Local Rockstars: Roger Saro, the man behind the music

Local Rockstars: Roger Saro, the man behind the music

Jul 3, 2012 |  by  |  Music
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Sabrina (who is old as fuck) has more energy than a Duracell bunny, and uses it to dance in the newest clubs, eat too much junk food, play all the videogames, examine apps and shop - even though she has more than enough clothes. Sorry Earth.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we take remarkable artists out for their favourite drink at some random Amsterdam-based hangout.

Once, during a fashion event, I met a cool looking guy who apparently made music. At the time I didn’t think too much of it, but then I listened to a couple of his songs. Being a big fan of The Weeknd and Jamie Woon I instantly heard something of my favourites in his tunes. But then more danceable. To me, music is ‘just’ music, I’m more interested in the people behind it then the technical details. So that’s why I tried to find out more about this elusive El Rod, now known as Roger Saro.

Cloud of arrogance?

While doing my research before the interview I stumbled across an e-mail filled with arrogant nonsense, and other bad press. Now keep in mind, I only met this guy once but this just didn’t seem like him, so I asked him about it. His body language shifted immediately. “I feel uncomfortable talking about it, it was just a different life. It was all Roger, it still is, but especially the e-mail was taking out of context. I was so incredibly sarcastic; I couldn’t imagine anybody taking it seriously. But they did.” The e-mail dated back to 2007 but seemed to have had a big impact on his life. “I have this cloud of arrogance around me, and I just can’t shake it off. It was e-mail: sometimes you say stuff but in a message nobody can hear your tone of voice.” After this he quit rapping and changed his style. “In a way that broke me.”

His new video ‘Take a Picture’

Because of the timeframe I was curious whether or not the decision for a new sound was strategic? “No, I wanted to make different music. This might sound weird but I believe in new things. Not in ‘the best’ singer. I believe in minimalism as well; like James Blake and The Weeknd, It’s a vibe they create. It’s dark; black & white. When you want that kind of music, you listen to them. When you want depressed music, you listen to Radiohead..” And when do you listen to El Rod? “When you’re in the mood for new things. I have to admit though that the decision was also practical. I’m 27, I wanted to do new things and make new music but I also checked if there was room on the market. I have limitless amounts of patience, of commitment: I truly believe in this.”

I have limitless amounts of patience, of commitment: I truly believe in this!

“My taste in music was growing, fast and especially into a wider variety of music. For me, my career started when I released Art Nouveau.” Art Nouveau is his latest album that features ‘Picky’ and ‘Take a Picture’ (the brand new video is shown above). The title was taken from his favourite language and because the singer sees it as new art. The main inspirations were women and fashion. Martin Margiela, who consciously stepped out of the spotlight, made a lasting impression on Roger. But his experiences with women have also inspired him. “I can almost safely say that I figured them out, but I’m very discrete. I would never tell anybody about my experiences.”

Selective feelings

Earlier he shared with me that he’s always had a high threshold for pain. “Not a lot get’s to me. I’m very selective about what I feel.” This struck me as a bit odd, seeing that I would pay good money to be able to control what I feel but according to Roger, it can be done. “In Amsterdam a lot of scenes aren’t authentic. There are a lot of wannabes out there. But I filter a lot, I observe people. They might talk one way, but they’ll act another. In a way I’m a paradox: I’m very emotional, but also very self-assured. The last two years, while making the new album, I’ve grown a lot: learned how to say ‘no’, to go with my gut. I’m not everybody’s type; I’m the type that you have to get to know. But that’s a source of inspiration too.”

El Rod recently finished his iNi MiNi tour, but hopefully he’ll play at the next Zondagmiddag event by Overdose.am. For more information, check his Facebook or Soundcloud!

Feature image by Wayta Patmo

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