After a three-decade music profession that established him world wide for distinctive guitar taking part in, Oscar Lopez has just lately been residing out of his automotive in Calgary.
He’s shared the stage with ballet corporations and orchestras, has recorded a dozen albums and racked up a pair of Juno Awards.
But just lately, he’s taken a step he thought he’d by no means must: he arrange a GoFundMe for himself.
“I did enjoy the (musician) lifestyle a lot, but I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. But I never knew it was going to get to this point,” he mentioned from a motel room in Calgary on Monday.
Lopez has been open about his psychological well being struggles and took a break from performing for 2 years to take care of melancholy.
He mentioned residing this manner hasn’t been straightforward however he’s discovered to adapt.
“I’m still in the hole, but I am strong. I never pictured myself in this situation ever. I’m here and who knows where I’m going to be tomorrow,” Lopez mentioned. “Everything I am absorbing right now is good for me. It’s made me humble. It is made me honest, and transparent.”
He got here to Canada from Chile in 1979 and shortly took up taking part in the guitar.
“I didn’t speak a word of English. I was working as a janitor. There’s nothing wrong with that. I was cleaning toilets. I was paying my dues. I’m a survivor and I was a survivor back in Chile,” Lopez mentioned.
While looking for therapy for his psychological well being at Rockyview Hospital in Calgary, he had a revelation whereas taking part in guitar in his room.
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“Everyone outside my room was listening to the music I was playing. I said, ‘What are you guys doing? Do you want to come in come in?’ Everyone went bananas. they went crazy,” Lopez laughed.
“I realized then the power of music. I realized then the power of honesty and transparency.”
Lopez has since been volunteering on the hospital serving to others with their struggles.
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Former band mate James Keelaghan mentioned many artists usually don’t have funds for psychological well being counselling or medicine.
Keelaghan and Lopez have been performing on and off in a joint challenge known as The Compadres since 1993.
Their first CD collectively in 1997 was a Juno-nominated critics’ favorite.
“Oscar has been very much upfront in public talking about mental health,” Keelaghan mentioned. “People in the industry are extremely prone to mental health issues. A lot of musicians have very deep-seated self-esteem issues which the music industry enhances. It’s hard for us to get the kind of support we need and it’s hard to get people to talk about it.
“We tend to function just on the line between survival and destitution.”
Keelaghan, who might be performing in Edmonton in March, mentioned funds for musicians had been unhealthy throughout the pandemic and obtained worse when income from CD gross sales dropped off.
“All that revenue has now gone. Streaming services have completely destroyed a huge swath of our income,” the folks singer-songwriter mentioned.
Lopez nonetheless insists on being nicely dressed regardless of his precarious residing scenario.
He has inspired others who’re struggling to have hope, usually including “you never know what’s around the corner.”
“We have to learn there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is always light. It could be a little light, but it’s all up to us to make it bigger,” Lopez mentioned.
He mentioned he’s grateful for individuals who have responded with donations and encouragement, however now the 70-year-old is reinventing himself at a time when the economics of being a musician have modified.
He’s planning to supply grasp lessons in guitar and is assured higher occasions lie forward.
“This is just a bump in the road,” Lopez mentioned. “And if I needed to keep for the remainder of my life within the automotive, so be it, I’ll. I’m prepared to do it as a result of I had discovered a lesson how one can survive.
“I will come up again.
“I will do what God put me here to do and that is to make myself happy and make others happy on the stage because who you see is who you get. I don’t put a mask on. I’m a straight shooter. I’m not perfect, but I am honest.”
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