Today we’d like to introduce you to Camilo Tumbao.
Camilo, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My full name is Camilo Rafael Sierra. I came to Miami at five years old from Puerto Rico. Both my parents are creative so I always gravitated towards drawing and music. My grandfather bought me a Casio SK-1 keyboard and that led me to learn the piano. All throughout elementary, middle and high school, I was in several programs that allowed me to explore the arts. After one year of college studying Media Arts and animation, I decided to move to Massachusetts to attend Art School but instead ended up teaching myself web design, music production, and video editing. Then, 9-11 happened. I came back to Miami a year later, joined my first band and went on tour. That earned me my first Latin Grammy Nomination in 2005 and a Grammy Nomination in 2008. After that, I joined my current band Xperimento as lead singer/songwriter. We went on to do countless local and national shows, numerous college tours within the US and have served in 5 tours with the US Navy. We have also played major festivals and represented the city of Miami in a worldwide campaign for the Department of Tourism. During that time, I co-founded my current record label and events company Cutler Trax and a multifaceted branding and development agency A Objective & Co. I currently work with my band and several other artists and companies developing their aesthetics and online presence.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My parents divorced when I was five. After that, anything that seemed hard or difficult I just saw as a part of life. Yes, there were hard times like Hurricane Andrew forcing me to relocate back to Puerto Rico and having to go to school there as I was entering middle school, etc. but I just saw it as what had to happen. I always had some kind of support from family or friends and I was always able to see the positive side of things and let my art be an escape. My most current struggle has been a bone fracture in my left leg which will take months to recover from. Looking forward to being stronger and better than I have ever been.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cutler Trax story. Tell us more about it.
I create art from where there is seemingly nothing. I take ideas and concepts and manifest them into reality. Before everyone did their own logos and websites online for $5 I was the guy you called. Album covers, motion graphics, video editing, and content is what I mostly do these days. I also have my own online store where I sell custom merch. What sets me apart is that I’ve been doing this way longer than most people and have endured the whole entire industry shift without having to quit after a year or take a boring 9-5 job to make ends meet. If I’m low on clients, I can still work on my own projects and carve my own lane and have complete and total artistic freedom. I’m very proud of that.
We always love to ask about the support network – have there been people, perhaps mentors or advisors, who have played a big role in your success?
LOTS of people here. Mainly my family and core friends who always have helped me find the next project to work on. Musically, I have the support and friendships of some of the best musicians in the world. When my friends win, I feel like I won also. Every project or collaboration brings about a new perspective and a new source of energy and motivation.
- Website: http://camilotumbao.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/camilotumbao/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/camilorafaelsierra
- Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/camilotumbao
Camilo Sierra (graphic), Claudia Calle (performance photo), Jessica Bernstein (group photo), Jaime Musignac (all other photos)