Carlos live in concert.
|Birth name||Carlos Villalobos, Jr.|
|Born||January 28, 1975|
|Genres||Rock, alternative rock, industrial rock, pop, jazz, latin, electronica, classical, world,|
|Instruments||vocals, piano, synthesizer, keyboard, programming, guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, drums, violin, cello, oboe, harmonica|
|Years active||Since 1998|
|Labels||Alistar Records, Rhodium Records, Higher Octave|
|Associated acts||Esperanza (La Esperanza), Angry Chiwawah, Hurricane, Filter|
Carlos Jonathan Villalobos, Jr. (aka CJ Villa) (Born Jan 28, 1975) is an American composer, studio musician, recording engineer, and multi-instrumentalist who writes and produces original music for rock and pop artists and composes modern orchestral music for trailers, television shows and films.
Esperanza, formerly La Esperanza, is Villalobos's critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated Latin-new age flamenco project.
Allmusic said of the group's self-titled 1998 debut LP. "Mixing flamenco-styled guitars with contemporary dance rhythms, Esperanza (is) led by songwriter, producer and session ace Carlos Villalobos. Esperanza II appeared three years later." He performed all instruments, engineered, recorded, produced, and mixed his albums but had guest guitarist Andre Barboza on a few songs on both La Esperanza and Esperanza II releases and bass player Rob Hagopian on the first release, La Esperanza.
- La Esperanza (1998) (Higher Octave Music/Alistar Records)
- Esperanza II (2001) (Higher Octave Music/Alistar Records)
- Songs For The Season (2006) (Alistar Records)
- Valentine's Night (2011) (Alistar Records)
- Esperanza II (remastered) (2014) (Alistar Records)
- La Esperanza (2014) (Alistar Records)
Swirling, fleet flamenco guitar work meets modern dance rhythms on La Esperanza (Higher Octave HOMCD 46227; 63:06), a sometimes dizzying romantic showcase for multi-instrumentalist Carlos Villalobos. Unlike many of his Latin-strumming contemporaries, Villalobos doesn't overdress melodies like the lightly walking, cornered "Gabriella's Lullaby," allowing his dynamic strum and fleet fretwork to shine through. He also avoids the everything-sounds-the-same pitfall by reaching for a variety of textures and styles, from "Spanish Eyes," which amps up a heavy flamenco stomp with rattling, dancing contemporary percussion, to "Para Mi Nicole," a cinematic, dreamy piece which echoes Sting's touching "Fragile." Industrial-to-"house" type rhythms resonate with the chant-and-clap traditionalism of "Guapa." There are many rewarding layers to uncover.
La Esperanza released "Esperanza II" on July 17, 2001, again on Higher Octave. Amazon.com said the record was "The freshest take on flamenco since the millennium flipped over..." and Allmusic said the album was "One of the best worldbeat releases of the year.".
On December 12, 2006, Esperanza released a holiday album entitled "Songs For The Season."
- Music for the New Millennium (Virgin)
- Nuevo Flamenco (Higher Octave/Virgin)
- Rendezvous: Echoes Within the City (Higher Octave/Virgin)
- Tabu: Mondo Flamenco (Narada)
- Gypsy Magic: Nouveau Flamenco (EMI)
In 1999, the group appeared on the compilation album "Chicago Rapid Transit: Grooves 99" with a remix track named "Spanish Eyes/Flamenc Tronic Mix."
The season finale of Sex And The City, "Ex and the City" (aired on October 3, 1999) featured four Esperanza songs: "La Punta", "El Loco", "Love & Lust", "Cara Mia."
Angry Chiwawah was Carlos Villalobos's heavy rock project. The band released their album "Unleashed" through Rhodium Records on April 30, 2002. The cover art for "Unleashed" features model/actress Brande Roderick.
Starting From Zero
In 2008, Villalobos began production on his latest rock project, "Starting From Zero." Villalobos tracked drums with producer/engineer Rae Dileo of Filter/Army of Anyone fame at Solid Sound Recording Studio in Hoffmann Estates, IL. The rest of the project was recorded in Villalobos' home studio, Villa de Lobos, and in 2010 the band name was changed to SuperLoaded.
Villalobos' first entry into the world of television music was when he was hired to be the original music composer and producer for the show "Baywatch" Hawaii in 2000. He wrote/co-wrote, performed all instruments, recorded and mixed one song per episode using local talent for vocals and wrote, performed and mixed the theme song "Let Me Be The One" with co writers Glenn Medeiros and Fiji
Villalobos engineered, produced and mixed O-Shen's debut album Iron Youth in 2000. He also co-wrote the music with O-Shen and performed all instruments. The album went on to give him his second Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (HOKU AWARDS) nomination and his first win. The HOKU AWARDS is the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
Villalobos is featured on the band Hurricane's 2001 album Liquifury. He is credited with co-writing track seven on the album, entitled "Bleed For Me," with Kelly Hansen (Foreigner) and Jay Schellen (ASIA). He also performed guitars on the recording.
Villalobos worked with Terrence Howard on the song WHAT THE DJ SPINS for the television show EMPIRE (Fox) playing drums, bass and additional keyboards. He also worked on several other songs for EMPIRE season 1 and serves as the ADR Supervisor in Chicago for the hit TV series. He is back as music producer, engineer, songwriter and ADR Supervisor for Empire Season 2.
Villalobos won a second Hoku Award for Best Reggae Album for his work on "O-shen" in 2000.
- "Amazon.com: La Esperanza: Albums, Songs, Bios, Photos". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "Amazon.com: La Esperanza: La Esperanza: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
- "Jazz Albums: La Esperanza - Carlos Villalobos". jazztimes.com. June 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- "Amazon.com: Esperanza II: La Esperanza: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- "Esperanza II, La Esperanza, Music CD". barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- "Amazon.com: Songs For The Season: Esperanza". amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- "Chicago Rapid Transit: Grooves '99.". Chicago Public Library. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "Amazon.com: Unleashed: Angry Chiwawah: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "Playmate Gossip". Playboy: 160. November 2002. ISSN 0032-1478.
- "Rhodium Artist Chosen By US Cellular". rhodiumrecords.com. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2009-09-13.[dead link]
- "Local Studio Happenings". illinoisentertainer.com. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- "'80s Hard Rockers HURRICANE Resurrected; New Album In The Works". blabbermouth.net. 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- "Anthems for the Damned". musicremedy.com. Retrieved 2009-09-13.