Music News

Shantidas Contu-Owen, What Are You Listening To?

Shantidas Contu-Owen

The local fashion designer was the winner of Project Ethos' VitaminWater Zero Fashionista Challenge.

When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? Generally 96.9-FM. I'm not really loyal to any one station. I just switch around and find the songs I like.

What's the last song played on your music player? "Do What You Gotta Do," by Nik West. I've been working on her performance outfit this week, so I've been playing her CD a lot to keep inspiration and set the mood.

What's the first album you bought? I bought my first CD, Third Eye Blind's self-titled album, when I was maybe 12 years-old. I was obsessed. I think I listened to it everyday for weeks.

What's the first concert you saw? Sugar Ray at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Tempe for New Year's Eve, 1999. I was about 12 or 13. It was the first time my parents let me go off with my friends for a while without constant supervision. I thought it was the best thing ever.

What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? Over a year ago, when I was living in Milan, my friend was dating an Italian DJ, DJ Prezioso. He was performing in a club in Switzerland, so he brought us along as his "groupies," and we got the backstage treatment. While he performed, they had my friend and I sit on the speakers on stage. One side of the club was painted with a mural of the Grand Canyon! I was so excited to have a piece of home right there in some random club in Switzerland! The music itself wasn't my favorite, but the experience was a once in a lifetime experience.

Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? Digital. Pandora. It does the work for me. 

What's your favorite album? Save Me, San Francisco by Train

Who is your favorite singer or band? I've been hooked on Train since their comeback. They're upbeat and have a positive energy. I can't help but be happy when I listen to them. I loved them when I was younger, and I still do now.

Does your computer track how many times you've played something -- if so,what's at the top of the list? Right now, a lot of Italian music. I've been a little nostalgic -- Jovanotti, Laura Pausini, Tiziano Ferro.

What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2010? Save Me, San Francisco by Train. As stated above, their music makes me feel relaxed and carefree. Simply put, it's happy music. Who doesn't like to be happy? 

What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience? "Somewhere over the Rainbow," by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I believe it to be one of the most inspiring/happiest songs ever. Just imagine the plethora of smiles that would go around if the entire world heard this song at the exact same moment. Now that's inspiring.

Who is your favorite local artist? Nik West. She is an electric bassist with an amazing voice. Her soulful music is a refreshing change from what we normally hear in the Valley and on the radio. She is quickly rising and already going international with her talent. I also love History Machine. The group has a laid back "desert rock" vibe inspired by their Arizona roots. They love what they do and visibly have a lot of fun performing for their fans. I definitely hope to see them grow and gain more exposure in Arizona.

What is your favorite local venue to see music? Char's Has the Blues in Phoenix. I love going Monday nights for their open mic night. You can listen to so many talented individuals in one night from a variety of genres. It's a great start to the week!

What is your favorite music video? "Stand by Me," from Playing for Change: Peace Through MusicI'm kind of a sap for the sentimental things. As a matter of fact, this ties for the worldwide audience question for the same reasons.

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Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero