Paco Swartz: Life's Tragedy Became His Muse

​Posted Nov 10, 2017
By ​Dennis Haywood

Life's tragedies can break you sometimes and it takes a strong person to look at what you feel is defeat straight in the eyes and deal with it. Life's challenges can weaken you sometimes and it takes internal  fortitude to remain on your feet, especially when your ten toes are the foundation of your family. If you allow yourself to be uprooted, demise is not far behind.

Pasadena recording artist and leader of the city's chapter of Save Black Boys, Paco Swartz, has been through  a lot in this past year, but he has emerged with an album full of passion and wisdom.

Red Ahchtober, Paco's third album is a journey into the mind if a man who felt like he was losing it all, only to realize that the loss was a blessing that will remain with him forever. On Christmas Eve 2016, Paco's son passed after a strong fight against infantile spasms and shortly after that he and his wife split ways, because there had been so much pain that the relationship couldn't overcome it. The great thing is that they actually have a good relationship and they are doing everything it takes to make sure their other children remain strong and well taken care of. 

Musically what the trauma and drama has done for Paco is allowed him to open up and release his pain. "It's my most vulnerable album, it's my therapy," Paco told the Pasadena Black Pages."My truth, my pain, my passion...I'm literally giving you my heart on this record."

Paco's favorite song is the last song on the CD called Conversation with Bubs​ where he expresses to his son how he misses him. The album is full of music that is easy to listen to, but my favorite song is Energy featuring S-Claz and Jimmie Brown.

The city needs to support this and all projects. We are so quick to reach outside of our community for so many things, but the music scene in Pasadena is something special right now. There is a lot of good music out here. Red Ahchtober is classic Dena.