UNFITS’ vocalist El Sueño gave us the lowdown on his past struggles with homelessness and how it has informed his present sound and the work he’s doing with UNFITS.
How did you first get into music, and why did it speak to you?
I got into music through the classical music world when I was extremely young. Late one night, I discovered The Clash. Joe Strummer was somebody who I looked up to tremendously. He was basically homeless, squatting in Walterton Road just off Elgin Avenue in west London. After that, he went on to build one of the largest bands in the world.
How does your background struggling with homelessness inform the music you and the band make today?
It made me tougher than Putin, I suppose. After sleeping in streets and showering in gas station sinks, it’s hard to get any lower. By proxy, it oddly turns you into an optimist. I’ll always remember those early ,formative experiences, and I am grateful for the times that shaped my current character. It’s also made me very interested in helping solve the homeless epidemic. I am involved a lot in helping at skid row in L.A. and am generally very interested in the topic of mitigating homelessness.
How did music help you overcome some of your struggles?
Music is the highest form of redemption for the body. A lot of people have spirituality that they say will save their souls. Music is redemption for your body. Without music, you would live your entire life in a cage, and life would be morbid and pointless.
What are you currently working on music-wise that you want to announce?
I wrote a new song called “Satisfy Me” with my band UNFITS. We got very lucky to collaborate with Producer Emile Haynie (Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Eminem, The Rolling Stones, Lana Del Rey…). I just checked my computer this morning, and the song is approaching 2 million streams on Spotify. I’m very grateful to all the fans who listen to it, and I hope to meet everyone.
Is there anything else in the works, any tour plans when the bans let up?
We love touring, and I am excited to explore more visual elements in our live shows. I am working with Cinema 4d artists, redshift artists, and generally more CGI to create augmented reality visuals on projectors behind the music. I have plans to premiere some of the C4D art I’m involved with creating at the Berlin arch after the quarantine from the pandemic.
What is your songwriting process? What do you do when you sit down to write a song?
I always write at night, usually midnight to 5 a.m. I always start on a piano or electric guitar, and I usually start with the lyrics first.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah, if anyone is reading this and going through a hard time, keep in mind that everything you see is happening inside your mind. In other words, there is no reality without consciousness, and with our consciousness, we create our world. I hope everyone has the courage to create the world subjectively that they want to live in. And don’t be a little glitch!