Singer-songwriter Eddie Gomez is a rising star who just debuted his extended play album No to great reviews. The way he stumbled upon music, and what he plans to do with his talent and growing fame, is just as compelling as the music he creates.
It all started when his older brother taught him how to play the guitar at 14 years old in their hometown of Portland, Ore.
“I have a speech impediment,” says Gomez. “So when my brother encouraged me to do music, I realized I could use it as a type of therapy for the way I get caught up in my words. The more I did it, the more I fell in love with music.”
It was nine years ago that Gomez and his brother began the 14- to 18-hour trek from Portland to Los Angeles about four times a year to participate in songwriting competitions in the entertainment capital of the world.
“I had this crazy idea that if I won a songwriting competition, I would get this amazing record deal,” says Gomez. “I soon found out that it doesn’t work that way. When I did win one of these competitions—and not a big one by the way—I took it as a sign to move out here and pursue this wholeheartedly.”
Six years ago, after officially moving to Los Angeles, he played a show at a Starbucks. It was there he was introduced to music producer Bud’da Anderson—known for working with Aaliyah, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Anderson instantly became Gomez’ mentor.
“I would go over to his house every day and read up on old music to see how it has evolved over the years; that is how I came to love all aspects and genres of music and songwriting.” says Gomez. “You can take something good from each genre; you just have to listen for it. I think that’s why my music sounds are so infused.”
Despite everything he was learning while living in Los Angeles, it took some time for Gomez to grow some tough skin.
“My biggest problem at first was that I was afraid to release my music because I thought it wasn’t good enough. My brother had to talk me out of it,” says Gomez. “He said, ‘If you’re going to keep doing that, then you might as well play your music in the garage. You have to willing to put yourself out there and see what feedback you get.’ After that, I knew I had to perform wherever I could, in front of whomever I could.”
Gomez performed every day in different places across L.A. He recalls that, at first, it was a tough crowd because people tend to think of street performers as background noise. Eventually he commanded their attention with the standard of music he performed. It was then that audiences became more receptive and supportive.
“Every song I create, every song I write, has to make a statement in order for people to listen,” says Gomez. “As a new artist, you have to show people what makes you the next best thing, so I try to put more focus on that in my music.”
After much hard work, he had the opportunity to collaborate with Captain Cuts—well-known producers that have worked with artists like Grouplove and Smallpools. As a result of that collaboration, record labels wanted to know who was behind the voice. It was then that Captain Cuts asked Gomez if he wanted to do an EP.
Since Captain Cuts is quite busy nowadays, Gomez’ six-track EP had to be completed in about eight to 10 studio sessions. According to Gomez, the work cycle was definitely hectic with the idea, the writing, the chorus and the recorded verses all done in roughly a 12-hour span.
“Every time I went in to the studio I had to have the song done by that day. It was done under pressure but they gave me a lot of creative control,” says Gomez. “The whole EP came about so naturally and I was very fortunate to have the full support of the producers. This process definitely helped me grow and realize that if this is the hardest it can get it’s not all that bad.”
Gomez says he treats his music career just like an athlete treats his athletic career: There is a lot of practice involved and even though there are bad games mixed in with the great ones, you always have to keep practicing, trying new things and perfecting your craft.
But for the up-and-coming artist, perfecting his craft and achieving a level of fame is not all he strives for.
His sister once told him, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” and since then he is mindful of that in all that he does. Instead of having a release party for his debut EP, Gomez partnered up with the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to put together a benefit concert on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles—venue still to be determined—in which all the donations go to the foundation. Additionally, 100 percent of the proceeds from his EP will also go directly to the PACER’s Center.
“When I was growing up I was bullied for my stutter and for being the odd guy, so I’ve always wanted to create something bigger than just the music,” says Gomez. “I think a lot of times people feel you have to be this big celebrity in order to make a difference, but it’s not like that at all. If you just put one foot in front of the other and try to make a difference people will take notice.”
Gomez is proof that good karma exists. Within 10 hours of releasing the first single “Someday” he received a call from Atlantic Records saying they wanted to meet him. Soon after, labels like Virgin Records, Warner Bros Records and several other independent labels followed suit.
“The industry has been very receptive of my work and very open-minded about how I view music and how I think creatively,” says Gomez. “Right now I’m just working hard at what I love doing because the more you do on your own, the more of an impact you’ll make. For me hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. My work ethic is what distinguishes me from others doing what I do.”
Aside from his new EP and the benefit concert, Eddie Gomez is also finalizing a 20-show East Coast tour that is slated to start on Nov. 1. If all goes as planned, the tour will end in Texas, however, the dates, cities and venues have yet to be confirmed.
With his impressive work ethic, compassionate nature and unique talent this contemporary crooner is very likely to have a successful music career ahead of him. Gomez prefers to lay it all on the line so that others appreciate the music as much as he does.
“In order for people to take a hold of you as an artist you have to be transparent and give them the good with the bad,” says Gomez. “On this EP I sing from personal experience to show others I’m not perfect but I realize the mistakes I’ve made in life, in hopes that maybe they will learn from your mistakes.”
Eddie Gomez says that for “Someday” he wanted to go back in time all the way to the 30s where there were coalmines and real instruments. “I thought let’s just put a mic in the middle of the room and just start stomping and clapping. From there I started singing a chorus, then a verse and we just kept adding layers and layers.”