EDITOR’S NOTE: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.
Ruben Cortiñas Ares misses performing live.
But the Albuquerque-based musician used time in quarantine to create a side project.
After months of work, El Corta was born.
Cortiñas Ares is known around Albuquerque as a member of Da Terra Meiga. With his solo project, he wanted to do something different but still with a flamenco guitar flair.
“I’m collaborating with different artists, and they are featured guests,” he says. “Every song is with a different artist. I have about four songs ready to go.”
His first single, “Superstar (featuring Young Mendo),” was released a few weeks ago and is available on Spotify.
During the writing process, which began in March, Cortiñas Ares found himself back in his hometown of A Coruña, Spain. A lockdown was implemented, and he couldn’t leave his house.
That’s when the creative juices began to flow.
“The first three artists I worked with were easy to find,” he says. “They are from the same neighborhood. I brought some ideas and it worked perfect.”
As the solo project continues, Cortiñas Ares does want to put together some solo songs.
“For me, the music comes first,” he says. “As a musician, I imagine melodies, chords and structures. It takes me a while to put it all together.”
Cortiñas Ares recently returned to Spain for the holidays and will come back to Albuquerque in 2021. He says going back home for a couple of months will help him reset. It’s been difficult to not be performing live for eight months.
He plans to release two more songs in December.
“When I get back home, I will keep recording,” he says. “The plan is to release singles each month. I’m focusing on releasing the music on Spotify, but the music is on all streaming platforms.”
Here are five facts about Cortiñas Ares:
1 “Sometimes I will dream of a song. My first song as El Corta, I dreamt of this melody. I took my phone in the middle of the night and hummed the melody into my notes. I knew I had to write this song.”
2 “I always wanted to play music since I was a kid. At first, I wanted to play drums. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 12 or 13. I was taught by a social worker that lived near us, and he played guitar.”
3 “I studied for three years as a carpenter. My grandpa used to always tell me, ‘Watch for your hands.’ I still watch for my hands when I play guitar.”
4 “I like to listen to everything. It depends on the season and time. Lately, I was listening to super-modern stuff from Post Malone and The Weeknd. I think they are geniuses and they produce good qualities. In Spain, I listen to hip hop and Reggaeton. My favorite is jazz and flamenco.”
5 “All my life people have called me El Corta because of my last name. It means “short,” and I’ve never been short.”