Great art takes time and SERGIO’s new single “Back Up” proves that it was worth the wait.
Two years after his departure from the boyband, In Real Life, SERGIO is entering a new artistic era. Under the mentorship of Pepsi Music Lab, he has found a voice and sound that are authentically him by combining English and Spanish musical influences with catchy pop beats.
We chatted with SERGIO about the single, his new sound, and what fans can look forward to next!
What inspired your new single “BACK UP”?
“BACK UP” is one of the few songs that I have that just had to be written in order for me to get past what I was going through at the moment. I honestly didn’t even think about what it was going to sound like, or if it was even going to be released – and typically that is how I go into a session. I was in a confusing situation with somebody I was seeing a lot at the time, and wrote about how that made me feel. I hope this song can teach people what I have learned from this experience – the importance of communication in any relationship.
What was the writing and production process like?
Once I wrote the demo of the song, I kind of threw it away if you want me to be completely honest. Writing it made me feel so much better and I just left it at that. Two years later, I was going through lots of music with my day to day manager and he was the one that told me I should revisit it. I then rewrote it to add Spanish with a co-writer of mine, Dahlia Lagos, and flew to LA to record it with my producer Moises Zulaica. We didn’t realize until it was all done that nothing from the original demo was used production wise. We took the opportunity of revisiting this song to really dive in on the production and concept of it even more, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to the single, what do you imagine it looking like?
In my opinion, the perfect setting to listen to “BACK UP” is driving around the city at night, while blasting the song in the car. It always hits more for me, and I know they would enjoy that too.
The single was released as part of your partnership with the Pepsi Music Lab’s Class of 2023. What has it been like to have their mentorship and support?
Being a part of the Pepsi Music Lab Academy was a great way to reintroduce myself to the world. Having the support of a brand that is such a big part of music and culture has really motivated me to keep up the work that I have been putting into my musical career. Pepsi and UnitedMasters organized a bootcamp for us last fall to prepare us for what life will be like in the industry. That experience was amazing because I got to meet the other artists that are a part of the 2023 class, and we got to learn from industry professionals. Hearing stories from LaRussell, Lorianne Gibson, Director X, and being in workshops with them was a great learning experience. My biggest takeaway from that camp was to never compare myself to anyone else, and that is the mindset I am approaching 2023 with!
This single marks a new era in your musical journey. What can fans expect from this new chapter?
They can definitely expect some new music! I am currently writing and will be in lots of sessions these upcoming weeks with producers and writers I haven’t worked with yet, so I’m very excited to hear how these songs come out! A goal of mine this year is to get back out on stage, so fans can also expect some more performances!
How have you gone about developing your own personal sound?
I push myself to write in different styles every session I go into, listen to my gut when it comes to choosing if a lyric should be in English or in Spanish, all while being specific with certain sound and production elements I use in my music. I’ve always wanted to be a genre bender and be the type of artist that sings in all styles of music, but with my previous releases I feel that I wasn’t prioritizing my productions as much as I should be – everything sounded a little bit all over the place. I recently took some time to figure out where I wanted to go sonically, and my sound has really developed ever since. You can really hear the progress with every session now, and there is no better feeling. Finding your sound as an artist is a constant cycle of trial and error, and I am very happy with the progress I’ve made with my music.
What has your journey been like as a solo artist and how have you grown?
It’s been quite the rollercoaster. I definitely didn’t expect it to have started the way it did, but I am grateful for everything I’ve been through. I’ve lived in a few different cities, we went through COVID, I’ve been in and out of relationships, spent time at home for the first time in 3 years, I’ve had 4 different jobs, I’ve met new people, and began a brand new life on my own in Miami, all in the span of just two years while pursuing my solo career. I’ve never spent more time on my own to really think about where I want to go artistically, and I am so excited to show everyone what my team and I are working on for the year!
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
Do the work, and let God do the magic.