Belmont songwriting major Alejandro Sierra has found himself rising to the top of the charts (top 5!) in both Ecuador and Colombia with his hit, “So You Don’t.” Inspired by his father, a fellow songwriter, Sierra began singing and writing music when he was 12-years-old. When he turned 14, his family moved to Nashville from Ecuador, and after arriving in Music City, his love for writing songs only grew as he began incorporating American Folk influences with traditional Latin rhythms.
Sierra said he wrote “So You Don’t” as an opportunity to explore his roots and represent himself and his musical background. Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, he was submerged in a medley of tropical rhythms from a very young age. “My father is a big fan of salsa and son,” Sierra said, “so these two styles of music were always played in my household. This single has a lot of that influence in its chant-like choruses and syncopated rhythmic patterns.”
Though his father’s influence is heavily incorporated in the song, his mother’s love of dance can be heard, too. “I wanted this song to have powerful dance elements, as my mom is a tremendous dancer,” he said.
Since its official independent release in December 2017, “So You Don’t” has been in the top 5 list of many pop radio stations in Ecuador. Most recently, the single earned a No. 2 spot on the southern Colombia radio charts.
Now, as both a musician and a full-time student, Sierra said he’s continually learning how to best balance his priorities, make intentional decisions and trust his gut. “It just takes a little planning and not stressing too much about missing things,” he said. “I have learned that life is a lot about making decisions and trusting that whatever you choose to prioritize will take you where you want to be. It’s all about finding a balance that will encourage you to be proactive, both as a student and an artist.”
Sierra points to the Songwriting program at Belmont as having been instrumental to his development as a musician. “Belmont’s program has been incredible,” he said. “All of my professors have taken the time to carefully go through my songs and give me feedback on how to make them the best they can be. I have also had the chance to collaborate with important songwriters and artists who heard my music through Belmont connections.”
“So You Don’t” was co-written by Sierra’s mentor James T. Slater and produced by Bobby Hamrick.