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20 Questions With Pedro Capó: The Puerto Rican Singer-Songwriter on New Album ‘Munay’ & Shamanism

The concept of his new album came to Pedro Capó while on a retreat in the Amazon where he spent 12 days healing emotionally, spiritually and physically.

“I knew I wanted my new album to be about love and shamanism but it wasn’t until January that I went on this retreat,” says the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter. “I’ve been working with Amazonian shamanism and ayahuasca for about 20 years now. It’s been a fountain of inspiration.”

The end result is Munay – which means love in Quechua and the name of the camp he stayed in – an 11-track set with some of Capó’s most personal songs yet. The album, which explores the concept of love in all its phases, opens with “Day By Day,” an uplifting song that offers a beacon of hope in times of uncertainty and includes Capó’s chart-topping hit “Calma.” Stream the album, produced by George Noriega, here.

Below, Capó answers 20 questions for Billboard:

1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself?

A Tribe Called Quest cassette but can’t remember the name of the cassette.

2. What was the first concert you saw?

Most likely was Menudo when I was a little kid and my mom was screaming and jumping. I was so embarrassed and probably asked her to sit down.

3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?

My father was a musician, a songwriter and he played at bars and restaurants and my mom was a secretary for an insurance company.

4. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

I was born with the notion of it. My grandfather [Bobby Capó] was a big star when I was born and my dad was a musician. I saw my father writing songs and he would include me in the process when I was little so that kind of sparked my interest for the vocation.

5. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

It shaped me immensely. I grew up in Puerto Rico, lower middle class, your neighbors were family, music was a huge part, the food, my abuela, the beach, everything.

6. What’s the last song you listened to?

Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part.”

7. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?

Juan Luis Guerra. I haven’t seen him live and have been wanting to watch him.

8. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

Big Fish by Tim Burton

9. What TV series have you watched all the way through multiple times?

None. I don’t like watching series multiple times.

10.  What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?

I used really into inline skating when it was the craze in the nineties and I got a really bad scar to prove it.

11. If you were not a musician, what would you be?

At some point of my life I’ve always fantasized that I’d be a boxing champion of the 160-pound division. Or a chef, I love cooking.

12. Favorite Karaoke song?

“Sweet Caroline.”

13. Do you have a vice?

Many but I’m gonna say food.

14. What are you afraid of?

Mediocracy.

15. What do you spend too much money on?

Food. Going out to eat.

16. Who’s still on your bucket list to collaborate with?

Draco Rosa.

17. Why hasn’t that collaboration happened?

I don’t know. Hopefully it’ll happen at some point. I’ve always said that he influenced me very much when I was a teenager. To me he was the first badass rock-n-roll dude and he was from Puerto Rico and into the sounds I was listening to.

18. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Be patient and keep doing what you love.

19. Favorite song on Munay?

“Day by Day.”

20. This album is special because …

It’s about love and all its complexities.

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