Getting to know: Sergio Leal, the face behind Arcadia Dragoons

In today’s getting to know, I caught up with Sergio Leal the face behind Arcadia Dragoons. Originating from Columbia, Sergio moved to San Antonio in Texas when he was just nine years old. He has been composing music ever since he was eighteen and last year he released his first single ‘Flamingoes’, which is truly beautiful. Not only does his passion seep through his music, in turn, it takes our heart in his hands and leaves us with no choice but to embrace the journey he is facing with him. I fell in love with Sergio’s sound on the first listen of this song and have been a huge supporter ever since.

We discussed his music, new single ‘Norman Planes’, dream collaborations and what life is like in Texas at the moment.

Check it out below.

Hi Sergio! How are you today? What’s the weather like in Texas?

Hi Megan! I’m pretty solid, excited to be happy and grateful to be talking to you :) sunny, but chilly, the perfect weather. I wish it was raining a bit though, I really like it when it rains.

Could you introduce yourself as an artist? How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard of you before?

I suppose I took all the emotional language that musicians like Coldplay and Keane taught me as a teenager with the indie rock and indie-folk influences from the last decade and have been using that to express and understand myself, and in the process help others feel around similar emotions in their life. I love to explore my emotions and grow.

You release your music under the alias ‘Arcadia Dragoons’ what’s the meaning behind the name?

Haha well, it’s a pretty nerdy obscure reference. During PlayStation one era, the company that released the final fantasy games released a game called Chrono Cross. Visually stunning, with a story and music that’s unparalleled. There’s a group of soldiers at one point in the game called the ‘Acacia Dragoons’. So, Arcadia Dragoons.. to me, symbolizes soldiers of paradise. While paying respect to a game that shaped how I view storytelling overall.

PS check out the Chrono Cross OST. Life changer.

As you originate from Columbia, would you say your roots influence your music? Are there any Columbian artists who you're inspired by?

Yeah definitely. I love polyrhythms a lot because of it, and there’s so much flavor on the music there as well that it made music a part of my self.

There’s quite a few. I got a chance to see Monsieur Perine last year at Austin City Limits Festival. I also take from some of the musical language and the colors from bands like Juanes and Carlos Vives to an extent. They’re mostly just inspiring :)

Your first single ‘Flamingoes’ came out in 2019, and it’s still one of my favourite songs to this date! I love the lyrics ‘cause I feel at bay, you’re here yet so far away’.

Could you tell us the story behind this song?

Yaaaaaaaay :) I’m so glad you enjoy it.

Yeah definitely. Like I said, one of the many reasons I write music is for introspection. I was at a point of immense confusion and heartache and I couldn’t really find answers to why I was feeling certain ways. So I wrote a song to express myself and understand. To this day I still find meaning I hadn’t seen before.

I’ve been loving your latest single ‘Norman Planes’, it’s been out for just over a month. What’s the response from your fans been like so far? Could you tell us what the recording and writing process was like?

Thank you, I’m grateful you took the time to listen :)

It’s been very positive! I don’t know that I have many fans yet, but the ones that took the time to listen and tell me mean the world.

Well, you’ve definitely got a fan in The M Word and many readers of my blog I am sure!

I do have a friend who told me the song has helped her grieve over someone she lost. That was literally my goal when releasing this song, to be emotional support and help others.

Well, I record everything in my home studio with a tiny closet and creaky floorboards so I have to stay very still when I hit that red button and play or sing. Melody and instruments came first, that laid the foundation for what I wanted to say, which I didn’t know when I started - took about 3 weeks for me to develop the rest of the instrumentation.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Oh man, Coldplay any day of the week! They’re just so good! Have you heard their song ‘Moving to Mars’? So freakin amazing! Also Blind Pilot’s Israel Nebeker. I’m a huge fan of his storytelling, both musically and lyrically. I had a chance to chat with him recently and he’s such an awesome guy!

Oh yes, I agree a collaboration with Coldplay would be dreamy!

What’s your favourite song at the moment?

That's always such a tricky question, innit?

I have to say it is if someone asked me I’d be stumped!

I can tell you that what came to my brain when I read that was Off the Ground by Anderson.Paak. Highly recommend it.

Good choice, I love Anderson.Paak!

For my curiosity you’re living in Texas at the moment, what’s the lockdown situation been like over there? I wonder if it’s similar to England!

I mean, it’s a bit of what I would assume in most places, depending on the area, you see some people who don’t care, and some who are very careful. I’m in the second category. A lot of places are open and events are starting to reappear, with safety precautions everywhere. Grateful for that. What’s England look like?!

I have to say I’d be lying if I didn’t say the situation in England is a nightmare. I’m in the same category as you, it’s great things have opened with restrictions but I am worried they will shut again because of people’s stupidity!

Can we look forward to any new music soon or announcements?

Yes! I’m working on two new singles, both very different, and I’m working on the mix of one of them already as we speak! Before the year is over at least one will be out!

I can’t wait to hear them! Thanks so much for your time Sergio.

Give Arcadia Dragoons some support by checking out his Spotify below:

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