Guatemalan singer/songwriter and current XIII Latin GRAMMY nominee Gaby Moreno recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview and perform a brief unplugged concert. Moreno discussed her creative influences, moving to Los Angeles from Guatemala, touring, and her new album, Postales. Moreno also performed original songs, including "Mess A Good Thing" and "El Sombreron."
"I'm a bit of an old soul. I just love anything that comes from the first six decades of the 20th century," said Moreno. "I listen to a lot of old vinyl records, a lot of old blues and jazz, and that really inspires me. I can just sit a whole afternoon listening to records and the next day I feel like I need to sit down and write a song."
Born in Guatemala City, Moreno moved to Los Angeles in 2001. Inspired by vintage music, her style draws on a fusion of blues, jazz and folk elements. Fluent in English and Spanish, Moreno has proved versatile in writing songs in both languages. In 2006 she won the grand prize in the Latin category at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for "Escondidos." In addition to releasing three previous studio albums independently, Moreno has collaborated with Latin GRAMMY winner Ricardo Arjona, with whom she recorded "Fuiste Tú," which is nominated for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for the upcoming XIII Latin GRAMMY Awards.
Released in September, Postales (Postcards) is Moreno's first album recorded entirely in Spanish. The album's songs are inspired by collections of images, memories and emotions that draw from Moreno's roots and personal background. In addition to original compositions, the album contains a cover of "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás," a popular song written by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés. The album's first video single is "Ave Que Emigra." Moreno is currently on tour, with dates scheduled in Mexico and Europe through November.