What’s in your suitcase? Alex Cuba shows us how real rock stars roll
By his hotel pool in LA, just jammin’.
By ANGIE ROMERO
What I love the most about music festivals is that you get to catch up with a bunch of your favorite artists all at once. In town for Univision’s H2O Music Fest today in Los Angeles, Alex Cuba invited us to his cool boutique hotel in West Hollywood and opened up his suitcase for us.
In this second edition of our fun celebrity-driven series, you’ll learn a lot about the talented jazz pop fusion singer/songwriter, born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba — like the fact that he’s quite spiritual and a tad superstitious.
Alex, 37, is in a really creative headspace right now, having finished recording his new bilingual album, Static In The System, due October 9 on Caracol Records. Cuba describes it as “more catchy, more easy-going” but still socially conscious — check out the title track — it’s hard to place exactly what era the song is from, but it definitely transports.
He even played a few new tracks for us, including his duet with Nelly Furtado called “Nadie Como Tu.” The two are longtime friends, with Cuba writing for Furtado’s Latin Grammy-winning Spanish album, Mi Plan.
Cuba himself has won a 2010 Latin Grammy for Best New Artist and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Latin Pop Album category last year.
After playing a couple more California dates, he’ll be off to London to start the press rounds for the new album, and then it’s back home to Smithers, British Columbia (north of Vancouver).
After checking out the contents of Alex’s suitcase, peep the first installment we did, with Li Saumet of Bomba Estereo.
He’s definitely a shoe guy. He loves these lace-less Converse because he can “slip them on and off, so they’re great for travel.”
Alex never travels without his laptop. He showed us the new album’s cover, which is based on multiple drawings by kids from an after-school arts program in Canada.
Like most guys I know, Alex needs lots of white tees. “They get stained after a while,” he said.
Speaking of tees, this one reminds him of Brazil.
And cool leather rockstar boots…
“I got this tattoo recently,” he told us. “It’s a seahorse and it represents patience and tenacity — both of which I need in my life.”
“This kind of represents a third eye, I got it at a music festival in Canada recently.”
“For the fans, pins and fake tats…”
“Believe it or not, I use women’s shaving cream because it’s softer on my face.”
“I always travel with these oregano drops,” he said. “They help prevent illness. It’s a health secret of mine.”
Somebody’s excited for the pool…
“This is the same Gibson guitar BB King uses,” said Cuba, who was born into a musical family.
Nothing but the best when it comes to mics and guitar strings.
Talking music with us by the pool.
After the show is the after-party…