Conquistador attacks again with another contagious, psych-pop hit “I’m Alive.” Expanding from his trippy persona, Conquistador enters a new realm of intoxicating glam electro. He recently released a video that won this year’s Machinima Interactive Film Fest and was an MTVU Freshman video nominee– check it out below.
“I’m Alive” was inspired in part by the Arab Spring. Conquistador has been involved with the Free Iran organization in Sweden and donated music to them at the height of the Green Movement, which demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Supporters of the green movement wore green as its symbol, and what started as a peaceful protest ended in the removal of a dictator. Another key inspiration for the song is the Zazous, a garishly-dressed subculture in WW II-era France who wore yellow stars that said zazou, which mocked the badges of degradation that the Jews wore in Jewish ghettos all over Nazi controlled Europe. These revolutionaries used style as a form of transgression and wore it like a weapon. “I’m Alive” has a message of survival, both of the joy of making it through a dark time in society and also the melancholy of remembering those who didn’t. While studying anthropology at NYU, Conquistador spent time in the Middle East. He took a musical cue from the region, which can be heard on the track.
Stream: Conquistador – “I’m Alive”
“Fuzzy roller-disco…dark tropical electric-eclectic ’80s …T-Rex-tasy…with Jarvis Cocker-y bravado.” – Billboard Magazine
“Edwardian Ziggy Stardust goes to Transylvania,” –Los Angeles Times
“An amalgam of Bowie, Queen, synth-pop, disco, psych…and the introspection of a sensitive oddball who’s been told many times he doesn’t fit in, but is actually more normal than most people.” – BLURT
“A glam rock peacock.” -Paper Magazine
Conquistador is an LA-based musician and artist whose music is collaboration between himself and Carlos Cháirez of Mexico’s iconic alternative band Kinky. The pair have also received two Latin Grammy nominations for co-writing Kinky songs. A champion of true freedom, his work champions individualism and is defiantly eccentric. His presence alone has a transformative effect on any space. His signature look consists of cat suits, a Ushanka Russian hat, and most notably, his award-winning moustache, which made him the first American, first Jew, and youngest competitor in history to win the title of “World Imperial Moustache Champion” at the World Beard and Mustache Championships, held in Brighton, England in 2007. Conquistador was also #3 in Fuse’s “10 greatest moments of SXSW 2012.”
Conquistador grabbed national attention this fall when he unwittingly became one of the highlights of MTV’s 2012 VMAs and caused a sensation on the red carpet. His music and performance art has lead to Madness and The Whigs inviting him onstage at festival performances. The image and music have always been inseparable for Conquistador. He grew up with Sparks as neighbors and was inspired to wear lycra catsuits by Todd Rundgren and Alice Cooper. The glitter movement inspired him to be exactly who he wants to be at all times and Conquistador is paying the inspiration forward. He has already won a pair of Latin GRAMMY nominations for his co-writing with Kinky.