Accomplished Composer Pablo Mirete Godoy Has Earned His Reputation

Pablo Mirete Godoy, originally from Spain and now based in Los Angeles, is an accomplished composer with prolific output, and when we heard his composition work for the recently released short film, Umbrellas, we knew we had to set up an interview. 

Mirete Godoy has collaborated with a number of GRAMMY Award-winners such as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, Pablo Ziegler, Berta Rojas, Mireya Ramos, and Mark Walker. Early on, he won first place in four different categories of the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival in Canada, and soon after he became a Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation Ambassador. 

Mirete Godoy also composed for the cultural program Ruta Quetzal, arranged music for Justin Timberlake’s Honorary Degree concert, and even attended the 2017 Global Cultural Leadership Summit in Abu Dhabi.

The short film Umbrellas was nominated for the Goya Awards in the best animated short film category. The Goya Awards are Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars, presented by the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain. 

This soundtrack also went on to win a Fugaz Award. The Fugaz Awards were founded in 2017 by CortoEspaña to reward the most outstanding Spanish short films. 

During the pandemic, Mirete Godoy mixed and mastered the song “Nuestro Mundo,” which was featured in ALJA’s Virtual Birdland concerts, which were listed by the New York Times as one of the “10 Best Quarantine Concerts Online.” 

As for his more recent work, Mirete Godoy lent his talents to the creation of Cristina Malakhai’s single, “Besos Arma,” which has made its way onto the Yangaroo Music Weekly indie chart, as well as popular playlists on Tidal and Deezer. 

To put it simply, Mirete Godoy has established himself as a singular talent who has crafted a successful international career, and we were excited to have the opportunity to speak with him about a slew of different projects and learn more about how he goes about creating incredible music. 

We’d like to ask about some of your biggest projects so far. First, can you talk about your work on Umbrellas?

Of course! Composing the soundtrack for Umbrellas was definitely a career highlight for me and I was thrilled when the film was nominated for the Goya Awards in 2022 in the best animated short film category. These awards are the national film awards of Spain, so to be recognized in this way was an incredible honor. 

I was also really excited when my music won the Fugaz Award for best soundtrack in 2021. This award was created in 2017 by CortoEspaña, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the short film industry in Spain. That year, more than 800 professionals from the industry voted from among over 600 submissions, so it was a great achievement to have won.

As a result of this, I was invited to join the CortoEspaña Commission and become a member of the jury for the Fugaz Awards. It’s a beautiful experience to be able to give back to the short film industry and to be able to contribute to the recognition and success of other filmmakers. 

Working on the soundtrack for Umbrellas was a tremendously rewarding experience and I’m grateful for the opportunities it has brought my way and for the acclaim it has received. I’m looking forward to continuing to work on projects that challenge and inspire me, and I hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with more talented individuals in the future!

You also won multiple awards at the National Capital Region Music Festival in 2014. What did this mean for the trajectory of your career?

I feel very fortunate to have won these awards at the Kiwanis Music Festival, which is another name for this competition. It is a very prestigious event, which drew in around 10,000 talented participants and had an audience of over 15,000 that year, so to come out on top in four of the highest-level categories was a huge accomplishment for me.

It opened many doors, gave me the confidence to continue pursuing my musical career, and was also a wonderful validation of my skills. Having said that, I know I couldn’t have done it without the support and guidance of so many brilliant mentors and colleagues. I am thankful for their help and for the opportunity to participate in such a distinguished competition. Additionally, I have a special connection to Ottawa, where the festival was held, so being a part of such a memorable event was a treat for me.

Can you elaborate on your role in various cultural initiatives and concerts, such as the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation?

Well, I am fortunate to have contributed to many cultural initiatives and concerts over the years. One that stands out to me is the “Paquito D’Rivera and Berta Rojas Meet Berklee: The Music of Agustín Barrios Mangoré” concert in Boston. This celebration of the Paraguayan composer’s music was truly an honor, as I was able to arrange music for the show and share the stage with Paquito D’Rivera, who has won 14 GRAMMY Awards, and Berta Rojas, the first Paraguayan to win a Latin GRAMMY Award in 2022. It was amazing to be a part of this musical excellence and humbling to be referred to as a “young and consummate” arranger in an official statement from the Information and Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay.

I’m also an ambassador for the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation, which provides scholarships to Latin music students around the globe. I’m proud to support the growth and development of Latin music and the next generation of musicians. 

Additionally, I’ve been part of the Ruta Quetzal program, which was designated a “Universal Interest” cultural program by UNESCO in 1990. In 2016, I was a Cultural Entrepreneurship Fellow for The Canales Project, and in 2017, I attended the Global Cultural Leadership Summit in Abu Dhabi. 

I’m thankful for the chance to be involved in these initiatives and concerts and everything they’ve taught me, and I look forward to making a positive impact with my music and involvement in the future.

You mixed and mastered “Nuestro Mundo” a few years back. Did this project carry special meaning given the timing of the project and how it was showcased?

Thanks for the question. Yes, I mixed and mastered “Nuestro Mundo” for the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) a few years back. It was definitely a special project for me, given the timing and how it was showcased. The song was featured in the ALJA’s “Virtual Birdland” concerts during the COVID pandemic, a virtual adaptation of the set they would have played at their residency at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. These concerts were actually recognized by The New York Times as one of the “10 Best Quarantine concerts Online,” along with performances by Post Malone, Norah Jones, and Erykah Badu.

But beyond just the recognition, I think what really made this project special was the fact that it was used to raise money for the ALJA Emergency Artist Fund. It was a tough time for everyone during the pandemic, and I felt happy to be able to contribute in some way and use my skills to help out. It was a humbling experience, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.

“Besos Arma” has been very successful. Can you talk about how you applied your unique production to this track?

I’m really glad to see that “Besos Arma” has been successful! Working on that song with Cristina Malakhai was a very rewarding experience. I applied an electronic/cinematic style of production to the track, combining my expertise in composition, production, and mixing and focusing on timbre and drive. 

It’s been great to see it reach the top of the Yangaroo Music Weekly Indie chart and to see it featured on popular playlists on Tidal and Deezer like “Novedades España” (Spanish Novelties), with thousands of followers and hear it on radio stations like KPFA 94.1 FM. It was even included on DMDS/Yangaroo’s Top Downloads and Most Active Indies lists!

Do you feel your work draws on your multicultural career and background?

There’s no doubt about that. Growing up in a multicultural neighborhood in Spain and living in cities like Ottawa, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many different cultures and traditions. I’m also a big fan of languages and music from around the world, and I think this diverse exposure has allowed me to bring a unique perspective to my music.

Leaving my Latin and Mediterranean influences aside, one project that stands out to me in this regard is the Broken Orchestra Remix Contest organized by Found Sound Nation. I studied Japanese for two years when I was in Boston and I became fascinated by Japanese culture. That interest compelled me to enter this competition with a composition and production inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. 

I was really honored to end up winning the second prize among over 150 entries and to have my work included in the “Suites for a Broken Orchestra” album, which was released alongside Pulitzer-prize-winning composer David Lang’s new symphonic work, “Symphony for Broken Instruments.” It was a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious competition and have my work recognized like that.

Is there a secret to your prolific output?

I don’t really have any secrets. I’ve just been fortunate to work on many projects and gain experience throughout my career. I’ve also found some great mentors and opportunities along the way. All these things, together with my education, have helped me grow and develop, and have given me the confidence to always take on new challenges. This foundation has likely been important to that output you mention.

But in the end, music requires lots of hard work, too. It’s not easy! That’s why it’s critical to stay true to oneself and remember why you fell in love with music. I also think that the devil’s in the details, so I like to put in the extra effort to make sure everything is just right while still creating music that is human and relatable. Finally, I’m always looking to learn more and push myself to create new, exciting music. The more I do that, the more I want to explore and try new things. Plus, I just have a lot of fun making music, which helps keep me motivated and productive.