Above: (Image: Courtesy of Victor Gonzalez)
By Yahir Garcia
Editor’s Note: Victor Gonzalez, also known as Elbronz, is a local musician based in the eastern Coachella Valley. Gonzalez, known for creating music that depicts life in the eastern Coachella Valley, performed most recently at The Hue Music & Arts Festival in Mecca, a youth-organized music festival meant to showcase local artists. The artist is also scheduled to perform again at the upcoming East Valley Voice: Out Loud 2017 showcase at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert. Coachella Unincorporated youth reporter, Yahir Garcia recently sat down with Gonzalez to ask him about his life in the eastern Coachella Valley and to find out what inspires his music.
What inspires you to create your music?
I have emotions that I want to portray to the world, so the way that I do that is by looking at music or just creating my own melodies that move me in a specific way. After that I try to convey a message. The message is conveyed through my writing. The narrative of the eastern Coachella Valley does not exist yet and I want to help say something about my community. My videos are also a way to show the world what the Coachella Valley is and to show how I grew up and how other people are growing up out here. So the music is really a reflection of myself and a reflection of my community so other people can see the beauty we have here.
How did you first get into music?
I first got into music when I was in high school. I used to visit one of my teachers at Toro Canyon, Mr. Kreps, before class. We were just sitting there talking about music and he would put on rock metal like Pantera, Metallica, and ACDC because that’s what he was into and I started to get into it too. My dad also bought himself an acoustic guitar in Mexico and he said if I learned how to play one song he would buy me a guitar. So, I learned how to play one song and my dad said I was very committed so he got me a guitar.
When I was younger, my parents and my brother would motivate me to keep playing music. It’s good to have someone who really believes in me even if I don’t really consider myself a good singer. At least I have someone giving me feedback.
So the music is really a reflection of myself and a reflection of my community so other people can see the beauty we have here.
What was it like to experience creating your first piece of music?
I have always been a writer but I have never really been comfortable with speaking out or hearing my own voice out loud. So I thought I could still create my own instrumentals and my own beats. I started reaching out to my friends and I really liked how they would just freestyle over my beats. So that’s how I first started. Then I thought why don’t I use my music and my own lyrics and have someone make my videos too.
What would you tell young musicians starting out?
A: I would tell them to find something that they’re passionate about and develop a plan for what they want to do. Set goals for yourself to make it happen.
I believe that all individuals, especially in the Coachella Valley, have something to say and something to contribute to our community. I would like to see other people move forward with their visions and make their visions come to life so other people can see the wisdom that every person has.
About the Author:
Yahir Garcia is a student at Desert Mirage High School. He grew up and is still currently living in Thermal, CA. This is his first year of high school as a freshman and it has gone great for him. He hopes to graduate from high school and to his dream school, UCLA, and become a lawyer. One of his favorite things to do in his spare time is drawing.