"My Life (Cruisin' Song)"

One of 10 songs commissioned for Sounds of California: Boyle Heights.

No items found.

Raul Pacheco was born and raised in Boyle Heights, growing up right underneath 4th and Lorena Street bridge. As an adolescent, he started to sing in the Boy's School choir, later evolving into a guitarist as a teenager. Growing up, everything Raul read in the newspaper about the neighborhood was always negative. He would look down the street and see its flaws, but he mainly saw hard working people. The song is a homage to the neighborhood he grew up in. It embodies the unique style and confidence that shaped him while growing up in Boyle Heights.

For the last 25 years, Raul has been a musician in LA's own world famous band, Ozomatli. He recently became the owner of Second Story Sounds, a recording studio located in Boyle Heights, where he is shifting his profession into music recording and production. Through his evolution as a musician, Raul realized that he finds the most joy from playing with other people. "For me," he says, "music has always been about creating something with someone else and I learned so much from doing that."

“My Life (Cruisin’ Song)” is one of 10 songs commissioned for Sounds of California: Boyle Heights. Sounds of California: Boyle Heights is a project of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts in collaboration with the Community Power Collective, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Radio Bilingüe and local residents to record, compose, present, and archive the local soundscape, focusing on themes of anti-displacement and belonging.

Rola del Día and the The Sounds of California: Boyle Heights project are supported by the California Arts Council and California Humanities.

ACTA · Sounds of CA - Boyle Heights
Behind the music
I sent my daughter to record right the Lorena Street bridge right over the 60 Freeway. The song starts with the sound of cars and traffic....what was interesting was not only hearing what we perceive as home, but what other people perceive as home too. When you meet other people from Boyle Heights, you get this connection, you know. There's a language, there's a style, there's a flow. It's something that is really affirmed when we run into each other, no matter where we're at. It's not so much about where you're from, so much as it is this affirmation and importance towards the neighborhood.
This song really is a memory. I thought a lot about my childhood, a lot about my father who died when I was 19. I think about my family and the generations that have been there. And at the end of the day a tried to make a sweet song that you can cruise to.