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Latin country artist Stokoff talks about ‘Welcome to La Fiesta’

Latin country artist Stoff chatted about “Welcome to La Fiesta.”

Latin country artist Stokoff
Latin country artist Stokoff. Photo Credit: Robby Klein
Latin country artist Stokoff. Photo Credit: Robby Klein

Latin country artist Stoff chatted about “Welcome to La Fiesta.”

This year, you released “Welcome to La Fiesta”. What made you want to re-release this song in Spanish? 

When I released “Welcome to La Fiesta” in Colombia, the radio stations asked me if I had a Spanish version. When Phil Barton, Brian White and I wrote the song in English, I also created a Spanish version.

I recorded the vocals in Spanish in the studio since I usually do a Spanish version of all my English songs to promote multiculturalism in the country community, and it keeps me practicing writing in both languages. 

You performed at the Latin Billboards in Las Vegas and opened up for Ricardo Arjona and Franco de Vita. Tell me about what that opportunity was like for you.  

It was incredible! Presenting my Country Latino music in Las Vegas in front of such a diverse group of fans and artists from different genres was extremely challenging yet gratifying at the same time. 

Opening for Arjona and De Vita opens my music to new fans who like to enjoy the lyrics and the Country vibes. 

Being born in Germany but raised in Columbia, what made you want to settle down with your family in Music City? 

If you do country music, you have to be in Music City. Nashville is the place to be if you want to improve your songwriting skills, meet the right people, and learn to fall hundreds of times yet still get on your feet again.

It´s part of the business; you are 24/7 surrounded by songwriters, producers, and talented people trying to make it in the show business, so the bar is set very high.  

You collaborated with Phil Barton and Brian White on “Welcome to La Fiesta”. Can you share your favorite part of working with these accomplished professionals?  

Well, it’s easy, these two guys are very unique human beings. I had an idea about a happy Country song with Spanish words, and they got the vibe immediately. They are very professional songwriters, but at the same time, I felt as though I was working with two old friends. 

As a Hispanic man in the Country music industry, you have a unique perspective of the genre. Could you describe your writing process and the musical influences you pull from? (Could be any genre) 

The writing process in Spanish is the same as writing in English. The only difference would be that in Spanish, you have to keep the “flow” of country music which is a lot of words in a small amount of time.

Artists have to tell a complete story in three minutes or so. It’s especially interesting to create Spanish versions of English country songs. I pay attention to how many syllables are in a line and try to match that in the translation to ensure the feel of the song is retained.  

My musical influences are all over the place. As a kid, I listened to Folk and Country music because my mom is from Germany, and she loves it. At the same time, I was also listening to my father’s music preferences, from Bolero Ranchera to Tango. So, throughout my childhood I learned to listen to all kinds of music.

Later in life, I found passion in the music of Johnny Cash, Elvis, The Eagles, you name it. I fell in love with the songs that had good harmonies, lyrics, and stories. Eventually, I was introduced to Cat Stevens and also The Beatles. 

As a stand-out, seasoned songwriter and performer in the Latin country genre, what advice do you have for young songwriters in the industry? 

The most important thing I´ve learned is to stay original and be true to yourself. Never try to be someone else. Also, prepare yourself, study, respect your fellow artists/musicians, learn to listen, and always be humble. 

How does it feel to be an artist in the digital age? (Now with streaming, social media and technology being so prevalent) 

It´s a challenge; everything changes so fast and you have to stay in-tune with yourself and the outside world. Otherwise, you can get lost in the day-by-day changing trends of the media. 

Now, artists have the ability to show their art almost immediately, the music is available for everybody everywhere, and they can reach their audience faster. 

What are your thoughts on AI on the future of the entertainment industry? 

AI is a new tool we all will have to learn to use. You can´t be afraid of technology. If you are writing songs, you still have to find your way to connect to people; software or a machine can’t replace that. 

“Welcome to La Fiesta” is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

To learn more about Latin country artist Stokoff, follow him on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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