After a I got a few of these interview’s under my belt I realized that I needed to reach out and talk to an artist that has roots deep in the heart of the Texas. Prag Padilla was the first one that came to my mind. He recently finished recording his EP “Loaded Hopes” and has been supporting the EP with live shows across Texas so I was pretty lucky to catch him on a off night.
LF: How long have you been playing music?
Prag: 27 years actually…a long time.
LF: Let’s go back to the early years of your music. Where did it all begin?
Prag: I grew up in Del Rio Texas, a small town about 150 miles west of San Antonio.The famous quote is “Two miles from the lake, one mile from hell”. It’s pretty hot out there, I mean real hot. Anyways I started playing when I was 13, picking up the guitar and taking lessons, after not to long I was like a duck to water. At that point I started writing songs. I didn’t know what I was doing, just writing about anything I heard or what sounded good to me at the time. I was just throwing stuff together and we put it on tape. Needless to say it found it’s way to some of the tejano bands and they started doing my songs. I had no idea at the time until one day my mom picked me up from school and had some mail for me. I was getting checks for $500-$700 dollars with contracts to write music, at the age of 14.
LF: What was the next move?
Prag: Well I was 15 and writing songs and getting paid. My mom and I had no clue what to do or how to move forward with this. So we visited the local lawyer in town by the name of John Foster he was Radney Foster’s dad. My parents knew him for years so we trusted him and knew he would know what do with these contracts and how to handle my “career” . One thing led to another and I signed with a small label called “Manny Music” who were based out of San Antonio.
LF: How long did you work for that label?
Prag: Well not long cause it was sold to Universal so me and my catalog went with it. I worked and wrote for about 3- 4 years kinda going unoticed but still making money from other people doing my stuff. At that time I was down in Nashville coming into this new carrer of music with a dececnet amount of money and thinking ” I am gonna be big” I learned the song wrting formula , putting things together to make it work. So at 25 I knew everything like everyone does that age . So I took my own money and started my own label. I played around Fort Worth in the scene at all the venues like everyone else did and a few years later I was dead broke. Guy’s like Randy Rogers were my buddies and we all played the small gigs but I had no money. After a a pretty big loss I got out of the scene and took 12 years off so to speak. I went into the “real” world got a IT job and made my living.
LF: How did you get back into the music ?
Prag: It was about 4 years ago I finally bought my dream guitar. I sat there thinking looking at it in the corner going “Ok now what?” I heard that Love and War was doing a open mic so I packed up and headed out to give it a shot . Nobody knew me or knew what to think of me. For the first time in a long time I was nervous, as I did the first song I realized just how much I missed being up there, playing and singing. I put myself out there with a name like Prag Padilla and was like, this is me and this is what I am going to be. People remember a name like that so I better be good or that could kill me.
LF: Tell us about the “Midnight Sessions”
Prag: The Midnight Sessions was my first full length CD that I did. It came out in January 2015 and I was really happy with it. After doing some shows I had people ask me for CD’s of the show. So I had the idea of making a CD that sounded like my show. Pure and raw acoustic stuff that was true to me .
LF: Loaded Hopes is the latest EP you put out . How did that come together ?
Prag: We booked some time at The Echo Lab in Argyle Texas. John Wallace my lead guitarist and I have a great connection so that was easy but the bass player Jeff is Johns dad so to have the two of them plying together was really cool. We went in the studio on a Monday and started recording that Tuesday by Friday we were mixing . It was a pretty fast process, long days but fast overall.
After that I needed someone to master it. I reached out to this guy Pete Lyman who was out of LA. After doing some research I knew I found my guy. He did some amazing work and it just all came together .
The next thing was the packaging , it’s easy to put your name on a CD with a picture but I wanted something that was me and that really made sense with the songs. I contacted this guy by the name of PeCoos McCool out of Fort Worth. I actually thought his name was a joke and asked him about it , ” He said really ..Prag?” So yes that was really his name . He listened to the album and we got this amazing design , like a old western movie , the font and picture it just worked and really makes sense.
We released the “Loaded Hopes” on Marh 15th which is just a cool date anyways. Almost all the songs are live , you can’t really tell but we just played them and and they came out great.
LF: One thing I have noticed is that you are big on merchandise , shirts, stickers and stuff.
Prag: I really wanted a tag line or something I could hashtag on social media. But I wanted something that was me and that I believe in . So I started using “Keep Country Music Alive” It ties to my music , my name and fits me well. I am a huge country music guy, raised with Randy Travis and Waylon Jennings . These days they seem to lump everything southern or sort of country all in one category . I have people telling me that Taylor Swift is country and I’m like ” No, if we are going to have labels let’s at least get it right.”
LF: You have played in Frisco and other places across Texas, what does Frisco need to do to help grow the music scene ?
Prag: Frisco has some great spots and I love playing here. I would say that more community concert events would help. Get the city involved and show that it supports music, local artists and art. Aubrey, Allen and other cities put on events and they are packed with people and it’s great for the city. Frisco has some open areas that would be great for some outside events. The people that live here clearly love love music so I think it would be cool
Prag Padilla will be playing July 23rd at Stan’s Main Street.