Colorado-based singer-songwriter Antonio Lopez has released his latest album, Roots and Wings. Premiering on the esteemed Two Story Melody, the album comes highly anticipated as over 300 supporters backed the funding with over $21,000. Lopez’s honest and timeless musical influences are heard throughout the album. From smooth rhythms to the artist’s welcoming voice, every track is an easy-to-consume song, but they encompass meanings deeper than one can understand upon first listen. “Roots and Wings is an inspiring, down-to-earth look into the experience of a musician hitting his stride… this album illustrates an artist “coming of age” within his craft, and within his beliefs.” (Two Story Melody)
“I am a bridge-builder. In a world divided, I use music as a unifying force to bridge the gap between racial, economic, and cultural divides. Music is the common ground. The meeting point. A place to both share who we are, and to put aside who we are.”
— Antonio Lopez
Lopez is known for his powerful lyrics – critics have said “His words may be physically quiet, but spiritually they are louder than a riot” (Taste Culture). The concept for Roots and Wings was planted in the late summer of 2018 as Lopez and his wife Georgia were flying back from their honeymoon on Vancouver Island in Canada. While there, Lopez picked up a free newspaper called The New Agora with an article about stepping into this new form of masculinity and fatherhood with a quote from Goethe that hit him in the gut. “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children, one of these is roots, the other, wings” (The New Angora). He read these words in the airplane, flying miles above the ground. Tearing up, Lopez reminisced about his childhood and all the sacrifices his parents made in order for him to have a better life than they had.
Lopez is the youngest of five children. His mother is a retired second-grade school teacher who dedicated her life to educating generations of youth. She grew up the youngest of eleven children. Lopez’s father is an activist and attorney. He and his brother Reyes became lawyers in order to amplify the voices of oppressed people during the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and ’70s. During this time, the FBI formed a secret branch called COINTELPRO, aimed at infiltrating and disrupting domestic social movements. They often used illegal tactics, and it is believed that these operations lead to the death of his uncle Reyes in a mysterious car bombing at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO in 1974. The way they tried to silence Lopez’s dad was trumping up false charges, forcing him into exile and into relinquishing his license to practice law for over ten years. He was later exonerated of all charges and gained his license back, but the shadows of those events still loom over the family.
“Roots and Wings is nothing less than a masterpiece from start to finish, not a weak song in the dozen. This is love in the Age of Covid, something to help us all get through it, to remind us that there is hope in this crazy world, that we are all in this together, and that we should appreciate our differences, and join hands and be thankful that we have one another to lean on.”
— DC Duncan, Pagosa Daily Post
Even though these events happened before Lopez was born, they are an important part of his story. In his own words, Lopez says “I choose to share this story with you because I feel the past informs the present. However, I believe the future is not defined by the past. Each of us alive right now are the thread that connects the past with the future. It is now our time. My songs come from my ancestors. My ancestors still exist because I am here. They exist inside of me. They exist through me. Basically, I am their dream. The life that I am able to lead is a life they could only dream of having. When I sing, I’m adding my voice to their voice. Joining them in both words and actions for a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow for me. A better tomorrow for you. A better tomorrow for ALL of us.”
Antonio Lopez will be celebrating the Roots and Wings release with Stone Cottage Studios with a live stream event on Saturday, January 9 at 7pm MT. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit Sound Bridge Music, an organization that empowers and uplifts local musicians. Tickets can be purchased through Stone Cottage Studios here.