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Meet Uncommon People

Today we’d like to introduce you to Uncommon People.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
The true origin of Uncommon People is a much longer story than what we’ll shorten for the sake of this interview. However, the foundation of how the group formed was when Tony Aguilera sat down with co-worker and guitarist, Devin Tovar at lunch. Having both previously been in bands, they shared a common outlook and subsequent musical taste.

Tony – “It was a last ditch effort. We were both frustrated with our music careers at the time. I had just sold all of my music equipment.”

Devin – “It was time for us to test the metal. To show ourselves what we were capable of.”

The immediate connection ignited not only an idea but also a friendship. The duo eventually recruited Tony’s friend Dan, the drummer and another bassist. The jam band began creating songs but Devin felt that something was missing. He searched for local singers feeling that the band needed vocals in order to be complete. Devin remembered meeting Zeke a few years prior and when Zeke became his and Tony’s co-worker in 2019 invited him over for a jam session. Another immediate connection, they all began creating music and starting performing only 2 months later.

Zeke – “I agreed to join the band within 2 hours. It didn’t take much convincing. Everything felt right. We were blessed to find each other.”

Now having performed for 512 Studios, Vulcan Gas Company, Empire, etc the guys don’t see themselves slowing down anytime soon.

Dan – “Driving home every night after a show is surreal. I’m thinking to myself ‘We’re setting the bar for ourselves and we’re going to be representing our city one day'”

Once behind the scenes making sure much of the sound is on point, Tony’s brother Diego has recently joined the band as the new bassist. He along with Tony and Devin have been also helming all in-house production. With all of this, they believe they truly haven’t begun until now.

Devin – “Everything beforehand was just paying our dues.”

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Zeke – “I don’t see them as struggles but more of challenges. We experienced things that we had to go through in order to get to where we are now. ” Devin – “Facts! ”
Tony – “Well, one struggle may be that we’re all different people. Coming from creative backgrounds with different types of work ethic, it was difficult for us to grasp our identity for some time.”
Zeke – “Everyone’s head was in a different space. We were all still trying to figure out what the band meant to us individually.”
Tony – “We lost a member due to creative differences. There are five moving parts that must be tended to simultaneously. It wasn’t an easy task.”
Zeke – “Another challenge we face is what many artists who are starting off experience: financial stability. We’re self-funded and all work 40 hrs. /week.”

We faced many things head on like maintaining communication during COVID, having a band member leave, and still with two totaled cars later we’re ironically feeling better than ever.

Devin – “I owe a lot of that to the community that has accepted us with open arms from the start. But one struggle does come to mind: We had to prove the fact that we are not a cover band. I remember we played two (3) hrs. show back to back and thinking this wasn’t it ”
Tony – “Yeah that was so different for us.”
Zeke – “We’re not a cover band. We’ll give you 3 hours of Uncommon People originals lol”

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
We’d say we specialize in mood-altering. By putting the music first, we respect the natural connection between sound and the body. As a collective, we curate and transpose music as an experience. Our live shows, usually labeled as The Uncommon Hour, displays Zeke, Devin, Tony, Dan, & Diego on their respective instruments: Zeke (vocals), Devin (guitar), Tony (keys), Dan (drums), & Diego (bass).

Tony – “The energy we have on stage is crazy! People come up after shows saying it looks like we’re just having fun up there. And we really are! Everything is real”
Dan – “We conduct electricity on stage and it reverberates through the audience.”
Devin – “I’ve never been able to feel all these emotions at once in my life except for when I’m with this band.”
Diego: “I’m proud to have joined this band. I feel like I’m finally doing something that I want to do.
Zeke – “I’m happy this day came that Diego is with us. Truly, I’m proud of the fact that we’re not trying to be anything. Everything that we are doing just is. What you see is what you get.”
Dan – “Our music frequency has gotten so much closer. Our stage improvisation is better. I remember this one live stream where Zeke could hear us in earphones but we couldn’t hear him at all. It still turned out great!
Tony – “Yeah, I’ve had technical issues several times but the shows somehow still rocked!”
Zeke – “We’re good at adapting. Our endurance is something too! We just played 3 gigs in less than 48 hours just last weekend.”
Tony – “I’m proud of our friendship”
Devin – “Same. (Devin walked out for 5 minutes) That’s why I walked out. I was just feeling overwhelmed with emotions. It’s crazy that we met each other and things are actually going pretty well”
Zeke -” I’m proud that we put the passion first; the music first.”

Without focus on a one genre, the music is from the “soul”; aiming to connect and simply open up something within ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s through a rocky guitar solo, a jazzy drum beat, sensual piano rifts, deep bass lines, or falsettos, the music we create represents who we are: uncommon.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Diego – “I think we’ll be better musically. I still feel like an amateur sometimes but I think we all are going to feel more comfortable within our artistry.”

Zeke – “No doubt. Feeling more secure with what we bring to the table.”

Dan – “I see us doing what we love. Seeing each other grow is going to be my favorite part. I already know everyone is going to be dipping their toes in every aspect of music. I see us growing our uncommon people community. I see us being sustainable and even playing alongside our peers. I see making commercial jingles. The sky’s the limit!”

Tony – “Lollapalooza here we come!”

Devin – “We’re going to have our own record label. The whole nine yards.”

Zeke – “I see us happy and fulfilled. We’re capable of doing it. So why not?!”

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Julian Smith @wellcapturedjs Javi Glz @javi_glz

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