Over the years, famous faces and future stars have intently strolled through the beautifully green campus of the U. With over 10,000 students, it’s a place filled with talented individuals – from writers to doctors, artists to architects. It’s rare, though, for two students who’ve honed their crafts to meet and come together as friends and creative partners. However, Eduardo Pereira and Curt Parks have done exactly that. The two are roommates and musicians that are working to carve out their place in the Miami music scene. Pereira’s band River Raid is currently working on finishing up their second LP, while Curt “CP” Parks is performing around Miami to spark his solo career.
THE MIAMI HURRICANE: You two are now roommates, but how did you guys initially meet?
Eduardo: We met as students in the graduate music business program here at UM last year.
TMH: What are your inspirations when you create music?
Eduardo: The experiences we are having in Miami and as we travel to places like Guatemala, Brazil, and L.A. is inspiring. For example, we wrote one song about a white party on the beach in Guate. The beach was the black ashes from the active volcano we passed on the way. Everything influences you when you make music, people, places, weather and topography – all of God’s work.
CP: My feelings inspire me. Whatever makes me feel something, or evokes emotion, I write about it.
TMH: Who are your influences?
CP: Outkast, James Brown, Prince, Fela Kuti, Kurtis Blow and Paul Roberson.
Eduardo: The Doors, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, a lot of blues, and Brazilian artists such as Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Roberto Carlos.
TMH: Have your professors pushed you more so to be artists or to understand the music business? Or both?
CP: Both. Our program director, Rey Sanchez, is an artist himself. Our other professor Serona Elton is a lawyer and consultant so she has a great point of view from the business/corporate side. They encourage us to really understand the business side so that we can be successful as artists. We’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to learn the business and create funky tunes at the same time.
TMH: You both come from different musical backgrounds, so what’s it like when you collaborate?
Eduardo: Being from different backgrounds makes it easier when we come together to create music. Music comes from the roots, so no matter what our paths are it all came from the same place. That’s what makes it unique.
CP: When we do a song together we have several layers on it from these different backgrounds, and we are learning more music as we make it. When I put a hip-hop bass line and some rock guitars on samba and bossa nova tunes… it’s like a world party.
TMH: Does being a grad student at UM help you move towards your goals in the music industry?
CP: Definitely. It saves time and money because all of our efforts are toward a clear and common goal. We waste nothing on trial and error. Plus, the program is showing us the right way to do it and keeps us up on the latest industry changes. We’ve learned how to brand ourselves, our music and so everything we do is progress towards our goal in the music industry. Now, school, work and play are all the same thing. That’s the way to live.
TMH: What’s your favorite performance memory?
Eduardo: Opening for Paramore in Brazil for over 13,000 screaming fans.
TMH: CP, you performed at Cat 5’s Songwriters Showcase. Were you surprised to see so many talented songwriters and singers that are also full-time students?
CP: I was not at all surprised because people come to Frost School of Music because they have talent and they want to hone their expertise, or expand their musical taste and capabilities.
TMH: What are both of your plans once you are done at the U?
Both: Release the record and hit the road.
TMH: How involved are you both at UM?
CP: I am the director of Business Affairs for Cat 5 Music Publishing, a hip-hop DJ at WVUM and I work with Cane Records and Hurricane Productions.
TMH: Would you both ever want to perform at UM?
Eduardo: Of course, we missed one scheduled performance at UM to be here in L.A. for the Hollywood Music Awards. We plan on doing more shows on campus soon as we get back.