By: Ma. Fernanda Soria @MaferSoria
When you hear people talking about “Ecuadorian music,” folk rhythms, town bands, and the name Julio Jaramillo with his traditional “Nuestro Juramento” song immediately come to mind. But musicians like Ignacio Izquierdo break this “traditional” pattern.
Ignacio identifies with alternative rhythms and has played music his entire life. Ecuador Times interviewed him to tell us about his solo project “EliaLiut.”
He was born in Quito in 1986, son of Ecuadorian parents but moved to US because of his father job, who taught him music since he was little. “My dad always made me listen to classical music and jazz at home. I’m sure that influenced my musical vocation immensely.”
He learned to play piano in school, he actually studied it for several years, then moved on to violin and discovered the magic of strings, which is why he started playing guitar. After playing this instrument for four years, til he finished elementary school, he received singing lessons in high school and sang in several choirs, however, he affirms he is self-taught. “I play guitar and sing with my voice.”
“At age 12 I bought my first guitar, and it wasn’t an acoustic one, I bought an electric one. I went straight to the point. I didn’t want to play ballads or pasillos, I wanted to rock like Cobain, Smith and Bono,” says Ignacio, who defines his style as Post-punk, New Wave and Indie Rock / Pop.
This musician has been part of four musical projects inside and outside Ecuador. “My first band was my high school band. In 11th grade to be exact. I made friends ‘on purpose’ with some classmates because I realized they were always carrying guitars, amplifiers and drumsticks around the school. I knew I had to hang out with them,” says Ignacio who remembers having played at the school’s largest music festival with his first band.
“Then, when I had the opportunity to live in Rome, I formed a band with an Arab friend. We were only two: guitar/vocals and drums. We called ourselves ‘Turnover’. Upon returning to Ecuador, I waited two years to find musicians that tuned with what I wanted,” says Ignacio.
In 2007 “I made friends with three musicians who wanted to form an indie-rock band with European influences, and luckily they were looking for a vocalist. That’s when ‘Motozen’ began. We had great success as a group and participated in various festivals in and outside of Quito. Unfortunately the band died in 2010.”
Thanks to the experience with his previous bands, Ignacio felt confident enough to pursue a solo career and give life to “EliaLiut”, a solo project that has already released an EP, entitled “complacency” with four original tracks. “EliaLiut is my solo project but I have musician friends who perform with me. In fact, my second album, which is coming out later this year, contains live sessions featuring them,” says the musician.
At the moment, Ignacio lives in Seattle, USA, with his wife Allison Gilman, whose voice is featured in EliaLiut’s song “Honey”. Ignacio says he wants to continue making music and that “it’s a long journey”. He also mentioned he would like to do a tour in Ecuador next year to promote his solo songs.
Ignacio decided to name his solo project “EliaLiut” because he is an “aviation enthusiast. I’ve always been interested in pioneers of flight. Many of them lost their lives by challenging the air. As it should be of public knowledge, Elia Liut (originally from Italy) was the first pilot to fly over the territory of our country in 1920, when he crossed Los Andes in his plane from Guayaquil to Cuenca. Over time, certain characters are forgotten. So I decided to call my solo project ‘EliaLiut’ because I want to keep his name alive. I like to think it is a method of recycling History.”