For this week’s Hot Seat, we sat down with Ali Montero, who music-lovers will know from his many appearances on many local stages over the years. The talented Venezuelan musician and songwriter has graced the stage at Rendez-Vous Lounge’s Jazzy Sunday brunch, Driftwood Bar, Oba Oba, Lagoonies, The Pub, Hole in the Wall and many others. Catch Ali’s last performance at Rendez-Vous Lounge this Sunday, May 8, at 7:00pm before he leaves the island to go make some noise in Europe.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Ali Montero and I was born in Venezuela.
How did you get into the music industry?
I grew up in a house with instruments everywhere. My father is a talented musician; he plays several instruments, such as the trumpet, guitar, keyboard and mandolin. So how was it that I came to be involved in this beautiful universe called MUSIC?! I started with the mandolin and then at the age of nine I started playing the guitar.
What is your favourite thing about your profession?
My favourite thing is the applause! Because I can get paid very well for a certain gig, but if I don’t hear people enjoying what I am playing then it means nothing to me.
What can we expect from you this year?
I am working in my own musical production as I am also a songwriter. Some of my songs are making a little noise in Europe... That's why I am going there and maybe, who knows, you'll hear about me soon.
What is your favourite song to play?
You cannot ask a musician to choose their favourite song, but my favourite genre to play is jazz fusion.
What is your favourite local venue?
This island and its people have been so nice to me. I have been played in a lot of venues here on St. Maarten. I could mention some of my favourites: Driftwood Boat Bar in Maho, Oba Oba (now closed), Rendez-Vous Lounge in Porto Cupecoy, The Hole in the Wall...
What would you advise your younger self, or other people looking to get into a similar profession?
If I could travel back in time and meet my younger self, I'd tell him: “Get up that lazy butt and study harder!” Music is a gift that has been given to us for free, but it takes you a lifetime to understand it or at least find your own sound. So that will be my advice to those who want to be a musician: “Try harder!!”