In his school days at Florida International University, Roger del Pino fancied himself a video artist. So it was only a matter of time before his electro-musical alter ego, Monterrey, released a video for one of his songs. The result, the video for the track "Neon," is a kaleidoscopic trip with the color palette of a lost episode of Miami Vice in which Don Johnson ingests some weird drugs.
"I'd been talking with the director Caro about doing it since September," del Pino tells New Times on a Friday night after work. "I wanted it to be a throwback because of the name 'Neon' to 1980s Miami. Caro then threw a sci-fi element into it."
The video was filmed at the Miami Princess Hotel in one day. "We shot it in four or five hours. It's a motel that you can rent hourly, and we chose the disco-themed room." After months of postproduction with all of the video's special effects, Monterrey, who got the name after del Pino saw a photograph of the beautiful Mexican city by that name, was able to drop the video shortly after the new year. "I rented out a gallery space in the Little River Arts District and had a video-release party. We were able to re-create the motel room in the space. I thought it was all received well."
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As for the rest of 2017, del Pino wants to get more comfortable being in the spotlight. "I started writing music and tried to have girls sing for me, but that didn't work out the way I wanted." So instead, del Pino takes the stage armed with a couple of synthesizers. His friend Oscar Sardinia plays guitar. You'll have a chance to see how his brand of chillwave translates in a live setting January 27 at the Bar at 1306.
"After that show, I think I'm really going to try to hunker down and create another EP," he says. After enjoying the process and the result of making the video for "Neon," he says he'll add a new element to his future songwriting. "I've always had images in my mind, but, yeah, I think I'll have videos in mind when I write these next songs."
Moonset Records Presents Monterrey & X3SR
10 p.m. Friday, January 27, at the Bar at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 1306miami.com; 305-377-2277. Admission is free.