As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 20 – Summer 2022
The very talented Colombian-born guitarist Sus Vasquez loves playing funk, rock, blues, and pop music. The Elixir artist shared with us in a previous interview, “The first time I listened to the band Blink-182, I absolutely felt a connection with that style of music and started to listen to it a lot. With time, I discovered other genres and began to expand my musical ear, taste, and knowledge.”
Vasquez moved to New York City several years ago and said of the move, “The amount of diversity, music, and culture in the city is amazing. It constantly challenges me, but that’s what keeps me moving and motivates me the most.” She added, “There’s an energy and vibe in the city that I haven’t felt anywhere else. I feel a constant drive to hustle every time I’m here. It’s definitely not an easy city to live in, but the number of amazing things happening every day makes it totally worth it for me.”
Vasquez has had the fortune to play with talented artists, including Luis Fonsi, Benson Boone, and Karol G — recently finding herself on stage at Coachella! Vasquez fills us in on her latest news.
It’s been a couple of years since we last chatted. Tell us what you’ve been up to since then and who you’re performing with.
The end of 2021 and the beginning of this year has been an exciting and challenging journey of personal and professional growth. My life has been all about finding a balance between all the touring, working and taking care of myself. Some of the biggest milestones of my career have happened this year, like when I performed at the Ellen Show with Benson Boone and the Coachella Festival with Karol G.
On your Instagram page, you commented: “Sometimes you dream big, but when you work hard and have patience, you can go beyond the surfaces of your dreams.” Did you ever dream you would be on stage performing at Coachella?
To be honest, I always wanted to play on big stages, but the thought of Coachella was something pretty surreal. To this day, this has been one of the top performances and experiences of my career, and I feel more motivated and inspired to keep working and visualizing myself in many more events like these.
You also said, “Never look back to regret your past or what you haven’t done; always look forward.” What are you looking forward to next?
This year there are so many exciting things happening with Karol G; we have two huge tours across Latin America and the US, including one of my dream venues to play at, which is Madison Square Garden. In general, I’m always looking for what’s. Next, I love growing, learning and making myself better every day but mostly enjoying every single part of this process.
What gear are you currently playing?
I’m currently using three guitars on tour. I have my Fender Custom Telecaster, a Taylor acoustic 814ce, and a 12-string also from Taylor. For all the pre-programmed sounds for the show, I use the Kemper Stage, which it’s been an amazing tool with so many possibilities; the amp tone and all the different sound-designed FX’s I got out of it have worked great for this show. For hotel recording and other gigs, I’ve recently been using the Neural DSP Quad Cortex, which has also been amazing.
What does your practice consist of?
Currently, I mostly practice elements and techniques for the shows and the music that I have to play. I usually go very deep on this, not only learning the actual song but also approaching elements from it to work on aspects like technique, sound, dynamics, tempo, etc. I’ve been coming back to focusing on getting perfection on the basics, making sure my playing is always very clean, with good timing, feel and sound.
How about a few fun questions?
Top 3 songs on your playlist?
This is hard because every time I go to Spotify, I try to listen to something new; I’m always on the go looking for new artists and music. It also depends a lot on my mood and how I feel, but usually, I just go to new releases or look for a similar new artist or something I really liked.
First live concert?
Mmm, I can’t remember very well, but I bet it was some concert at a local school in Medellin, Colombia, where I’m from. What I do remember is that since day one, I never felt scared or shy to go on stage and play. The crazy part is that even to this day, after playing in sold-out stadiums in front of 50K+ people, I’m fearless, and it just feels like another part of me that flows.
Before going to the venue, I try to always take a shower and start preparing myself mentally for the show. When I get to the venue, I like stretching, maybe doing a couple of pushups, warming up with the guitar, and just focusing on being as relaxed as possible before hitting the stage
If I wasn’t a musician, I would be . . .
Probably a photographer or something related to that. I’ve always been a very visual person, and I was very into taking photos for a while.