Álvaro Sovero - Peru

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the activities you have been doing recently.

I began playing the guitar at age 9. A few weeks before turning 11, I started to play the electric bass, and I’ve been playing the double bass since I was 17. Since the moment I started playing music until now, I’ve never stopped. Later on, I entered UPC university, and I studied music composition. In 2014, I contacted Oscar Stagnaro to fulfill a dream many Peruvian bass players had always had: organize the first bass day called “Bass En Vivo Perú”. We haven’t stopped ever since.

This year I have started working as an artist for the Italian amplifiers “Markbass”, the pickups “EMG”, and the incredible babybass “Corvann” from Medellín, Colombia. In 2014 I recorded my first production called “Enrumbado”, in which incredible musicians like Alex Acuña participated. Currently I’m working on the pre production of my second CD which will be called “Bajo El Perú.”

How did you find out about Sire, and what was your impression when you played them for the first time?

Last year I found out about the basses “Sire” through Marcus Millers’s Facebook fan page, and I noticed they had something special. I did some research on Facebook and YouTube. When I saw the video in which Marcus was playing it at NAMM 2015, my jaw just dropped. Then when I saw the prices on the internet I couldn’t believe it, so I got mine: a V7 4NT. When I had it in my hands, I couldn’t believe it. The wood finish was impeccable. I could immediately see, even before plugging it, that it was a bass that should cost much more. However, after I saw Marcus’s video, and understood Sire’s mission, everything was clear to me. If I had received a bass like this when I started playing at age 11, I wouldn’t have had doubts that this was going to be the instrument I would play for the rest of my life. Later I plugged it to my super amplifier “Markbass”, and it was just amazing. The sound in passive mode was very warm in both pickups, with and without tone. When I plugged both batteries to start using the pre amp, my head just exploded. It seemed just impossible for this bass to be so inexpensive. The range of highs and lows was amazing. The mids, regarding frequency as well as volume, were perfect, very versatile to play from Jaco to Marcus, from Junk or Rock to Jazz, from doing slaps to using fingers.

When and how did you start playing the bass?

I started in my church since I was a kid, and I began serving in the worship team, and this is something I haven’t stopped doing. The bass was the instrument I always felt passionate about, even when i still couldn’t understand it’s function in a band, nor its low and deep sound. That’s how I started, then I studied with all the instructors I could in Lima, and I even used tutorials on YouTube to learn; and I’m still doing so because that’s the only way to continue growing.

Who were your first and principal influences when you started playing. How did they impact in the way you play now?

Without a doubt, Patitucci. I remember my father once brought my first bass from a trip, and it was a black Ibanez Gio of 6 strings. I thought he had made a mistake and that he had probably wanted to buy a guitar. But he said to me they had told him it was a bass. That’s why I went to the store where they sold VHS music tutorials to play basses of 6 strings. When i asked for one, they gave me the one of Patitucci. When I went back home, and played the video, I saw his version of Bach’s Prelude in G major for a 6-string bass, played with his Ken Smith, and I fell in love with that instrument. I’ve also been influenced by artists like Abraham Laboriel, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Oscar Stagnaro, Steve Bailey, Richard Bona, Hadrien Feraud, Emmanuel Espinoza, Jorge Roeder, Wojtek Polichowski, Alex Acuña, Gigio Parodi, Chick Corea, among others.

Tell us something about your career.

Yes, I have studied music. I’m a professional. At age 14 I had the great honor to play with Alex Acuña. I was also part of Gianmarco Zignago’s band, a Peruvian singer who has won the “Latin Grammy” three times. Because of him, I could play with artists such as Alex Lora (from El Tri – Mexico), Noel Schajris, Diego Torres, Natalia Jiménez (former lead voice – La Quinta Estación), Eva Ayllón, Lucho Quequezana, Amaury Gutiérrez, Luis Enrique, Fonseca, Mónica Manccini, Manuel Mijares, Alberto Plaza, among others. I’ve also played with Magaly Solier (nominated – Oscar 2010), Pilar de la Hoz, Anna Carina, Chaqueta Piaggio, the reality show “The Voice – Perú”. I’ve also played with my bands “Numen” (jazz, rock, funk), and Enrumbando (my first Cd). I’ve also played with Christian artists such as Edgar Lira, Alex Sampedro, Juan Carlos Alvarado, Jacobo Ramos, Danilo Montero, and Marcos Witt.

You are talented, both as a bass player and as a composer. Do you focus on these two things only, or are you working on other areas? Tell us about Enrumbando.

Being a bass player and a composer complement each other. I compose most of my music in my bass or double bass. However, I also devote some of my time to produce some CDs, or organize musical events like “Bass en Vivo” which is a bass day in my country with workshops for musicians and concerts. Enrumbando is my first CD and I dreamt of it since I was a teenager. It contains 10 songs, 9 of them are my compositions, and one of them is a Christian hymn called “How Great Thou Art” or “Cuán Grande Es Él” in Spanish. In this CD you will find Rumba Flamenca, Bossa Nova, Funk, Latin Jazz, and Peruvian rhythms as Vals, Landó, Zamacueca, Marinera, Festejo, and Panalivio. Great musicians were part of this production. Jesus “El Viejo” Rodríguez (musical producer of The Voice – Perú) was in charge of the recording and mix. What I wanted to show in this CD was what I had inside as a composer, all the musical genres that I had learned during all these years until that moment. In this link, you can see the EPK of “Enrumbando.”


Since you are from perú, can you tell us a little about Peruvian music? What kind of music do you like to play?

I really feel blessed to have been born in this land so rich in music, in their cuisine, and turism. In Perú there are many genres. In the coast, the music is characterized by the use of percussion, like in “Festejo”, “Landó”, “Tondero”, “Marinera”, “Vals Criollo”, “Zamacueca”, “Panalivio”, among others. The highlands also have a great variety of Huaynos which vary depending on the region they belong to. We have “Carnavales”, “Danza de Tijeras”, “Sicuri”, and others. In the Altiplano in Perú we have “Tuntuna or Saya”. The jungle also has genres that are yet to be discovered and shown to the world. I like to play all the genres of my country. I learn a lot from them. I also love jazz, Brazilian music, and AfroCaribbean music.

Do you think music can do something for our world?

Without a doubt. Music is not a sport to compete, but art to share, says Abraham Laboriel. When you make music, whatever you are planning to use it for, it needs people working together with one purpose: to create a song or work for it. That’s what the world needs to learn. We should come together as one to make this world a better place.

What does music mean to you?

For me, music is a gift from GOD. It has His characteristics. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, but if you can feel it, it will feed your soul. A Greek sculpture or statue can be seen, even if it has been made hundreds of years ago. Even though many years have passed by, you can go to a museum and appreciate La Monalisa of DaVinci. You can’t do that with music. We have no idea how the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven sounded in its time. Sometimes I even think if the best bass solos have ever been recorded, because if they haven’t, then just the people who were there the moment it happened could enjoy it. Music needs time to exist. Without a doubt, music is one of the best creations of GOD, and one of His greatest gifts to all of us.

Do you have any suggestion for Sire?

Just to thank “Sire Guitars” for making me part of the family. Thank them as well for this great vision of making the basses available for everyone at affordable prices. Don’t stop this great work. Go for more!