Audiences across the globe are slowly discovering what Phoenicians have known for over a decade. Bursting with raw charisma, Andy Chaves has a unique ability to captivate listeners with his boundless energy, heartfelt lyrics, and soulful rapping and singing. On Dec. 9, his band Katastro will conclude its biggest solo tour yet. But as the 29-year-old tattooed singer-songwriter will tell you, the road to superstardom has been “anything but easy,” and Katastro’s success has “certainly not come overnight.” Chaves’ battle with addiction almost ended the group—and quite possibly his life—on more than one occasion. “I definitely drove my bandmates crazy,” he admits. But, through it all, they stuck together, and Chaves managed to keep his demons at bay in pursuit of his dreams. As its title might suggest, Katastro’s latest album, Tropical Heartbreak, out now, is a sonic journey through the hookups, breakups and occasional melancholy that have come to define the somewhat libertine Chaves over the years. But it’s no somber affair. The upbeat tempos, colorful instrumentation, funky island grooves and sheer poppy strength of Chaves’ massive melodies make for a breezy and infectious listen this winter. After more than a decade, Katastro’s music has never sounded more accessible. But underneath all the gloss and sheen, there is newfound maturity in Chaves’ lyrics. “You’re free to roam now/I sleep alone now/So just be gone now,” he intones on the insanely catchy single “Older Me.” This is the sound of a playboy growing up.
Photography by: Michael Franco