His curiosity to hold a guitar and his fascination with the sound of its strings, were more than enough to make him realize that music would be his thing.
His determination and discipline made that childhood dream take shape and become a reality. Today, the compositions of Álvaro Balvín Benavides cross borders and are part of important productions of international stature.
Full speed ahead
Determined to dedicate himself body and soul to music, he trained with private teachers and in various academies. His perseverance led him to perfect his art at the National Conservatory of Music, where he received excellent feedback from his teachers.
As time went by, his interest in one particular branch grew: melody composition for feature films. Determined to seek out new challenges – and to perfect what had been robbing him of his sleep lately – he set out on an adventure at Berklee College of Music (Boston), where he specialized in film music. He was so delighted that he soon returned to the United States to pursue a master's degree, this time in Los Angeles.
Composing a dream
It did not take long for his talent to be recognized and in demand. That is how he came to join none other than Warner Bros, considered to be one of the most prestigious American entertainment companies in the world.
"Through a group of friends, I had the opportunity to record and conduct at Warner Bros Eastwood Scoring Stage with a 65-piece symphony orchestra. It was a unique experience, since it’s not every day that you get to record with an orchestra comprised of 65 musicians and, above all, record your own compositions. In fact, it's a day I remember with a lot of happiness," says Balvín.
But that's not all. The name of this talented Peruvian also echoed in Capitol Records, a prestigious American record label which has represented some of the top singers and international bands in recent history.
"I've been able to record at Capitol five times. It's a place full of stories, where great musical legends have recorded: Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, among others. The most beautiful of these experiences is that before entering the studio you pass through a corridor whose walls have pictures of the most iconic musicians who have recorded in the studio. It is truly inspiring. It really motivates you to keep putting all your energy into what you do," he adds excitedly.
The closure of borders as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Peru took quite a few Peruvians who were planning to return soon by surprise. Among them was Álvaro, who could never have imagined that the delay in his return would give him the opportunity to get involved in the musical part of Street Food Latin America, a Netflix documentary that covers popular Peruvian gastronomy in one of its episodes.
"I was introduced to the project through a composer named Tyler Strickland, the lead composer of the Peru episode. We already knew each other and so he contacted me to be part of the team. It was a month of hard work. Netflix is a studio that only produces the highest quality content; so, I had to bring out my Peruvian roots in order to compose and produce the best I could give," he says.
For Alvaro, this experience was the perfect incentive for those moments of uncertainty that troubled him. So he did not hesitate for a single second to give 200% in honor of his home country.
"It is extremely gratifying to see the name of Peru on the big screen and to be able to compose music that has Peruvian roots. Especially in my field, which is film music. As a Peruvian I always want to give my best in such competitive industries as the film and music industry," he says.
Looking towards the future
Currently, Balvín is looking forward to the premiere of the seventh season of Chef's Table (also from the streaming giant, which will air on September 2), in which he also took part.
At the same time, he is working on the production of three social documentaries. And he will soon release a single and an EP with his own compositions.
Overflowing with motivation. Recently, he learned that one of his pieces had been nominated for a prestigious award. "This month [August] one of the documentaries I worked on this year has been nominated for the Student Academy Awards, which are the Oscars for competitions among students around the world. The films have a very high level of production. The winners will be announced in October," he adds.
Perseverance brings great rewards. Alvaro knows this very well.