Demon & Lion composing with what people want.
Music has no frontiers.
It was the first hours of the afternoon. Moving tables and chairs around trying to escape from the sun, two very cool Argentinians offered The Guardian Express a lunch full of charisma, the same one from their presentations, but this time, instead of being on stage, they were sharing a table and a wonderful conversation.
The Argentinian duet is currently one of the top entertainment shows in the city of Las Vegas. They have been in the USA for over 10 years now and things keep getting better. They are Demon & Lion, originally from Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires. It’s been 20 years since they first met back in Argentina a studio recording. It was until they arrived in Las Vegas when their project got official, and now, 10 years after, they are getting ready to launch an album in English, all with original tunes and under their own production.
They are well known by their enjoyable show and by knowing very well what their public wants to listen to. They do not like to define or categorize themselves under any specific genre of music, the opposite, they have managed pretty well all the different experiences and cultures that they have found along the way. Singers, producers, musicians, but mainly composers and musical arrangers, these are Demon and Lion.
Their background goes from classical music, different projects for Broadway in New York along with Mr. Ruben Gonzales (Lead violinist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), to private and corporate events. These two south american musicians have been focused on finding themselves in each one of the persons that have listened and enjoyed their music throughout the United States.
Starting to play the piano since they were little, Lion since he was 5, Demon since his 14 years old, they have both been able to “unlearn” what they have learned, to put aside the musical influences of the Rock of the 90’s and of more music, seeking for a more authentic and full connection with their public. Choir Directors, Concert Pianists, Composers of great pieces that have won International recognition and awards, all of this is part of their experience, nonetheless they have decided to find their greatness and originality in the simplicity of a Latin Night celebrated night after night in Las Vegas. A Latin party that in this country, cannot be compared to any other one in Latin America. “We started to really meet Latin America in the United States… to appreciate it and to see the importance of interacting and of getting to know the different cultures more than the different countries” said Demon, who plays the keyboard and the piano in their shows.
Talking to these two talents means talking about evolution, change, adaptation and of course, it was inevitable to portray the virtues which like them, every immigrant has: that “energy that we put into everything” commented Lion, who is in charge of singing most of their songs. The two of them shared, always with a great sense of humor, about the adventures and processes along their career in this country. One of the memories that they treasure the most is one that helped them to participate in a boxing fight in Las Vegas, in which they ended up singing the Argentinian National Anthem in front of approx. 20,000 people at the MGM Grand Arena. Achievements like this one have shown them that Vegas is a good place to stay. “We thought we were not going to fit in and now we ended up being one of the best live entertainment show in the casinos… Life was guiding us and we loved it” assured Lion with a big smile.
Demon & Lion have just finished a bit more of a year of shows at the Casino & Hotel Mirage and are now in negotiations with other casinos. At the same time they are preparing the launching of their EP that will include 5 original songs.This project will be launched in the United States and some other countries and it will be a combination of the results of their experience back in Argentina, and the experience acquired in their 10 years in USA. Despite of this, the duet keeps considering the option of the local entertainment as one of their projects, since it is what keeps them nurtured and it helps them to reinvent themselves.
The authenticity and success of this duet is clearly due to their skill to feel the public. “We let them take us and show us where to go, without forcing or imposing anything but allowing them to guide us on the way that we should follow. It its like the flow of water that follows its course. We tried doing that and thank God it went well” (Demon).
However, they also accept that is not always easy as far as pleasing everyone. The hard and risky thing of preparing a song that doesn’t work as expected with the public, or the moment when someone approaches and ask for a song that is not part of the program. “You ought to be very professional, it is part of the business. In 10 years of experience there are always surprises. A show is never the same than another one. We have a large repertoire created out of people’s requests, but there is always a surprise”. That is why ” the professionalism, the attitude are the main thing to be successful in what you do”, said Lion.
After 20 years together, music is the force that keeps them together. They both agree and share ideas about life as art.
The duet offers live entertainment with something more than only covers. Because of the nature as composers and arrangers,
they can really make each theme part of their own, transforming it into their own version.
Finally, Demon assures that “you gotta’ have talent and will to break out all the patterns”. Talents like Santiago Santaolalla deserve all their respect because they have been able to detach from the egocentric Argentine mentality and above all, he has been able to detach from himself. To believe in yourself, to believe in your dream, either if you know it already or if it is the one you found in your way, to believe is what helps you to get out of your shell. Santaolalla, Astor Piazzola and even the new Pope Francisco I, are Argentine people that Demon and Lion like because of their ability to move forward, to detach from their culture and also for having more open attitudes and points of view, than the ones from their own culture. Skill that they find fundamental when living in the United States.
“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country” and more phrases like this one gave to the conversation a very important conclusion: the duet agrees that being an immigrant helps to reach out your dreams. “What an immigrant has is a different impulse than the ones that stayed in their country, he left for a reason” in words of Demon, “This impulse is good for everything, you can use that same force for anything else”.
A balanced, deep and happy duet, well educated but free to create, realistic and fighter. Two artists and dreamers, two latins opening doors in the music industry. Demon & Lion promise with their new album a great fusion of rhythms and concepts. “To take off and fly is what we are going to express in our work. Something open where the soul can expand even more the the mind” (Demon).
For more information visit: www.demonandlion.com and support the duet following them on twitter: @demonandlion.
Thanks for reading The Guardian Express.
By: Claudia Ponce