The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Salomón Bautista invited to perform at ViB Lounge


Opportunities have a funny way of being born out at unexpected times. 


SMU junior Salomón Bautista was casually strumming his guitar while attending Reformed University Fellowship’s (RUF) fall leadership retreat when one of the hosts asked Bautista to play a of couple songs. 


Bautista obliged. 


The host, Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations, Donnie Nelson, was impressed and insisted that Bautista perform at the ViB Lounge.       


The ViB Lounge is a unique venue for aspiring musicians to display their talents in front of friends as well as people in the music industry. 


Each show generally features six artists performing three to five original songs. 


After a temporary hiatus, ViB Lounge will be returning to Gilley’s Dallas on Nov. 6. 


The plan, which is still being discussed according to Nelson, is expected to have two events each month.


Nelson first cast the vision for ViB Lounge two years ago. The ViB Lounge was originally an old, closed-down clothing store inside Gilley’s Dallas on Lamar Street. 


Nelson and Johnny Dela Valdene, one of the founding fathers of the ViB relaxation beverage, filled the store, now named Gilley’s Saloon, with a makeshift stage and inexpensive musical equipment. 


“ViB Lounge is an “American Idol” stage for local artists to gain exposure and meet industry folks that will give some helpful advice,” Nelson said. 


“It’s pretty awesome. It kind of just fell in my lap,” Bautista said about the opportunity to play at ViB Lounge.  


Bautista is no stranger to performing.


 On top of being a music composition major, Bautista has made multiple appearances on KPNI SMU Radio and leads worship for Young Life and RUF.


However, Bautista cannot help but admit that this opportunity is something he has not had before.


“I haven’t played for people where people come to see just me play,” Bautista said. “It’s kind of glamorous.”


Bautista, who hails from Edinburg, Texas, or as he likes to call it, “The Valley,” has been playing music since he was very young. He credits his mother and sister for introducing him to the piano. 


He did not start making his own music until he and a few high school buddies decided to start a band, dubbed Square One.


He plays the saxophone, guitar, ukulele, piano and trumpet. Bautista did not pick up a guitar until he and his sister came across someone playing “Hotel California” on a street in Mexico. 


According to Bautista, learning to play the guitar was merely part of satisfying the desire to impress his sister with the mastery of this song.


“I try to learn from everything I listen to, whether I like it or not. If I hear something I like, I try to figure out what it is I like about it and make it my own,” Bautista said.  


“Same thing for something I don’t like. It’s always good to have a toolbox of ideas that you can use to get your ideas across.”


His wide range of musical influences includes Radiohead, Harry Connick Jr., Johannes Brahms and The Books. 


As far as his set list for ViB Lounge is concerned, Bautista has two original songs in mind, entitled “Something Better” and “To: The Sun,” but the third is still in the workshop. 


Bautista said he wrote “Something Better” during a long journey back home on a Greyhound bus. 


“‘To: The Sun’ is less deep, I guess. It’s about a girl,” Bautista said, grinning. 


The most exciting thing about the ViB Lounge for Bautista is the opportunity to share his music with a large group of people, especially at a venue such as Gilley’s Saloon. 


“I get [music]. I’m able to connect to people through music,” Bautista said.


According to Dela Valdene, one of the coolest things about ViB Lounge is the chance for artists to go back to their roots. 


Bautista is hoping this could just be the beginning. 


Bautista, who considers himself a better music brain than a performer, said he is waffling between being a composer/classical musician and a popular musician.


“I don’t really know what I want to do. I’m just going to take the best opportunity out there,” Bautista said.


Maybe, like the ViB Lounge, that opportunity will fall right into his lap.

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