Artist Spotlights: Pulpa de Guayaba, DarylAnne

Cactus Club hosted their annual 414 Day show on Friday night with a mixed-genre bill featuring Spider Creek, DarylAnne, Pulpa de Guayaba, Social Caterpillar and a secret opening set from Honey Creek.

Pulpa de Guayaba comprises of vocalist Dominick Dear, guitarists Juan Alvarez and Luis Arellano, bassist Miguel Sanchez, drummer Marco Zavala and saxophonist/flutist Michael Ruth. Formed in late 2019, the band’s style blends reggae, soul, Latin, R&B, jazz and rock music. “After Miguel and I played a Chill on the Hill gig, I asked him to come to Marco’s house and we had our first jam,” Alvarez recalls about the band’s formation. “From there, Miguel brought in Dominick.”

“The first time I ever met these guys, they were playing with Browns Crew over at Snifters,” Dear weighed in. “Miguel asked me if I wanted to come sing a song with them and we did “Ain’t No Sunshine” – it was wraps after that.”

The band’s name roughly means “guava pulp” in Spanish; guava is a tropical fruit native to Central America, northern South America and the Caribbean. “Guava is produced a lot where Marco is from and it reminds him of home,” Sanchez said. “The pulp is like the concentrate of everything we do; culturally and musically, it’s a lot of different things coming together.”

Pulpa de Guayaba’s debut EP “Short & Sweet” was released in May of last year. “We recorded it over at Cherry Pit Studios,” Alvarez explains. “The development of that EP was us trying to make something that represented all of influences the best that we could.”

Sanchez adds, “With the singles that we released first, they were like experiments that we recorded with our friend Mateo, who has been the sound engineer for a lot of our gigs and a great friend. With the EP, we really wanted to step up our game a little and get into an actual studio.”

“Eric at Cherry Pit really helped us find that final sound with our EP,” Dear said. “He made sure every song that we did was clean and had a good feel to it; he even helped me find my harmonies on some of them.”

On his lyrics, Dear reflects, “You might have noticed, I’ve written a lot of love songs (laughs). I’m a sucker for love, man. I like to write a lot about not only the experiences that I’m going through but also the experiences that I’ve recovered from. From getting into relationships from a young age, I’ve got a lot of pent-up energy to let out and express myself in that way. As I’ve grown, I’ve tried to incorporate a lot more influential sounds of R&B and classic rock styles; sometimes my lyrics are more pointed but I also like to have people experience my lyrics for themselves.”

“Dominick’s got a real ability to improvise,” Sanchez adds. “The first couple sessions we had together, we were just playing and jamming with ideas that we had. Two minutes in he was already making them into songs, adding lyrics, structures, verses, choruses – things that sounded good…without ever having heard our ideas before.”

The band is currently working on their debut full-length album in which they will expand upon the eclectic style that they’ve built thus far. “It’s going to be ten songs; a lot of them we’ve been playing for a while but some we’ve been developing more recently,” Sanchez shared.

Pulpa de Guayaba play an acoustic set at Pulaski Park on April 22nd for an Earth Day clean-up. Then the following day they play X-Ray Arcade, plus they have many more shows scheduled for summer yet to be announced.

DarylAnne is an R&B artist known for her powerful vocal performances. Amazingly, she did not grow up singing and got into making music only just a few years ago; last fall, she won first place for the Unsigned Only Music Competition.

“My mom was a musician and she was tough on criticism, which now I appreciate but at the time I had a lot of crippling fear (laughs),” DarylAnne recalls. “I give a lot of props to her because she’s a really great performer; I feel like I take on a lot of what she’s showed me over the years.”

It wasn’t until 2019 where she ran into a former coworker who’d asked her if she wanted to join him at Tymeless Studios downtown, when DarylAnne decided to start seriously pursuing music. “I got there and it was a real, professional setting and the engineer was so well-versed,” she said about that moment. “Once I felt confident moving forward with professional help, then I felt more comfortable with writing songs.”

Her debut album “Can’t Stay Here” was released in early 2022. On what went into it, DarylAnne reflects, “What’s crazy is that I never planned on doing music, and after I’d written my first song “Keep Going” I just kept writing and people liked what I was doing. I was in a very toxic relationship at that time and that was the source of a lot of material for the album; he was very resistant to the idea of me making music, and that to me was reaffirming to keep pushing. The album ended up helping me really break out of that situation.”

In fact, DarylAnne plans to drop the deluxe version of the album featuring some new tracks soon. “I’m still kind of a rookie in this industry, but now that I’ve gained more traction, I want to re-release the album with a couple love songs added.”

DarylAnne is performing for “A Tribute to Soul” at Trendsetters & JMJ on April 28th.

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