Kiki Diago’s has recently released their new song “She Wants Love” at a show in Early November in Downtown Riverside. They are currently finishing up their album, Volume 1, with the release date soon to be announced at the beginning of the year.
Kiki Diago is a local band from the Inland Empire that has built up a large community following throughout the past two years. The band consists of lead singer Gael Jacobo, Alex Brady who is the newest drummer, Ismael Trujillo on keys, Andrew Plascencia as bassist, and Danny Zapato on guitar.
“To me, the Inland Empire is a place conducive to art. People who grew up here tend to generally live in the suburbs and we become extremely bored, yet we live an hour away from Los Angeles. This allowed us to dream and get creative to distract ourselves from this suburban boredom,” said Zapato.
The band has been writing their new album for the past eight months, which features “She Wants Love.” Through hours of jamming together, Kiki Diago was able to put together a new sound. Their close friend Christopher Maciel became their engineer to record their music.
It took about a week to plan and record, and a couple of months-worth mixing and mastering, and then finally a single release. Another friend known as Mano helped after tracking the album to give some direction on handling the deadlines for shows and production goals.
“I feel like the hardest part of any artistic project is figuring out what you are trying to say. An album is a collection of songs that form one big picture or idea and trying to make sure it all makes sense as a collaborative set is always a challenge,” said Trujillo.
The process of writing an album can get costly, but Kiki Diago has done it through mostly self-funding and donations from family and friends. At shows such as the one at Romano’s, there is a charge for entry at the door. Most the time, the band sees almost little to none of that money. It does change from venue to venue, and the money would cover gas, merchandise, and licensing. Their biggest support is just their family, friends and fans.
“It continually surprises us when someone we don’t even know comes up and says they love our music or recommended us to someone. There has been so much love going around, and people have been supportive every step of the way in so many different ways,” said Plascencia “Social media helps, but the trend we noticed is that majority of people who have shared a kind word about our music is where we gain our fans.”
Recently, members of the band have moved into a home with the band Daise, which creates a larger music collective and community to work amongst. To Kiki, it is all about making it one big family, and as they get older, they bring their own families into the mix.
Andrew and his partner Kim have figured out how to live the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle while also raising their three-year-old son. Many of the members would say it brings them all closer to have those attachments.
“These guys have created a sort of surrogate family amongst themselves. Dating a musician is hard, but being a mother while dating a musician is even harder. We have been taking our son to band practices from a very young age, so he now knows the routine. Our son even knows when dad is leaving for practice or a show and occasionally asks if he too could go play music and see his friends [the band members],” said Kim Romero, the bassist’s partner.
Kiki Diago hopes that with the help of the community in the Inland Empire, their art will be able to touch the lives of those around them. The band does not strive for any long-term goals, as they believe it will distract them from making music that reflects their creative ideas. Instead, they want to focus on the moments they have with each other. Kiki Diago posts their upcoming events and news about their album on Instagram @kikidiago.