Musician plays many instruments to entertain

Claudia Rivas

On the road to success, artists not only strategize on how to reach the top but they also create their musical identity along the way. Inspiration and influence are found everywhere. One’s environment is significant in such inspiration. This is especially true for Los Angeles based musician, Ivan Paredes, known more so by his stage name Jahny Wallz.

On April 1, Paredes played the weekly Nooner hosted by Sacramento State’s UNIQUE Program. As the set began student, Kyla Shaw commented on the sound.

“I like that its different in that it uses so many sounds. So far it sounds really good,” said Shaw.

His latest EP, “Life Lessons Vol. II”, speaks of his reality growing up in East Los Angeles and touches on issues concerning all young people such as love, obstacles and learning how to cope with stress.

“It’s a wide variety of things. ‘Life Lessons Volume II’ is a lot about life struggles. Also just seeing the world from both sides,” said Paredes.

Using guitar and mixing computer effects, keyboards and the occasional sounds of bongos the artist not only proves his talent among instruments, but also shows evidence that he is open for new techniques and ways of creating music.

When asked about where his stage name came from, Paredes, had much to say.

“It was a joke actually. My last name, Paredes, means walls in Spanish. The jocks at my school started calling me John Walls. We had a substitute and they started teasing me by calling me Jahny Wallz and it stuck,” said Parades.

The 31-year-old, also spoke about how many instruments he is able to play. These include: congas, drums, bass, the drum set, piano and guitar. These all add to the multi-faceted sound of his music and variety of aspects in his stage performance.

Paredes definitely has an eclectic line of work. His music is not only represented through his sounds but also through his lyrics.

“Definitely eclectic. I try not to have boundaries, but I’m definitely more funk than punk. Although I used to be a punk drummer for a while. I used play pretty hard but for the most part I’m just open-minded and try new things. I say that it’s pop because I worked for George Brown from the band Kool and the Gang,” said Paredes.

He went on to say that Brown taught him much about pop music and how the genre was an international facet. For the artist he enjoys to write music that appeals to the world and an international market.

Growing up Paredas was surrounded by music. His older brother played drums and taught him from home.

“That’s where I got a lot of the love from, live music and the sound systems from cars. I grew up in low rider culture. So my brothers always had nice sound systems playing a lot of different types of music. As a little kid I couldn’t afford actual lessons so my brothers taught me and being around live music. So it was happening.”

Concert-goer Maria Diaz enjoyed her experience watching the Nooner.

“It’s nice and chill upbeat music for a soothing nice relaxing day,” said Diaz.