Top

“When some friends said we were going to hear  a great Latino singer at a local restaurant one night in 2019, my first thoughts were, “OK, we’ll see how great.”  

Since Fatiniza was introduced that way to Howler readers 17 months ago, she hasn’t allowed prolonged lockdown measures to deter her push to continue making beautiful music. 

Since January 2021 and the launch of “Stay Here,” Fatiniza as usual, has been busy non-stop writing,  recording, collaborating and touring. 

In October 2021, Fatiniza released her country blues ballad “Sweet Goodbye.” In collaboration with locally based artists, the song is a duet with Tom Cardella and features the sweet guitars of none other than Marvin Dolgay. Teaming up with long-time music producer Joshua F. Williams, Fatiniza recorded “Sweet Goodbye” at Casa Jimmy Studios in San José. Keeping it close to home and promoting Costa Rica, the music video was recorded at Casa Crepusculo, Las  Catalinas.  

Following the release of Sweet Goodbye and a dissipating COVID-19 Pandemic, Fatiniza was invited back to where it all began to perform on the international stage once again in Dubai. Fatiniza closed the UAE National Day weekend on Dec 2nd with a show featuring her original band members from 10 years ago to deliver a visually stunning show at the Dubai EXPO.

In early 2022 Fatiniza and legendary Colombian Music Producer Toño Castillo got together to work on Toño’s Tik Tok Song ‘Todo Lo Que Tengo Es Tuyo’ featuring Colombian Hip Hop Artist Samm La Voz which was released on April 1st. 

On April 24th, the Studio ’71 Concert Series was launched at the Majestic ‘Castillo de Lilo’ in Potrero and Fatiniza was the first Artist to perform at the hilltop Castle. Performing to a limited audience, Fatiniza brought her international set and production and put on a show never before performed in Costa Rica. Fatiniza LIVE at Castillo de Lilo.

Just 2 days prior to the Castillo de Lilo show Fatiniza released her current Latin Pop Fusion HEY! Continuously promoting her local environment, Hey! was filmed on Playa Penca and in Dubai on the Half Desert Road made famous by Tom Cruise in the movie Mission Impossible 4. Hey is taken from Fatiniza’s forthcoming album ‘Historias’.

Fatiniza Music is available on Spotify & Apple Music and all videos are on her YouTube Channel.

Original Story:

When some friends said we were going to hear a great Latino singer at a local restaurant one night in 2019, my first thoughts were, “OK, we’ll see how great.”

The featured entertainer, Fatiniza, was already singing when we arrived. Before we even got to our table, I was captivated by her zesty and energetic performance. I’m not a music critic, but I do recognize someone who can do far more than just sound good and put on a “show.”

For more than a decade, Colombian-born Fatiniza Gamarra has been capturing attention from ever-wider audiences across the world, from Costa Rica and the Mayan Riviera to Singapore and Dubai. Just reading about this vivacious stage and recording sensation will not do justice to her essence. Her passion as an artist comes across in the music videos she has produced. But it’s when you see her perform live behind the mic that you can truly appreciate this dynamo of a musician.

The following are highlights of my recent interview with the wife, mother and full-time singer/songwriter. 

 

One of your songs was up for a Latin GRAMMY award in 2020. Tell us about that.

My last single, Hoy, was entered into the Latin GRAMMY 2020 selection process as Best Song of the Year. Hoy is a song of hope and unity that I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic, when I started to get involved with charity organizations in the Flamingo area, delivering food and cleaning products to those in remote areas most affected. It was a great Latin Grammy nomination run, which exposed the song to all of the Americas but this time did not result in a nomination.

 

So what was your response to this seemingly disappointing outcome?

We were able to gain so much more attention with the media and expand our fan base. I see everything as building blocks on the journey to accomplish my goals: more Latin American fans and reaching more American fans in Houston, Chicago, Florida and California. I desire to build a quality fan base, not just quantity.

 

Tell us about your newly released song, Stay Here.

Yes, I am so excited to start the year with this song and share the launch with Howler Magazine. Watch it first right here! The video was filmed locally in Tamarindo and features Pro Surfer Tomas King. There is also a cameo appearance by surfing legend Robert August. The storyline follows a similar track to the pop culture surfing movie Point Break. I don’t want to give too much away but I am sure that the surfing community and locals will love it. It is a ballad in English and Spanish. 

Name some of the places where you’ve traveled to perform.

Dubai, Colombo, Jakarta, Mayan Riveria in Mexico, Singapore, Colombia, Chennai, Doha, Muscat, Amsterdam and The Maldives.

Special occasion plans?

Fatiniza is available for corporate retreats, weddings, family reunions and other private events that are tailored for your audience.

Credit to Paul E German Photography for #51 & F5
Credit to david chacon fotografia for BW Jazz Cafe

Follow Fatiniza on social media:

Instagram

Facebook

Patreon

Youtube Channel

Fatiniza Live in Alpha Club Dubai

What wisdom would you offer that young Costa Rican who is thinking about singing?

Just do it! Keep in mind that it is not only about singing; you are choosing a career. What’s your goal? Be an artist, want to be famous, want money? These things will lead you down different paths. 

Focus on what you want and don’t get led away from your goals by people who would bend you to their goals. Get guidance and surround yourself with good people. I am represented in Costa Rica by Studio ’71, a new production company that wants to guide new talent and give them exposure and a platform to be heard. If this speaks directly to you, get in touch with Studio ’71!

With thousands of fans, how do you feel being transparent and a promoter of positive concepts?

One of my favorite songs is called Aqui Voy. That would define who Fatiniza is. This is my way, this is me. I’m not made of gold, for everyone else to like me. I am what I am. I help when and where I can. I am a positive person and I love to spread positivity and hope. The lyrics are like, ”What you see is what I am, what I have is what I give, I give you my existence.”

How do you like to interact with other artists?

I like to collaborate with local musicians. Working with those who may just be beginning to already accomplish some measure of success. It is a tough business and finding people who are sincerely loving this art form is essential to me. My goal is to create a music scene that is recognized as a ‘must-see’ while attracting people to Costa Rica. My last release in 2020 is with Stephanie Waltrip from Tamarindo. It’s about collaboration, not competition, for me.

PREMIER JANUARY 2021

When did you first think, “I can do this!”

It was 2009. I had been performing for years in Colombia with tropical bands, singing cover songs, when I was offered an opportunity to go to Dubai. 

It was in Dubai that I wrote and recorded my first song, and to be honest, I didn’t like it that much. I actually lost the song. Two years later I found it. When I played it again, I realized there was something in it that I liked. So I re-recorded it when I met Joshua F. Williams and that’s when my songwriting really got started.

The song was Out of Control, or Confusion in Spanish. It opened up the door for me to continue to write and perform my music.

Every artist wants the standard checkmarks. I’ve been in Rolling Stone magazine and on MTV [Out of Control], but realized there’s so much more to this art form.

The Sailor

As a songwriter, singer, wife and mother, how do you do it all?

We like to go as a family for singing engagements, whenever we can. I find the balance of being a good mother and wife while being an artist.

Have you had any training?

Not really. I chose music, or music chose me, and I jumped in and learned organically day by day. I knew what I wanted to do and I just found a way to do it. I have had help from other amazing professionals. I had the opportunity to meet or work with many along the way and I have learned so much from them. I am still learning and training my voice to do new things.

I notice your Facebook posts about supporting your music platform. What is that all about?

Patreon is a public platform for supporters of the creative arts … similar to crowdfunding but specific to the arts. A patron or fan on Patreon subscribes to a monthly contribution. Fans get direct benefits not available from the artist anywhere else. Benefits can include behind-the-scenes footage, early access to new video releases and other really cool stuff. The monthly subscriptions allow artists to continue to develop music and related projects that they would otherwise not have the income to support. It’s not a brand new concept but it became really popular during COVID-19 times. 

The Mask

What is your approach to preparing for any music event?

It really depends on the location and its regular customers. I prepare a repertoire that suits, so there is some background work on what cover songs we will play. Original music is a standard for my shows and I perform most of my singles, including other favorites. Plus I tease the audience with unreleased songs too.

I also have to think of the size of the band and then how the songs we perform may change in arrangement slightly. Then it’s rehearsal time again until we have our show.

What is your 2021 goal/mission?

I am releasing at least four singles this year: Stay Here, Ojos Café, Apostándo and Hey. They are ready to go. I want to keep building a quality fan base. I’ll be expanding my exposure in Costa Rica first, by taking my music to them. This means getting on the road as soon as we can, which is exciting, and then to the rest of the Americas and beyond. I’ll continue to collaborate and create a music scene that allows people from all over to know there are talented artists in Costa Rica.

What is the largest audience that you’ve performed for?

That would have to be at a Formula 1 event in Abu Dhabi. There were approximately 5,000 attending that night. It was amazing to be a part of that event. I performed for two nights. The first was a public event at the beach and the second was an intimate private event with the British singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae. Other special guests included Gabrielle and The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’s manager.

Your most memorable performance?

The Nothing is Impossible album launch at Café Del Mar, Dubai Marina. It was my best show visually, with a ton of dancers and costume changes. I was flying at one point in the show, suspended above the audience. 

Locally, it would have to be LIVE at Janie’s, which was a private performance to a small crowd during COVID times in Playa Hermosa. Loved it.

Did you ever have a “disaster” on stage, and how did you recover?

Ooooh, there have been a few. My favorite was one night at the Music Room in Dubai. My drummer, Francy, was not supposed to moonlight from her regular employment [funny Dubai rules]. We were about to take to the stage and she saw her boss in the crowd. She nearly died of fright and she could not play. So, after thinking about this for a few minutes, I told her to stay backstage and told my percussionist he had to play drums. He had never played these songs on drums before; he is not a drummer. However, he got up there and we played the first couple of songs with him until our regular drummer saw her boss leave the venue. When she was sure he was gone, she jumped back onto the drums and finished the show!

What do you feel is the biggest compliment you receive?

It’s fans singing my songs at my shows. When I see them singing, I know they love my music and that is the biggest thing for me.

When writing a song, how does it all begin?

There is no consistency in how I start writing a song. They come when they want to. Sometimes I sit with my guitar, maybe just practicing and then something pops out. Other times I get a melody in my head and I have to stop everything and hum it into my phone and work on it later. I get inspiration from life events and other people and their relationships. My songs come from everywhere and usually with no intention; they just form themselves.

As an example, give us the background on one of your songs.

The Sailor, filmed in Spain, was nominated as best music video at the film festival Zaragoza, Spain. A woman fell in love with a sailor who comes and goes, till he never came back. Life lesson learned: no matter what, seize the moment that life presents.

What is your favorite song and why?

I have too many songs that I love, and I don’t have any favorite genre. It is very hard to name the no. 1 favorite. Poem to a Horse, from Shakira, because of that song arrangement and the use of trumpets. This song gave me the courage to experiment with different instruments and push the arrangements of my own songs. I also love songs by Alicia Keys, Marc Anthony and Carlos Vives. 

Spanish "Out of Control"

If you could sing with just one person on stage, who would it be and why?

Alicia Keys, for her experience as an amazing musician, a strong woman and performer. Also, Pink. I love her strength.

SPANISH

post a comment

87 + = 89