Talent is only part of the equation when it comes to success in the music industry. So many opportunities arise through a mix of ingenuity, self-motivation, and tenacity. Mr.Diamond—aka Jamil Alvear—represents what happens when these qualities coalesce in one artist. Only two years into releasing music under this moniker and he’s already hitting all the marks. His masterful mix of soulful funk and bassline tech put him on the rosters of lauded labels like Moon Harbour, Solid Grooves, King Street, and Hot Creations. How he got there in such a short time is a nod to the intense drive and focus he exhibits.
Born in Ecuador, Alvear was always surrounded by music. His father came from a family of musicians. Latin rock, electronic, trance, and house were the musical backdrop of his childhood. Almost everyone on that side of his family was a musician or artist, so he was encouraged to follow a similar creative path.
As a child, he didn’t see himself following that road. His dad tried to push him into learning piano from some of the top teachers in Ecuador. Alvear wasn’t interested. And when his parents divorced, he actively rebelled against his father's musical wishes.
He got a guitar from his maternal aunt, a woman who he lists as one of his biggest mentors. She taught him to play "La Bamba." He was hooked, and soon all he did was play the guitar. He enrolled in guitar lessons, and in a departure from the classical style that his father encouraged, he learned an important lesson for all musicians from his teacher.
“It doesn't matter how you play it, or what you play it so long as it sounds good. Yeah. So that, you know, changed my life.”
The simplicity of the statement was so freeing that he went on a journey of discovery and realized a talent for learning instruments quickly. He taught himself the flute, piano, melodica, and bass. And when he picked up his first DAW in high school, he put the same kind of drive and determination into learning how to create dance music.
EDM loomed large in the global dance music conversation, so he picked up progressive house first, then tried his hand at techno, D&B, and hardstyle. When he discovered Jamie Jones, he says things clicked.
“I immediately fell in love with the way that he plays and the way that he controls the crowd.” Alvear decided to focus all his energy on house music, to get signed to Hot Creations.
Between 2017 and 2019 he relearned everything he knew about music and reapplied it to house. And when he felt he was ready he set off to figure out how to get his music in the hands of Jamie Jones.
With a little internet research, he was able to find Jamie’s email and sent him some music. He was surprised to get a response asking for a different set of files that he could access. And even more surprised when a few months later Jamie asked him to hold on two of those tracks for possible release on Hot Creations. Unfortunately, he ended up passing on those tracks. But that didn’t deter Alvear. In the space of two years, he’s created over 200 songs specifically for Hot Creations. And as the pandemic waned and Miami’s Space Park opened to crowds, Jamie Jones had the chance to test out some Mr.Diamond tracks on a dance floor, shortly after that he got the email that he would be signing a huge batch of songs to Hot Creations throughout the 2021/22 season.
“I knew that was gonna’ happen it was just a matter of time,” he says. “You think about it, you dream about it. When you see it thappening in real life and you're like 'Whoa, I am crazy. Now this really happening.' It's like a confirmation you are in the right place … this is the right thing for you.”
His journey to being signed to some of the hottest labels in house music paralleled a personal journey. In 2019 he decided to devote himself to music full time, he was still living in Ecuador and had some money saved so it seemed like a logical move. He told his mom at the time, “I'm just gonna, you know, take a leap of faith and see how everything evolves.”
But he also moved to the US in the same year. His grandmother is a US citizen and was able to bring Alvear and his father over. He had to go back to working again. But the pandemic job stoppage brought a fresh opportunity to work on music full-time again, and he doesn’t see himself going back.
“I want to focus like 100% in the music in and try to make it because like, there's no other thing that I can do in my life that will feel me the most producing every single day of my life.”
He says that he’s able to look at everything differently. Even his relationship with his father, who he once rebelled against. Ironically, the very thing he was trying to avoid came into being, and he couldn’t be happier that his father helped inspire that.
“The relationship with him is fantastic. He's not like he used to be in the past. And we're actually making music together. Like, I'm producing songs for him right now.” He also asked his father to sing on tracks for him. He’s noticed that the music his dad exposed him to as a youth is now getting popular again, and he’s using his dad’s singing voice to avoid sample clearance.
“It's like a full circle thing. And it's funny because you end up being grateful for everything in your life. Why did it happen this way? ... because [artists] put our emotions, we put our resources, we put our influence we put our feelings, in our creations.”
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