Cloud Hats

  • Genres
  • Folk
  • Indie
  • Pop
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Folk/Bluegrass ★
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ New Artist ★
  • Musicians
    • Beti Girma — ukulele, violin, vocals
    • Gustavo Cruz — guitar, vocals
    • Jesse Rodriguez — bass
    • Nardos Girma — violin, vocals
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Q & A

How do you describe your music to people?


Bittersweet, nostalgic, blissful.

Tell us about how the band formed.


Jesse: I saw a video of Beti on Instagram performing at an open-mic, and I invited her to jam (we were already friends). Then we encouraged Nardos to join, and she was stubborn about it but finally came around. Gus joined about a year later.

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


Our EP release show this past December. Sonically, it wasn’t our best performance, but there was such an incredible energy at the show. We were surrounded by friends and other musicians. The show felt like community.

What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?


Beti: The Jonas Brothers, but I guess I'm not even a little embarrassed.

What was the first song you learned to play?


Nardos and Beti: "Hot Cross Buns" on the violin.

Gustavo: "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.

What's next for the band?


We are planning to record and put out an album this year. Also, we are planning on just generally getting our coin.

What's the story behind the band name?


Nardos: The name was unknowingly given to us by the former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, who I went to see at the Crest in 2016. In between readings of his poems, he would share short stories or thoughts, one of which was about realizing that the clouds sitting on top of mountains looked like the mountains were wearing sombreros. I immediately latched onto it, partly because we were looking for a band name, but also because it was an example of finding beauty and inspiration in everyday things.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


La Noche Oskura, Indigo Elephant, The Rogue Wav Collective, Paul Willis, The Band Hayez, The Fontaine Classic.

Who are your biggest influences?


Nardos and Beti: The Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Wild Child.

Gustavo: Manu Chao, Trevor Powers, Zakk Wylde, Beach House.

Who first inspired you to play music?


Beti: My big sister Nardos.

Jesse: My big brother Ivan.

Gustavo: My sister’s boyfriend.

Nardos: I don’t remember what inspired me to pick up the violin for the first time, but Beti definitely inspired me to pick it back up more recently.

Words to live by?


Beti: Do everything you possibly can in one lifetime—I’ve heard this attributed to Kanye West but don’t actually know if he said it.

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