big, but once I realized how much it really takes I have had music on pause in my life. Right now, I am focused on finishing school and getting a job, and then maybe if I get a good job I can use that money towards my music. It would be a dream to be able to live off music, but you really need a lot of resources, a lot of luck and you need to put a lot of time into it,” he said. 

Now a senior at Simpson, Soto is majoring in computer science with a minor in information systems and music. Simpson has also offered Soto a handful of experience to perform live on campus, and one of his favorite things to do is his “underground” performances. 

“I’ve done underground many times, which is an event through theater where they get together – I think every last Friday of the month – and it’s kind of like a talent show in the way that you can come up and perform either music, poetry, acting or whatever it is,” Soto said. “It’s mostly directed towards theater people, but you can just sign up and perform an act. I’m not from the theater department, but someone once told me about it, and they are really welcoming to everyone. It’s almost like an open mic. I’ve used that to get more performing experience, and I have a lot of friends that are in the music department and it’s always nice to hear their feedback.”

Soto is set to graduate this coming spring, and is hopeful for his future in the U.S., whether that involves making professional music or not, only time will tell. 

You can find his music through his Youtube channel,  and follow his music journey on instagram @angel_farid03. 

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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