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Lonelez: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became An Artist

An Interview With Edward Sylvan

I’ve been thinking of creating Youtube videos teaching the younger generation of Latino and Hispanic artists about music production, graphic design, and all-around branding. It’s a big endeavor because I want to do it right. That’s definitely something that I would like to start soon.

As a part of our series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became An Artist” I had the pleasure of interviewing Lonelez, Carlos Rosario Gonzalez.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Lonelez began his journey in the music industry as a graphic designer. Having designed for names such as Ozuna, Mozart La Para, J Alvarez, and Natti Natasha, he discovered that his true passion was in music production all along. Soon, Lonelez began to remix popular songs and it wasn’t long until his remixes began to garner favorable attention.

His trap remix of Daddy Yankee’s Shaky Shaky became an internet sensation and his bachata remix of Plan B’s Fanatica Sensual was danced all over the world. In 2021, his reggaeton remix of Taylor Swift’s Willow became a viral sound on TikTok and was played on radio stations, clubs, supermarkets and other outlets in Latin America.

Today, Lonelez is putting lyrics to his beats and after releasing his first independent album Atraccion in 2018, he’s ready to bring his fans even more of his catchy rhythms. His songs are those of love, adventure, party-going, and fun, with a bilingual touch that’s purely unique to Lonelez.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Since I came to America at a very young age and was new to the culture, it was difficult at first to find my ground and make new friends. It took a while for the music to come into my life, so for most of my growing up in Connecticut, I navigated toward sports. I was very much into baseball and taekwondo so I spent most of my time after school on the field or at a dojo. I grew up following the steps of my parents, who from the beginning always reminded me that they would support whichever career path I decided to pursue.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

It was probably a bad break-up or a rejection from a cute girl in high school that got me to write my feelings down on paper. It’s funny, right? I was a writer before I ever was a musician, one could say. But even before I moved to America, when I used to live in Dominican Republic, I was already on a path toward music. I was playing the drums at age five! I tried flute and guitar lessons, but I never could quite learn how to play them, so I gave up completely on all music by the time I came to the US. Then at age 13, I discovered the program FL Studio. My mom and I went to a Guitar Center and she bought me a physical copy, plus a midi keyboard. That’s when the producer in me began to come to life. I’ve always said that whenever I listen to music what interests me more is the production and not necessarily the singer’s voice or the melodies, etc. But the instrumental behind it, and who made it. My favorite song growing up was Gasolina by Daddy Yankee. Yet all I wanted to know was who were the geniuses behind the beat. The producer-duo Luny Tunes became my first music idols, that’s why very early in my music career my sound tended to sound a lot like theirs. And also Tiesto, I definitely tried to be like the new “Latino Tiesto.”

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There have been some interesting stories but one that comes to mind is when I collaborated with some of Dominican Republic’s top urban artists circa 2016–2017. I designed for names such as El Alfa, Chimbala, and Mozart La Para, and at one point Chimbala and I were going to release a song. Unfortunately, that never happened, but it was an interesting experience getting to work with some of Dominican Republic’s most influential urban stars.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now I’m working on a new EP together with a local CT artist called Suave-Ski that I’m very excited for everyone to hear. It has a crazy international vibe and it’s so different from anything the both of us have ever done before. I’m also writing a new book!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Through music, I eventually became a graphic designer and photographer. There was a time when the name Lonelez was most known for album covers, nightclub flyers, and EPK artwork. That’s how I landed jobs for Ozuna, Maluma, and Natti Natasha, early in their artistic careers. The one person I met that was super cool was Jaden Smith. I was contracted to photograph an album listening party for Justine Skye in 2015 and Jaden was there. That’s probably one of my favorite photos I’ve taken.

Where do you draw inspiration from? Can you share a story about that?

I draw inspiration from the Latino experience. There are many stories to tell and we all experience life differently. My music is all about love, romance, party-going, and fun, but you’ll always find that the story and narrative has an aspect of the Latino experience. That’s the story I’m trying to tell.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’ve been thinking of creating Youtube videos teaching the younger generation of Latino and Hispanic artists about music production, graphic design, and all-around branding. It’s a big endeavor because I want to do it right. That’s definitely something that I would like to start soon.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. To enjoy the process rather than the final product. Back then I would obsess about getting the perfect sound or the perfect melody that it would take the fun away from the art. The perfect sound doesn’t exist. It’s all subjective. Even to this day, that’s something I remind myself every day.
  2. Not everyone will like your music, but that’s okay. I would feel so bad when I’d make a banger beat but some people didn’t like it. No one wants to see a negative comment on their music video but that’s just how things are. Again, music is subjective. Not everyone will like it, we just have to learn from it. Perhaps there’s good criticism, and if there isn’t any, then just ignore it and move on.
  3. Don’t try to do everything. For most of my music career, I was my own manager, designer, photographer, video editor, sound engineer, publicist, etc. I’m a firm believer that having your hands on many things at the same time takes away from your original goal or craft because you’re not giving it 100 percent. You have to divide your energy into all of those responsibilities. It’s okay to let others help you out. And with that…
  4. Build a team. For all the reasons I mentioned above. Right now I’m slowly building my team. As the saying goes, solo you may get to your goal faster, but with a team you go farther.
  5. Lower your expectations, don’t compare yourself to others, just be you. Wanting to be the next Daddy Yankee can cause a lot of stress, haha. But why would you want to be that? Young padawan, embrace your inner Lonelez and just be. Be you.

We have been blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this.

It would have to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He is one of the most influential people in the world and on top of being an impeccable actor, he’s also a successful businessman. It’d be great to speak with him and know how he does all of it. How he has time for the many things he does and how he tracks his time. As a fitness enthusiast myself, I would also never say no to a gym session with the Rock.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

They can follow me on Instagram @Lonelez or @carlosrosariog .

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

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Specializing in acquiring, producing and distributing films about equality, diversity and other thought provoking subjects