Whether you decide to part ways with and sell your old things, let go of a habit that no longer serves you, or finally give yourself the love that you deserve, transformation can be a challenging process and confidently owning your path is often the key to seeing the beauty of it all.
Nina Diaz, remolded and recast, will be sharing a new body of work, spirit, and sound with San Antonio on Oct. 28 at the Tobin Center’s Carlos Alvarez Theater. The significance of Diaz coming home for her official CD release party is that it’s her first as a solo artist.
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On the road back to Texas from the band’s East Coast and Central U.S. tour, Diaz reflected upon the season of her musical career and how fans new and old are receiving the sound.
“A lot of people know me from Girl In A Coma, and this tour is really about separating (myself from) that (association), introducing myself as Nina Diaz,” Diaz said via phone at a rest stop outside of Dallas. “They see us as a band, and they are taking really kindly to it.”
The exploration of sound that followed Diaz’s departure from the band that consisted of her, her sister and drummer Phanie Diaz, and bass player Jenn Alva, involved an exportation of feminine energy and an introduction of some high-octane musical men in the forms of Jorge Gonzalez on drums, Travis Vela on guitar, Austin Valentine on bass, and most recently Johnny Shrink on keys.
“It’s one thing when you’re friends first, you have years and years of going through personal and emotional things,” Diaz said of the evolution in band dynamics. “We’ve had to do that in a short period of time, but it’s happened organically. We’ve become close friends, like a family.”
With songs such as “Trick Candle“ and “Rebirth” – the latter was featured in Elle Magazine’s top ten hottest tracks of October – leading the way on Diaz’s The Beat Is Dead, it is clear that there is an explosive, albeit grounded, metamorphosis occurring, and the flying-high she’s doing now is sober.
“This is something for my sobriety, to find myself,” Diaz said, referencing the more than three years that she has been free of substance. “Music is my therapy, the way I let out a lot of things. I want to tell my story as honestly as I can.”
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While Diaz’s shows are predominantly made up of high-energy rock ‘n’ roll rollicks and punk-powered thrusts, the gravity and depth of the lyrics and messages are channeled in a spiritual way through songs like “For You.”
“It is a song to Krishna, a song of higher power to myself, what I’m ready to give people,” Diaz said, putting her vulnerability out there for her audience to see and hear. “Women write me and say, ‘It feels good to see another creative woman,’ and that inspires me. It gives me strength to help someone who wants to try something different.”
Although still in her 20s, Diaz has racked up quite a bit of wisdom through her musical life, and has seen her fair share of both adulation and criticism.
“You’re going to get your haters, especially when it comes to female artists, but don’t let it bring you down,” Diaz advised musicians who are questioning their artistic path. “If you’re in a rut go see what you can do, take a little tour, you’ll be stronger when you return.”
Diaz, whose most recent Tiny Desk Concert has accumulated more than 90,000 views in just under two months of release, is grateful to be representing the San Antonio music scene. “We are a family here, we wanna do good things for our community, and we need to do any little thing we can do to help,” Diaz said of the musical community and San Antonians lifting each other up. “Communication is the main thing I would stress, bands helping other bands. Everyone’s going through their own stuff, try to be as positive as possible.”
The San Antonio fans in attendance at the Carlos Alvarez Theatre on Friday night will witness Diaz and her band in a strong stance after spending the last month perfecting their set and sharing the new album.
“I’m looking forward to it because the first time we played the Tobin people were just watching, standing there, they didn’t know the music yet,” Diaz said of the performance on the pavilion during the Tobin’s opening days back in 2014. “Now hopefully people are more familiar with it, I’m expecting a handful to know some of the songs. It’s going to be a nice day of release for the release.”