We have been asking a couple of our friends what “A Life of Wonder” means to them. We thought it would be a fun way to interpret our brand and also highlight individuals who have played a meaningful role in our lives.
Carlitos is the kind of guy you can count on for anything. He was born in Cuba, spends his time on the road touring with bands as a merch guy, calls Miami home, skateboards, is a great photographer, and created the Suicide Sign.
Where were you born and raised?
Yo naci en (I was born in) Matanzas, Cuba.
What continues to inspire you about the places you come from (Cuba and Miami)?
Where do I start, theres so much. Cuban culture is so rich, and I’m grateful that it is so plentiful here in Miami.
Not many people have the chance to leave their country for another, and still have so much of what they grew up around and loving still present in their daily lives. But if I had to pick something that continuously inspires me, I’d say is the work ethic of everyone, both in Cuba & Miami. Something truly motivating about always having driven people around you, never giving up, even when their circumstances aren't ideal. I’d rather be surrounded by that day in and day out than anything else really. An unbreakable spirit is something thats a true blessing to be around.
In a couple short sentences, can you tell us what exactly it means to be a merch guy?
Simplest way to put it is that I am a store owner, who every single days opens up his doors in a different city.
Every artist I tour with has merchandise for sale, & I am in charge of ordering, keeping track of, selling, and returning all the goods.
On an average day I wake up, walk to the semi-truck, grab the inventory I need for the day, set up a stand in the venue, sell, pack up, and repeat it all again the next day.
(Carlos is low key about who he tours with, but he’s definitely toured with some household names. I’ll leave it at that.)
Whats the most exciting place touring with bands has taken you?
It is so difficult to answer that question, but for the sake of keeping it simple here are my top 5.
Australia: People and weather are just always top notch.
Japan: Food & architecture is just out of this world.
Hawaii: Landscapes & nature is unmatched.
Spain: History. A large percentage of Cuba’s roots trace back to there, so its always a gift to swing through.
Germany: Their love for heavy music, photography, & industrial coffee shops is hard to match.
How do you keep up the hustle, professionally and personally?
Its different for everyone, but I've alway fought hard to do both to the best of my ability & it has not failed me yet.
If you're hired to do something, do it to the absolute best of your ability. Effort is always noticed, and most of the time people just want to know you truly tried.
As for the personal hustle, that for me is dictated by happiness. If i'm chasing something, regardless of its challenges, if it makes me happy nobody can stop me from doing it.
What musician would most people never guess you actually like?
Im a heavily tattooed male with a couple scars to show, so I feel like my looks alone might lead people to think that I perhaps favor violent, aggressive music (which i do), but i think people might be surprised to find out how much I listen to Hans Zimmer, John Mayer, & Ricardo Arjona.
Cafecito, Cortadito, or Cafe Con Leche?
This question has no answer, they all have their place in the day, and like socks to a shoe & laces, one cannot be without the other.
Cafecito when you wake up.
Cortadito for lunch.
Cafe Con Leche after dinner while on the couch with the AC blasting. Maybe have some bread in one hand to dunk in there, ya tu sabe.
(If you’re confused about this Cuban coffee lingo, check out our post that walks you through it.)
Outside of Miami, where have you found the best Cuban food?
To be frank, I cant say i've found any that I would revisit, but in their defense, on tour I try to eat differently than I do at home.
But, if you're reading this, and you ever happen to be in Miami, & are craving the real thing, do yourself a favor and check out "La Palma".
Eso esta ahi en la calle 8. Its open 24 hours and ANYTHING on the menu is incredible.
What does "A Life of Wonder" mean to you? How do you interpret that?
I receive that as an invitation.
I truly believe that we are all extremely unique. We all have experienced things that without a doubt have happened to nobody else & not that everything needs to be shared, but i do think that those experiences have taught us lessons AND it is those lessons I feel need to be broadcasted. It is those lessons that can lead and encourage others to pursue something they perhaps were not so sure of. It is those lessons that can lean countless others to "A Life of Wonder".
A Life of Wonder to me means a life shared.
What's on the radar for you once touring becomes a thing again after this covid mess is over?
Man, everything was put on hold because of the corona virus, but not necessarily canceled, so when this passes we’ll just pick up where we left off. Ideally head back out with "Fit For A King" to finish their U.S Headliner. Then follow up with a short run with "PVRIS" and finish off the year with "BearTooth".
Any solid music or movie / documentary recommendations?
Music: 'Dawes" - A Little Bit of Everything
Movies: "The Peanut Butter Falcon"
Doc: " Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone"
Last thing, what's one apparel or fashion accessory you can't leave the house without?
A hat baby! Love me a good hat. I’d say in over 80% of photos I’m wearing one.