Adrian Quesada is music royalty in Austin, Texas. The songwriter is a former member of Grammy Award-winning Latin-funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma, a founding member of Latin-funk band Brownout, and one-half of psychedelic-soul phenomenon Black Pumas.
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A producer and multi-instrumentalist, Adrian is renowned for his unique blend of soul, psychedelic rock, and traditional Latin music the world over. But his was no overnight success. Adrian’s been grinding for the better part of two decades now, consistently working to refine his sound and build genuine connections in the industry.
Welcome to The Conduit, a podcast featuring candid conversations with professional musicians who give listeners the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today.
In today’s episode, host and L.A.-based DJ, producer, and musician Dan Ubick (aka Constantine “Connie” Price) sits down with Adrian Quesada to discuss the musician’s slow and steady climb to the top of the music mountain. “Every time I spoke to somebody, it would open a new door,” says Adrian, reflecting on his early experiences in the music industry.
Born in South Texas and raised on a steady diet of hip hop, soul, and Mexican culture, Adrian has collaborated with everyone from Prince and Los Lobos to David Garza and Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA.
“[Prince] believed in us,” says Adrian, referring to his Latin-funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma. “That gave me a lot of confidence as a guitar player; that gave everybody a ton of confidence as a band. That was a big turning point for all of our musical developments and careers.
“I learn something from everybody I work with,” he continues. “I feel like [collaboration] is really important, particularly for somebody like me, who works alone a lot.”
Today, Adrian owns and operates Electric Deluxe, a recording studio and creative space “where analog meets digital.” Self-produced, recorded, and performed, the musician’s latest album, Boleros Psicodélicos, is a sprawling tribute to the golden era of Latin American psychedelia. The record is a funky testament to the dedication and craftsmanship Adrian poured into his work from the very beginning.
Above everything, Adrian loves what he does. Passionate and generous, the seasoned pro reflects on his journey as a musician, offers wisdom on the joys and pitfalls of songwriting, and recommends love and appreciation as the ultimate ice-breakers. Tune into this month’s episode of The Conduit for a fascinating conversation about collaboration, craftsmanship, and appreciation.