Gabriel Garzón-Montano is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with a progressive, often breezy, and slightly psychedelic sound. Firmly rooted in soul and funk with hip-hop, cumbia, nueva canción, and reggaeton among the many styles that have informed his approach, he has released Bishouné: Alma del Huila (2014), Jardín (2017), and Agüita (2020).
The Brooklyn native picked up music through his mother, a musician who was part of the Philip Glass Ensemble during the '90s. The first instrument he learned to play was the violin, followed by guitar and drums. As a young teenager, Garzón-Montano started writing songs. Years later, while attending State University of New York at Purchase, he was in a funk band called Mokaad. The same year that the band independently released an EP entitled Booty, Garzón-Montano recorded a set of solo material with longtime friend and collaborator Henry Hirsch. Deeply unsatisfied with the results, he kept the songs to himself for several months but eventually uploaded them to his SoundCloud page. The Styles Upon Styles label, taken by what they heard, bundled the songs for official multi-format release as Bishouné: Alma del Huila in February 2014.
Shortly thereafter, Garzón-Montano's career quickly accelerated. Mayer Hawthorne's chance record store encounter with the EP led to Hawthorne and the musician sharing the same management. Garzón-Montano toured Europe as the opening act for Lenny Kravitz, father of friend and former classmate Zoë Kravitz. The younger Kravitz played Garzón-Montano's music for Drake, whose "Jungle," produced by Noah Shebib, sampled the EP's "6 8." After several festival dates and additional stretches of touring — including one in support of Hawthorne — Garzón-Montano and Henry Hirsch completed Jardín. Previewed in late 2016 with the tracks "Sour Mango" and "The Game," the album was issued on Stones Throw in January 2017. He returned in mid-2020 with "Someone," his first single through a joint arrangement with Jagjaguwar and Stones Throw. The wide-scoped parent album, Agüita, followed that October. ~ Andy Kellman