Your music doesn’t feel small city. Did you develop that sound growing up here?
Chavez: No. I went to Argentina for a semester while I was at UT and ended up hearing this music called la chacarera and, in a sense, it was the first time I had heard Spanish music that really called to me. I had occasionally heard Spanish music growing up, some ranchera, but it didn’t hold me or grab my attention. Hearing the chacarera was like a doorway for me to tap into my Latin roots through music.
When I came back to Austin, I wrote one song in Spanish called “Embrujo.” I’d be playing a set at Mozart’s coffee shop and no one would be paying attention to me, but after the set people would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, my god, do you have any more of that flamenco stuff?’ I’d tell them, ‘Well, it’s not flamenco.’
So it was nice that people liked it, even though it’s in a language they don’t understand. But it also speaks to the scene here. There are only certain audiences that go to certain venues. You’re more likely to go see me at Stubb's instead of La Palapa, which is a random Mexican food restaurant on the East Side.