The world very largely feels like it’s falling apart at this time. During moments of darkness, we search for the light. We crave creativity. We rely on authenticity. And – while it can often feel overwhelming to seek the good – artists are ready to provide us hope, beauty, and escape. This feels especially true with the captivating glam rock project Tony & The Kiki, which just released the lead single and music video for their upcoming EP. Fronted by the talented and charismatic Anthony Alfaro, Tony & The Kiki truly captures your attention with a vibrant individuality and keeps you going with a message of inclusivity.
“Extra Express” is an anthem for the ages. With an energy that can get anyone up on their feet, the track boasts fantastic, wide-ranging vocals, and enough edge to really breathe new life into your day. The video is entrancing, depicting Alfaro with a backdrop of bright, flashy colors and images as a call to authenticity oozes from every facet of production. We’re big fans of the fashion, big fans of the energy, and insanely fond of this video.
We were lucky enough to ask Alfaro a few questions during release week.
Do you think where you’re from has any bearing on how you create?
Oh absolutely! Queens, New York is unlike anywhere else in the world. A stone’s throw from my childhood home is the most diverse section of THE PLANET. The most varied collection of cultures, races, languages, ethnicities, and nationalities in one single area. I pride myself on being an eclectic artist. While yes, rock and roll is my mother tongue I draw inspiration from all genres, mediums, and cultures, and I’d like to think that comes through in the work. My mom is a real-life disco queen and salsera and my dad is an incredible DJ who would mix Grandmaster Flash with Zeppelin back before mashups like that were en vogue. This kind of variety and culture clash is in my blood, my voice, and therefore my artistry.
I’m so glad you’re bringing flare back to rock. Big look, big voice, big vibes. What has been your favorite part of the journey creating this EP?
Ay Gracias, mami! Yeah I think the second we abandoned the crippling responsibility of being “cool” things really started to crystalize and get exciting for all of us. We’re an honest to goddess pack of weirdos and mystics…and instead of trying to be trendy and sexy for the masses we’re leaning into our queer, diverse, funky energy. Frankly, that’s been deeply liberating and joyous. LONG LIVE THE FREAKS! And F*** BEING COOL! Cool is boring and sterile… the absolute antithesis of what rock n’ roll is. Ain’t nobody got time for that no more!
What was it like recording at the storied Dreamland? Did you draw inspiration from Woodstock at all, or were you pretty sure of the direction it was all going in beforehand?
Well …we were on a tight and ambitious schedule so we had to arrive ready to slay the house down boots, mamá. On the other hand, Woodstock and that good chill hippie energy has always been a source of inspiration for us… the peace & love & vibes of it all. So I’d say we had a clear plan of attack but left some room for the delicious brand of magic that is so abundant up at Dreamland. Using their varied, vintage instruments (toy piano, guiro, Moog Synth etc.) and their mystical acoustics as yummy layers to add into our cauldron. Once we got the crux of what we needed we definitely got to play around and experiment. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced as an artist. A true playground. Or in our case …a witch’s potion lab (cackles in Spanglish)
The message in the song “Extra Express” is so important, and it is such an anthemic blessing right now. Was there a moment that triggered you into writing it specifically?
Thank you for saying that, mi amor, we think so too!
A specific moment? No, mama. Our whole gay lives led up to the creation of this song. People like myself and my bandmates Max Vernon and Rodney Bush have been out here and queer for years and feel a great sense of responsibility for the legendary children that have and will come after us. They need something to listen to and be like “oh, yeah…that’s mine, that’s for me” This song is for them first and foremost.
The music video for “Extra Express” is like a kaleidoscope. Where did the vision come from?
The Extra Express has always been like a psychedelic, queer, rock n’ roll cousin of The Magic School Bus and in this case I’m Miss Frizzle (LOL) and the listeners are my class of students. We wanted to evoke the vibes of Dorothy landing in OZ or Alice plopping down into Wonderland. We set out to create a portal into the land of THE KIKI, with all of its vibrant queer magic and electric, colorful vibes. An invitation and a welcoming.
What a FANTASTIC reference, especially for millennials. (I am SO pleased!) What do you hope fans glean from your music, in general?
I want our fans to be invigorated and vibrationally lifted by our music. We want to provide an antidote to all the heaviness that can come with living life in the 2020s… a warm sparkling hug; a fabulous coven, welcome to anyone who needs a good Kiki. Er’body is welcome here, mi vida… we are raising the vibes and getting asses shaking! Come thru!
Do you have anything else to share with your new bevy of fans?
Yes! I’d like to say “Hola Mi Kiki, Welcome… we see you, we’re here for you, we honor you, and we love you… f*** the haters and do you bb! Life is meant to be LIVED! Fasten your seatbelt cause it’s time for lift off… the new age is now! Vamos!”
Also follow us on IG and TikTok @tonyandthekiki and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more funky glam rock brujería heading your way. xo
Video Credits: Wardrobe by Max Vernon, David Quinn, Anthony Alfaro Makeup by Max Vernon Hair by Anthony Alfaro Choreography by Anthony Alfaro
Song Credits: Track Produced by Max Vernon Track Mixed by Lloyd Kikoler Track Mastered by Ryan Smith of Sterling Sound
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