Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s music landed in my headphones last November, and ever since I’ve had his album Bishouné: Alma del Huila on heavy rotation – it’s a virtually impeccable release that was produced, arranged, composed AND performed by the man himself. The multi-talented Garzón-Montano is in Austin this week for SXSW, and the latest in our Essential Facts/Essential Tracks series has all the basic info you need to know before you check out his sets.
Known as: For the sleepers, Garzón-Montano is best known as the 25 year old guy Drake sampled on “Jungle.” But if you’ve been following us over the last five months, then you’ll know him as the soulful singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who’s about to be the next big thing.
Background: NYC born and bred, to a Colombian father and a French mother.
Sounds like: Garzón-Montano lists everyone from Prince, Sly, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Bach, Debussy, Dilla, Weezy, Totó la Momposina and Petrona Martinez as inspirations – and though his sound most clearly references soul and r&b, you can hear his wide-ranging music vocabulary on his debut Bishouné: Alma del Huila.
Why You Should See his Showcase: After a fall tour across Europe opening for Lenny Kravitz, Garzón-Montano knows how to command both arena-level venues and intimate spaces. At a recent show at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade, he performed a flawless, smooth-as-fuh rendition of “6 8”, jumped in the crowd for a raucous cover of Tweet & Missy’s “Oops Oh My,” and got serious air on his piano keyboard banging out the propulsive chords on “Keep on Running.” It was like watching the man Justin Timberlake could have been, if he hadn’t gotten his edges polished off in boy band boot camp.
Bonus Fact: Garzón-Montano’s got his fair share of high profile fans. He counts Zoe Kravitz as a close friend, and both Mayer Hawthorne and Drizzy fell in love with his record. (Drake apparently played “6 8” back 10 times after the first time he heard it…)