From our days of living in the Mission, my fave local Mexican place is Roosevelt Tamale Parlor on 24th Street—as much for the delish food as for the amazing live music you’ll find there every Friday and Saturday evening, when Diana Gameros totes her guitar to the little restaurant. Gameros hails from Juarez, Mexico, and serenades tamale-eaters with her velvety voice and dazzles with her smile and incredibly sweet personality. I’ve never seen a performer so eager to chat with folks in her audience—you should have seen her fawn over our baby Frida. So we were beyond thrilled to discover that she’s opening for legendary Bossa Nova vocalist Bebel Gilberto at Herbst Theater this Sunday! It’s Diana’s biggest show ever (buy tickets here), so I emailed her a few questions about how it came about, how she’s feeling, and, of course, what she’s wearing!
Diana has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce her first studio album, and she created (for real she did the stop motion and everything her own self) an adorable video to promote it (see below). I’m so rooting for this girl, love her!
Stylenik: Your upcoming gig with Bebel Gilberto is coming up this weekend, are you excited? Nervous?
Diana Gameros: I’m VERY excited, not really nervous…for now.
Sn: How did the gig come about? Did she reach out to you?
DG: I was invited to open for Bebel by La Bohemia Productions, a San Francisco music promotion and production project that presents groundbreaking singer-songwriters, Latin fusion and contemporary alternative world Music. I have been invited by them to play in other events such us opening for Latin-Grammy winner Ximena Sariñana.
Sn: Have you played with other huge acts? Who has been your favorite to perform with, and who would be your dream to perform with?
DG: This is the first time I’ll be playing in a big theatre with numbered seating and where people will be fully attentive.
A somewhat big act was opening for Latin-Grammy winner Ximena Sariñana at the New Parish in Oakland. Ximena is pretty big in México. ***A cute side note -Ximena was my little sister’s favorite artist. A huge fan of hers. She cried and went crazy when she found out I would open her concert.
I also played a really fun show at the Independent as an opener for LoCura, an amazing band from SF. They sold out that night. It was fun!
In my wildest dream I see myself doing a musical collaboration with Esperanza Spalding, Kronos Quartet, Chavela Vargas (if she were alive), and Björk; all playing together at the Cuadrángulo de Las Monjas. That’s right, in my dreams!
Sn: What are you planning to play on Sunday? Covers, originals, a mix?
DG: I will play all originals and I will be backed up by INCREDIBLE musicians: Patrick Wolff on clarinet/sax (Glenn Miller Orchestra, Marcus Shelby), Ara Anderson on trumpet (Tom Waits, OK Go, Sean Hayes) and Thomas Edler on upright bass (Symphony Parnassus)
Sn: Almost as important, what are you wearing?!
DG: I’ve been so busy, I still don’t know!!! and time’s running out HELP!!!!!
The name of the concert series is “Hope and Healing” so I was thinking to wear light colors and maybe something with some tasteful frills…
Sn: Obligatory style question: how would you describe your style? Do you have a favorite designer?
DG: Minimalist, classy, natural, sometimes vintage, sometimes girly.
No particular designer as a favorite, although I have to say all the things I’ve seen at my neighbor’s Fiat Lux I absolutely love. (Small world!!) Unsure of what designers he’s working with, I know they’re mainly local. My next mission is to go find out who they are!
Sn: Now that you’re booking larger gigs, I worry that you won’t have time for Roosevelt’s anymore! Do you plan to continue playing there?
DG: Ha Ha! I will keep playing at RTP. Don’t panic I love my steady gigs there, it pays the bills and gives me the opportunity to keep meeting people, connecting with them, talking face to face, eating with them during my break, playing with their kids -meeting their new babies, watching them grow! As much as I’d love to move on to greater things, I will be sad when this RTP gig ends. Once I start touring you may see less of me there but for now I’m staying loyal to my local SF fans.
Sn: You have a Kickstarter fundraiser going now, how did you decide to take the Kickstarter route to produce your first album? I LOVE the video btw, so adorable!!
DG: Thanks for your comments on the video
Yes! My Kickstarter is up and running! I decided to take this route because I love the fact that a project as big as the making of an album can be financed by… people! The idea of having it be my family, my fans and my community, and not a record label who make this album possible motivates me a ton! WE are on our way to revolutionize the music industry. I really think WE, the people, are creating the future of music and this revolutionary idea makes the work of an independent artist more exciting; staying independent allows me to stay true to my artistic integrity and free from succumbing to the sometimes insensitive and massive commercialization of music. I say YES! to community funded projects