Image: Xavier Saer
Cito rose to fame as the frontman of alternative rock band WONDERboom, and since then has started his own coffee brand, as well as singing in three more bands called Absinthe (2004), the El Cantante Trio (2012) and, more recently, Blvd Hvnny (2020). We check in to see what he's been doing.
Cito, what are you up to at the moment − of all your musical aliases and projects what are you most focused on?
Creatively, I am focusing on the next two Blvd Hvnny singles and their respective music videos, new WONDERboom music, as well as future performances for all my projects.
I just released the debut album for the Spanish project El Cantante Trio, called Recuerdos Del Alma, which we are focusing on touring properly across SA soon.
Just finished signing off on my first music video direction work for another band, the Black Cat Bones, which will be out next week. I’m excited for that release and look forward to the reception.
Of all your work as music producer, composer, performer and director, what are you the most proud of?
That’s a tough question because I’m proud of it all. I would say my latest work, from recordings to music videos, I am proud of most, in comparison to my earlier releases. I think over the years I have become more and more involved with the creation and production of all things I do but have also surrounded myself with very talented people to pull them off. So, definitely proud of the results, which I couldn’t do alone.
How did (does) Covid-19 affect your performing career?
I undoubtedly took a knock, as did most career musicians, when lockdowns were happening. Luckily, I don’t only rely on live performances for income. It does mess with your head though and the desire to perform in front of a live audience becomes more palpable. I will never take a live audience for granted − EVER.
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How do you enjoy acting versus playing music?
I am definitely more natural as a musician, but I like the novelty of acting and learning the craft. I really don’t regard myself as a great actor, considering the level of skill and nuance, but have managed to get away with some pretty cool opportunities. Music is still my driving force, though.
How is your coffee venture going?
CITO 1974 Coffee Co is going pretty well. I am growing the brand naturally and at a pace that I can sustain for now. The main thing for me is that people enjoy the coffee and trust the quality of the brand. The coffee industry has been in a big mess with supply and demand, and the cost has nearly doubled since the pandemic hit us, worldwide. Container shortages, due to transport restrictions, are a significant contributor to the problem. I feel a lot for the green bean importers, as well as the independent roasters and shops out there. But considering my input, I am very happy with how my business is growing. Watch this space.
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What does the future hold for you?
I think the restrictions being lifted is already playing out for me in 2022. Some great music coming your way, with some more ambitious music videos. A bit of touring with WONDERboom, as well as our highly anticipated doccie, which will be something to look forward to. Gigs, albums, creativity, production. All the things that make me tick and happy.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Watch the various project pages on social media for more info and upcoming events and releases.
Written by Simon Matthews.