Soulful Guitarist with influences from Spain, South America, the Mediterranean, Middle East, and more! Beautiful melodies, grooves, and improvisation on many different styles. Versatile and tasteful playing.
I'm a Guitarist based in Los Angeles, CA. I've been performing and recording music since 1998. Original music that I compose and also recording guitar over other artists work. Currently I work full time performing at events and venues around LA and the surrounding areas.
My Guitar playing and style/sound has lots of influences from Latin, Spanish, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern music. As well as groove music (Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae etc).
I can adopt to many styles of music, and I can write new ideas for your music if you'd like to spice up a basic idea or concept that you have. As well as just solo or play rhythm over what ever music you have recorded and written. If you tell me what you're looking for, I can deliver:)
Other quick background info! I played in a funk, hip hop, reggae band for 12 years (All original material). Then moved to Spain and studied flamenco guitar for a few years as well and eventually performed solo guitar performances playing my compositions. I've released 2 solo albums that are Spanish, Latin, Mediterranean inspired guitar instrumental albums. And currently I perform mainly as a solo artist.
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Interview with Rafi B. Levy
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My 2 albums (Uplift your soul, and Desert Cruising in a Dub State of Mind). I wrote all the music on both the albums and brought other musicians to play on them. I was happy with how it all came together and it was nice to see that people appreciated the albums and felt them:)
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My next solo album
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog if I have the choice. I like the sound and feel of analog. It's warmer to me.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You'll get something you're happy with or else:)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like seeing people get in a good mood or being present when they hear music. And I just love playing music! What I like most is writing and performing.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do you play other instruments?.... My answer is I'm a guitar player. That's mainly what I do. I wouldn't offer anything other then my guitar playing to a customer. That's what I do best. If I play other instruments, it's just for fun and noodling around!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: When people hear my solo albums they might think that I only play Latin, Spanish, Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Styles. But I have heavy roots in funk, reggae, hip hop and groove based music as well. I listen to most styles and think there are great things in all styles. It's good to keep an open mind and learn where ever we can. I try to learn where ever I can and grow musically always!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What did you have in mind for your song? Do you have a vision for it? Or do you want me to go free with it and see what I come up with?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you know what you're looking for and can explain what type of feel or sound you're looking for, that's very helpful. Otherwise, I can just listen and do what I think matches for the music you send!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1 nylon string acoustic guitar and I'm good!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been performing and recording music since 1998. I started out with a full band and toured and experienced that. Now I enjoy performing as a solo artist at local venues and events. Sometimes just 1 guitar alone and sometimes with a full band. Normally it's instrumental music that I write. I'm happy to record over other musicians music as well.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Warm Soulful melodies and grooves inspired by Mediterranean, Spanish, Latin, and Groove Music
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Sly and Robbie. I love their sound and style and I think I could write some cool things with them!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I think it's best to listen to a song or idea, and not try and force things on to it. Start simple and keep it soulful and give it just what it needs. Sometimes it can be just 1 simple note or chord in the background and sometimes it will need a solo and more! Just listen and feel.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Hip Hop, R&B, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Middle Eastern, World, Folk, Singer Song Writer, Classic Rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Incorporating unique melodies, grooves, and sounds in a tasteful way with tact. Spicing up the song and bringing it to life.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Warm soulful guitar sounds and grooves. Tasteful!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When someone sends me a song or idea, I'll jam over it and experiment with different feels and sounds. When it feels right, I'll start recording different ideas.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Guitar effects, Fender Tube amp, microphones, KRK speakers. I record on my computer using Nuendo and then export the files as Wavs or how ever you like and send you the files. (Everything is compatible with Pro tools and other programs)
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Paco De Lucia, Moraito chico, Aris San, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Buena Vista Social Club, Sly and Robbie, Grant Green, Bob Marley, James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Compay Segundo,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Record guitar melodies, solos, rhythm over their music or write music for singer songwriters after they send me their concept or a basic idea.