For this week’s Deep Dive Series we are interviewing a talented Latino creator: @PabloAntonioZelaya.
Salvadorian creator Pablo Antonio Zelaya is a man of multiple talents. Not only he is one of the lead singers in an amazing band called Pablo Antonio Y La Firma, but also he spends the rest of his time teaching Spanish across platforms. On Clapper, his content focuses on daily lessons on how to learn basic phrases in Spanish. The value that Pablo brings to his community on Clapper is beyond comparison.
Keep reading to find out more about this creator’s amazing story. Make sure to tune in every Friday at 4pm CT on our @Clappertalks account, to listen to the bonus questions that will only be available on our live radio show: Clapper Interviews.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What does a day look like in your life?
I work from home mostly. But I do have a full-time job. After that, I try to spend time with my son, my daughters, my grandkids, my parents, just family in general. I also dedicate some time to my side business which is leading a Latino band, here in the Washington DC area. We play three styles of Latin music: Bachata, Merengue y Cumbia.
We saw some videos of your band called Pablo Antonio y La Firma. When did your music journey begin? What made you want to create this band?
Well, I loved to sing since I was a little kid. I first came to the United States in 1991. When I came here my uncles had already started a little band and they got me in it right away. I would actually go to the performances, I would pass out on a bench at events and they would wake me up when it was time to sing. We travel for a little bit, so it was awesome. Then, with school and everything, I didn’t get to do it full time. Then when I was in my early 20s, I went ahead and joined a couple local bands and then, I found La Firma in 1999. I couldn’t see myself without music in my life.
How long have you been performing and what kind of events does your band perform at?
Because of the trajectory we had, being together, we actually managed to do some pretty big events. I would say up and down the east coast. Also, in our home area. we do a lot of big events. Mainly, what we do is weddings and Quinceañeras. Those are always happening. We have played for crowds of 15000 people all the way down to a couple hundred people. For us is about being out there doing what we love.
We saw you are a member of the “American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers” and a Grammy member. What does that entail?
So, basically, the first one is an organization that looks out for creators, as far as getting paid for working in the music business. You join, you paid the fee and you basically show that you are active in the music world and that you have works that are attributed to your name. I guess you could call it the more serious side of creating music. When you have so much passion for it like I do and when you actually want to get involved in the real business then these are organizations and steps that everybody should take.
As far as the Grammys, I am a member. It’s the same kind of scenario. You have to show your work and that you are worthy of it. They have a gruesome process. I am still working on becoming a voting member. I will probably accomplish that in the next year, because when you are a voting member you actually get to vote who wins the Grammys every year. I do get invitations to the Grammys and a lot of the event that they do locally. I’ve never gone, but its in my to-do list.
Being such a musical guy, what made you want to teach Spanish to Clapper users instead of just doing music?
It’s funny you ask that because I do have an account for my band. When I came to the United States, I spoke no English, so I had sort of a hard time. It was a challenge. We do live in America, but I understand that there are a lot of people who actually want to learn a foreign language. I am not an instructor, I am not a teacher, but it goes back to what I was saying earlier: It’s about a passion I have to help others. If I know something, it doesn’t hurt to me to teach it to somebody else. Honestly, I wish I could do more. I wish I could spend all day on Clapper teaching people.
Not only do you create great content that helps educate people, and you are also in a band. How do you manage your time making such good content and music?
I am fortunate to work from home. I do have a very busy tight schedule. But at the same time, we get breaks, and then once I get off and move to other things I tried to go on Clapper and answer people. I just make it a part of my life. It’s about doing something because you love it. When you do something you love, it’s not work. I don’t see it as work I actually look forward to it. I enjoy it so much it brings me so much happiness.
How did your journey as a creator begin?
I have been on social media for a long time because of the band. I had Myspace, Facebook, the Hi5. I am not young, but I do consider myself probably average when it comes to technology. I just love tech as a whole, I found it so amazing that you can connect with people everywhere in the world. I just get into it. What you see is what you get, that is who I am.
What do you enjoy most about Clapper? In what ways do you feel like Clapper needs improvement?
One of the best things about Clapper is the ability to connect with everyone and be able to talk back so I can help people with pronunciation. Now, something that would be helpful at least for me would be that switching function to switch from both of my accounts, as opposed to having to log in and out. I do love the feature for the local tab, that is such a great addition. Also, I love your hands-on approach and for your company to give little creators a chance to be seen.
How do you think Clapper can be more inclusive for the Latino community?
If you go to other platforms they have huge numbers of Latino creators, so it’s a matter of bringing them over. This is what I try to do, but it is difficult. Just having a lot of popular Latino music available would be helpful. A lot of people love to have that background music in their videos. The other thing is reaching out to creators and showing them what they can achieve on Clapper. Just having people who have good numbers in other apps talking about Clapper.
What advice would you give people trying to learn a second language?
If you are trying to learn Spanish, I would say the most important thing is the vowels. The vowels in Spanish will always have the same sound. Also, repeat, repeat, and repeat. Be more engaging. A lot of people are afraid. It doesn’t matter if you don’t sound right, if you only know 5 words the only way you are gonna learn more is by practicing. Just take that stance and punch fear in the face.
For more of his content please check out Pablo’s Clapper account.