Heyo! Jose back at it again with the South American interviews, and before I introduce you to this AMAZING being I found among the Rockn’Roll jungles of Colombia, let me say this: Being from a place where one of our finest musical products of the last decade is “Reggaeton”, it is such a breeze of fresh air to find people that are dedicating their lives to preserve and impulse the raw spirit of Rockn’Roll.
I’ve been hearing the name Aida Hodson sporadically from now and then from the past three years, name that was always accompanied by the best of compliments and gossip about her big league accomplishments. — Who’s this woman!? — and call it wishful thinking or whatever, but if I remember correctly, our first assignment since Rocky set foot in Colombia was to cover the “Festival Día de Rock”, Festival created by one of the hardest working bands in Colombia, Don Tetto and guess who else? Yeap. Aida Hodson. The cherry on top, and what actually led this interview being possible was the Music Tattoo Fest 2019 and an interview that we had scheduled to do with Carlos Ruiz (head of the festival), in which he had to cancel the appointment but kindly sent the other 50% of his organization. You already guessed who showed up, right? Yeap. Aida Hodson. Call it wishful thinking or whatever, but I’m a lucky SOB. Here’s the interview:
Who are you? and, what do you do?: My name is Aida Hodson, I’ve been inside the music industry for over 20 years supporting the Arts & Culture processes in Bogotá, actually all over Colombia, but mainly in Bogotá. I began this journey at a radio station called Todelar, where I began to understand that I was very into arts, culture and event production and that I had a very
particular set of skills for it. I worked for a short period of time at Casa Editorial “El Tiempo” and after that I was very fortunate to land an incredibly beautiful job, about 13 years ago at Fundación Corazon Verde, developing and producing Arts & Culture events revolving the collective philanthropy theme. It was at this job that I reinforce my “joining the dots” skill: brands with providers, sponsors with artists, producers with sponsors etc … I’ve worked with Idartes (Distrital Institute of the Arts) behind all of the Festivales al Parque inside the strategic alliances department. Around three years ago we started the Festival Día de Rock Colombia, the only festival proud to have an all exclusive Colombian Rockn’Roll Line Up, and right now, I’m taking the challenge to produce the Music Tattoo Fest 2019 in its 5th edition. Oh — and I’m an Event Production Professor at the Politecnico International University. (Laughs)
Why do you do? I believe God, the Universe or whatever is your definition of it, will guide you along the path. Some of the things that fill me with joy the most is to see how you often plant a tiny seed in the form of an advice given to a band, or even just a simple tip and after a while, you see them putting that in practice and harvest the results of the work. That kind of snowball effect fills me with passion, and I truly believe this is not a business of money, this a business of mere passion.
Who are you listening to right now? Look, There’s a project called Chimó Psicodélico (@chimopsicodelicoficial), Hands down one of the best projects out there, they mix Colombian Llano Folklore with Rockn’Roll. Pure magic. I like Los Cocoa (@loscocoa). very interesting project. I like the work of Apolo 7 (@apolo7tv) a very well made rebel spirited band, with very dedicated and disciplined members, which is a quality I happen to admire. And of course don’t sleep on the new album of the hardest working band in Colombia, Don Tetto (@dontetto), I work with them all the time and I love them with all my heart, they are amazing people and business men, if you are interested in knowing more about what I do with them, we made a documentary called “Detrás del escenario”. It’s on Youtube. Look it up.
What is the best Underground spot in Bogotá? Damn man! (Laughs) There’s one ultra-underground spot called Purpura. Very infamous spot in the city, by the way. The owner is hidden at the street corner signaling the door man about who’s allowed inside and who’s not, and it has been like this for over 30 years, not new at all. Very closed doors policy. I love it!
There’s a bunch of other places not so underground anymore that you can visit like Stones, the very own dive Abbot & Costello where the owner refuses to “upgrade” his bar so they can still serve beers in huge plastic containers. It is really amazing. and of course there is this new one called The Music Hall, they’re going All In on supporting independent acts.
Are you currently working on anything? Yes! The Music Tattoo Fest 2019, we’re now on its 5th edition. It all began by trying to strengthen the meetings and partnerships among tattoo artists, like it is already happening in different parts of the world. Ours is not your regular convention, this is a festival. That is what set us apart from the traditional ways. We have the best of Colombian talent. Around 300 tattoo artists are gonna be there, all carefully curated to represent the best Colombia has to offer. This time we’re gonna be at the “Gran Salon de Corferias” (Corferia’s Great Saloon), which is going to be housing around 30,000 people on both days. There’s gonna be Tattoo contests in 14 different categories, 7 each day, 20 of the best Rockn’Roll bands from all over Colombia and Latin America, plus many many more activities.
If you happen to be in Colombia those days (March 16 & 17),come by and let’s hang out! We have something for everyone. If you are planning on getting a new tattoo we have the best talent from all over Colombia concentrated in one place, and guess what? it is way cheaper to get a tattoo here compared to mosts parts of the globe! I bet you can travel down here, stay in a nice hotel, come to the festival, get a tattoo and still have a few extra bucks to throw around, with the same money you’d be paying for just a Tattoo in most places in North America. and believe me, our quality is the best.
Visit our official website and social networks to get all the info. Line up, tattoo artists, contests, tickets etc … If you happen to see a tattoo artist you like and want to come by and get a tattoo those days, make the appointment directly with the artist.
Any advice for the Underground? Anything you do, do it responsibly and full of passion. The Underground is not the “bad apple”, not because you belong to the Underground means you have to have a busted mic or a broken cable. OWN THE UNDERGROUND. And once more do it responsibly, full of passion and professionalism! If you don’t know how, come down and study Event Production at the Politecnico Internacional, I’ll teach you how. (Laughs)
Where can we find your work? I’m on facebook as Aida Hodson and Instagram as @aidhod. you can reach out to me over there, I try to answer all DMs and Inbox messages I get. Take a peek and do not forget: Rock Is Ours.
PS: Since the most important question of these Lovers & Fighters (Are you a Lover or Fighter?) series does not make much sense in a spanish speaking environment, i’m having to force myself into inferring the answer for all my hispanic interviewees, in this particular case I’d say without a shadow of a doubt: This woman is a Fighter. From the way she conducts herself to the passion in her voice when she speaks about her thousand projects, she’s a hardcore Fighter. Hands down. God save the Queen.