Doctor Of Music
Jose Polo is living the dream of every musician: getting recognized and paid for his talent. The Oyster Bay local released his first album, Huracán, last fall, and is recruiting new fans from around the world on a daily basis.
“I’m very surprised at how welcome the music’s been,” says Polo about his growing fan base. Though, he does acknowledge that his personal style of Latin pop is what attracts listeners. “When I sing, I put all my heart and soul in it. I live the music.”
Polo is a product of the modern independent music industry. After having written all of the songs and recording them with a friend in Brooklyn, he and his wife, Kim, have taken on the job of promoting his music. To date, he has more than 14,300 “likes” on Facebook.
“It’s been really fun and exciting,” says Kim. “It’s nice to see that he’s created something that’s affecting people in a positive way...and all around the world.”
The do-it-yourself style seems to be characteristic of Polo; he grew up in Colombia, in a creative household, with writers and musicians always around. He taught himself guitar by watching his sister’s lessons, then picking up her guitar on the sly when she wasn’t around and practicing what he learned.
A trained physician, he has been working on getting licensed in the United States for the past decade. The family moved to Oyster Bay in 2010 for a medical internship, and in between practicing medicine and raising kids, he writes songs. Most of his live performances locally have been solo stints in his kids’ schools; he has a daughter at Portledge, a son at Teddy Roosevelt Elementary and a daughter at BCCS/AHRC in Brookville. He says it was Kim who encouraged him to record his music just for himself.
“At first, we just wanted to make the CD, for our friends and family. It was like a project,” says Kim. “Then after we got it out, we wanted to figure out how to promote it.”
After Kim’s hard work researching companies, websites, and radio stations, Polo’s music is now being played on 65 radio stations in 15 countries.
“It’s cool to me how international it is, and how fast it is,” says Kim, adding, “It’s amazing to me that his work is reaching out to everywhere. One day he’ll have a new fan from Australia, the next from Korea.”
Polo refers to Kim as his manager, saying how impressed he is with her enthusiasm and dedication to promoting his music. Their youngest son is just 6 months old, and once the other kids are off at school, she gets on the computer to research.
“Being an independent artist gives you some freedom,” says Polo. “I’m happy that we’re working this way; we want to be in control.” His long-term plan is to work parallel with music and medicine.
The CD is a culmination of years of Polo’s song writing. He says the actual recording and production process did not take that long, and once they finally got it on a CD through CD Baby, everything was ready in a week.
“We started it in November of 2012 and really didn’t know what direction it was going to go,” says Kim. “Now that we know how to do it, he’s working on a new album and has nine songs done.”
Polo says that since he is currently in a waiting period regarding his medical career, he has had more time to devote to the second album.
“I already had the songs written, and producing started two months ago,” says Polo. He is now taking vocal lessons to make his next CD “awesome.”
They hope to have it ready to release in the summer, and plan on it being an even bigger success than the first has been.
“The next CD is going to be awesome. We’re thinking big.” says Polo.
Polo’s music can be found on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and www.josepolomusic.com.