Carlos (Carl Fellows) is a very talented musician based it the United Kingdom with about 3 decades worth of experience. With as many years of experience in the music industry, you can only imagine how large his music library is. Carlos has many influences in his music and… No two songs really sound the same. In some you can pick up quite easily on who had an impact on that particular song. On others, you can tell it’s 100%, Carlos.
Carlos Fandango writes, composes, performs, records, produces & masters all his own work at BoxRoom Studios in Kent, England. As well as his own solo projects and collaborations, he also creates music for gaming, marketing, advertising, tv, film, soundtracks, spoken word & so on.
With an eclectic mix of songs you are bound to find something that you like. An upbeat attitude and mood to his songs, remaining positive is a given. His vocals are unique in the way that, they sound pretty different in each of the songs. There is a back catalogue of more than 30 years’ worth of material still to be recorded, as well as all those yet to written! Carlos says, “There’s nothing more rewarding than positively touching another person’s life through music”. On his own works, he sings all the lead & backing vocals, plays acoustic, electric & bass guitars, ukulele, a little keyboard, harmonica, kazoo, stylophone, percussion & shakers, as well as programming, orchestrating & arranging all other instruments. Check out Carlos Fandango on all main music platforms and enjoy the 3 albums, Mixed Bag (Oct 2020), The Difficult Furlough Album (Oct 2020) & White Raven (Apr 2021). Carlos is also planning a release of a Christmas album this year.
I recently started my YouTube video interview series and, Carlos was the first guest to be interview. in only 7 days time, his interview is about to break 500 views on its own.
Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
Greetings, one and all. My name is Carlos Fandango. I’m from the UK and I’m a singer-songwriter. My main instrument is the guitar – electric and acoustic – although I enjoy playing ukulele, bass guitar, percussion, kazoo and a little keyboard, too.
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
Apart from the usual teenage dreams about being a pop star, it was most likely when I restrung my dad’s old acoustic guitar, which he’d had since he was 9 years old (so it’s at least 64 years old now) but never really played. It was a bit beaten up, but it worked. I made my first few little ditties and tunes on that guitar, and I started to write songs. The first one I was really pleased with was called ‘The Storm’, in 1988, and I think it was then that I really got the bug for it.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
I write, compose, sing, play, programme, orchestrate, arrange, record, produce and master all my own songs. It’s a real art I itself. I learned a lot from Nick John Wilson, a fellow artist – in fact, he’s a talented singer-songwriter who is also an excellent producer – and I also watch several YouTube music channels, Produce Like a Pro, Mikael Baggström, MusicTechHelpGuy, Nathan Larsen, Signals Music Studio and Rick Beato, among others. Thank goodness for all those channels, there’s so much information available out there! I’m hungry to learn and there’s so much to know but even in the last year, from my first to third album, I can hear the difference where I’ve improved. However, I’ve got a lot further to go, of course.
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
Musically, I always wanted to leave some sort of mark in the world and the thought of touching another person’s life in a positive way through music really appeals to me, you know? It’s like, your song may be just what they need to hear – a ray of hope, a shot of positivity, words of encouragement, perhaps – at a time of need, a time of darkness, or one of those emotional moments in life. Imagine if it saved a life or turned their life around?! The thing is, you’ll probably never know if it does connect with someone, but the thought is nice…music is a universal language it has the potential to reach out to anyone in the world. In life – and this is going to sound corny – genuinely, I try to be the best version of me that I can, to live truthfully. Truth is everything: there are so many dishonest people out there,
but they’re only lying to themselves, ultimately. I’m philosophical about things and try to be a balanced person, help others where I can. We’re all human, we’re all in the same boat, after all, so what’s the point in not getting along? What’s the point in spreading negativity when you can spread positivity? It’s highly infectious, so go out there and do it!
Carlos and I are planning on doing a break-away show from my 1’s and 2’s Underground Show and it will be formatted as a music review show. We feel it to be an interesting concept as you have 2 different eras of influences sitting down to talk about a song for the very first time, in different parts of the world.
I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?
If I may have 3 rather than 1…? My three biggest enemies are 1) Time – there’s never enough of it and I need to clone myself at least twice to get everything done that I need to; 2) Money – you need money behind you to stand a chance; 3) Resource – I work from a box room studio, but if I had greater resource, my music could soar much higher.
Whilst money and fame, per se, doesn’t excite me, it would be nice to be able to make a living from music and make music full-time. However, the way it’s all currently set up, there’s just no money in it. Added to that, the market is so diverse, and you need a big music publisher and company behind you to do all the targeted advertising stand a chance of success. In addition, you need time and money to make videos, promote yourself, etc. As well as that, there’s the lack of resource: when I think of what I could do with a room full of proper musicians, or a real orchestra! It’s amazing to consider that the big arrangements that I’ve come up with are all made from a small box room – they certainly don’t sound like it! Finally, there’s no room in the music business for anything artistic: that’s so sad – all the great works were made when musicians were allowed to be artistic. Now, the record companies just want the same old, same old, same old…as long as it makes money for them!
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
I have so many influences that are far-ranging, however, if I had to choose just one it would have to be The Beatles. They had everything and did everything. Truly world class in every respect.
I grew up with parents listening to Elvis, Roy Orbison, Simon & Garfunkel, Country, Motown, Classical, Reggae, 50’s/60’s/70’s UK chart music and much more. In addition, as well as traditional children’s music, for us kids in the 70’s & 80’s there were so many great TV & film theme tunes, as well as all the variety of music on things like The Muppet Show Album, and I loved watching The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film. All of that was a melting pot for my young brain, and then, in my early teens I got into synth pop, chart music, Queen, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Madness, The Smiths and more. By my mid-teens, I then properly discovered The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, Bee Gees, ELO, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, T. Rex, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and many more. That’s when the game really changed. I like to think many of my influences can be heard in my songs. Most of what I do has a retro 60’s, 70’s & 80’s feel, and I try to write in a variety of styles and genres with specific artists in mind. I think it’s best to be as genre-free as you can; it’s good to develop your own sound so it has a continuity, but don’t limit yourself to only one genre; keep it interesting and create soundscapes with lots of detail, so it bears many a listen.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
For me, with the advent of furlough, it was a golden opportunity – a once-in-a-lifetime chance – so I decided to embrace it and treat it as a proper day job and, as a consequence, in the 8½ months of furlough from work in the last year I recorded and released 3 albums and 4 singles (that’s more prolific than The Beatles, ha ha!): this illustrated how productive I could be if it were a full-time career. For any live musicians locally, everything came to a complete halt, however hopefully many of them did the same as me and seized the day.
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
The more diverse everything becomes, the more thinly spread we are. Like I said earlier, time is the number one enemy, and social media demands time. The irony of the whole thing is…years ago when you had less options, it would have been ‘easier’ to reach out to your audience, although it would have been a much smaller, more localised catchment: yet now, you can reach out to almost anyone on the globe and there’s a massive potential audience, however, there’s also far greater competition and an innumerable number of routes you can take, so it’s much harder to garner support and fans.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release
I’ve got 30 years’ worth of songs, half-finished material, tunes, ditties, themes and so on, yet to record, so it’s not going to dry up in a hurry! However, I continue to write new songs: in fact, the more popular songs on the ‘White Raven’ album have been the new compositions, so I think my songwriting and song-crafting are improving. I’m planning to release the album ‘Classified File’ in 2022, however, I’m currently working on a Christmas project which I was originally planning for 2022, but may have it ready for 2021…watch this space
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest eras for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
I got properly into music in the 1980’s, and, musically, those times were so diverse and fun, so that’s probably what I’d call ‘my era’. However, the 1960’s was an amazing era in terms of musical development – just look at how it started and ended – lead primarily by The Beatles, the music scene changed entirely. Nevertheless, the 1970’s was, I think, by far the most fecund period, artistically and musically-speaking: this was a golden era for creativity and truly classic albums and brilliant singles
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
Elvis. As a kid I always wanted to be Elvis. Not right now, obviously, at his peak, at around the time of the ’68 Special show. He was awesome and cool, a good-looking bloke with an incredible and distinctive voice, so what more would you want? If I were to swap with a living, current artist, there aren’t many real greats left…although it would be pretty cool to be in Bob Dylan or Kate Bush’s head for a day. David Bowie and then Jimi Hendrix would have been my 2nd and 3rd choice after Elvis.
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
Have a dream but be realistic and practical. Believe in yourself and be aware that you can be your own best fan as well as your own worst enemy. Be self-critical and set your standards high: it’ll raise your game. Socialise with other music artists: it may open doors. Watch YouTubers with music channels: there’s so much handy information out there. Keep writing, keep singing, keep creating, don’t stop. Be Churchillian in your approach…never give up, never give in.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Thank you to Susie, for the love, support and coffee. To my family, friends and associates for their support. To Nick, for all the knowledge and advice: likewise, to all those wonderful YouTube channels, for all the amazing tips and tricks of the trade. Finally, thank you, DJ X Tech, for the opportunity to reach out to a potential audience with this kind of exposure, as well as the podcasts and YouTube channel – you’re doing a fantastic job!
To all artists out there…don’t stop what you’re doing; never, ever quit! Like my song says, Keep On Keeping On!!
Love, Peace & Happiness x
Follow Carlos: https://linktr.ee/CarlosFandangoMusicOfficial
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