Paz del Castillo: Following the Ivory Brick Road
They may be selling records and headlining some of the biggest venues in the world, but artists like Justin Bieber and Pitbull aren’t high on the list of favorites pianist Paz del Castillo has. Instead of the mainstream, she focuses more on things of the Celtic and classical nature. It’s just how she was raised. The youngest of three girls, her mother had already brought a piano into the house for her older sister. She remembers, “I boarded the train slowly, listening to those lessons, and watching through the door — fingering the keys… my mother decided I should start taking lessons to see how it would be for me. I continued and continued while my sisters abandoned the piano when they were teenagers.” Her teenage years were right about the time Paz started to really connect with the music. It transformed into more than something she was learning, it soon became her life. No longer did she want to be a carpenter, but rather a musician.
A self-proclaimed “kaleidoscope,” it’s hard for Paz to pinpoint where the influence from her sound and style exactly comes from. From listening to her mother’s vinyl collection that spanned from Glen Miller to Elvis, to “stealing” her sisters’ Beatles and Rolling Stones albums. All of their music played a part in developing her growth. As she got older and the ‘80s rolled around, she started to find herself emerged in movie soundtracks composed by John Barry, John Williams and Ennio Morricone. While she isn’t so big on the mainstream today, it was the concrete for her musical foundation back in the day. Then of course are her classical favorites — “I identify more with the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, Neoclassical, before 19th century, the depth, consistency and use of harmony, characteristic of them. But also I identify with Bach.” She notes that her teachers, like Rosa Maria Kucharski played a significant part in the artist she is today, as well as notable places in Madrid that breathe inspiration like the Royal Palace and Puerta de Alcala.
“Swinging with The Trees”
Music is Paz’s life, and she’s lucky enough and proud to say that it’s her day job; but she did have a moment in life when she picked up a law book. Like a lot of musicians, she recalls that no one wanted to hear about her goal to be an artist, but she took it upon herself to go after that dream and made it a reality after spending nights playing in bars and cafes, and saving up. Now her friends would call her a bit of a workaholic, but that’s not so bad when you love what you do, right? Not bad for the little girl who wanted to be a carpenter once upon a time. “The one thing I’ve always loved about music, is that it is truly universal – especially music that’s void of lyrics. The emotion stems from the fingertips of the artist and until I took music appreciation in college, I did not really grasp that.” On the universality of her music, Paz thinks, “No matter if the person who hears it is European, American or Asian, an elder or a child – They will be felt in this way, each one in their own way, with more or less intensity.”
Now the thing to love about Paz is that she’s a woman who works as hard as she can to get where she wants to be in life and if music wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore – well, she’d work just as hard at being a gardener or a vet, but for now it’s music and she’s spending 2016 promoting her latest album, NOW on the radio and live. Get tabs on Paz del Castillo to see where she’ll be playing next.