Small Culture, aka Jerik Centeno, says it’s feast or famine out there in musicland — “Right now I’m in the famine spot.”
  • Small Culture, aka Jerik Centeno, says it’s feast or famine out there in musicland — “Right now I’m in the famine spot.”
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Jerik Centeno of Small Culture moved to San Diego three years ago to pursue a career in audio production.

“All through high school [in Kau’i] all I wanted to do was record and mix bands. As soon as I graduated I came here to attend the Art Institute.”

Video:

"Apartime"

...by Small Culture

...by Small Culture

While that two-year course helped him record his five-song, self-titled EP and collaborate with the Verigolds, Ed Ghost Tucker, and the Chili Banditos, he says he’s learned how tough the recording business is.

“My instructor [at the Art Institute] told me it’s either feast or famine. Right now I’m in the famine spot.”

Centeno, 21, is not giving up. But to remain solvent like many musicians, he does the computer-app taxi thing.

Centeno’s outgoing nature is key to Small Culture, which is basically him, his musical vision, and a network of friends who join him when it’s show time or time to record a track.

Cameron Wilson (Ed Ghost Tucker/Lulls), Jenna Cotton (Verigolds), and Max Idas (Chili Banditos) have all contributed to Small Culture’s modular band concept onstage or in the studio.

“The name Small Culture came from the fact I’m from a small island with a lot of different cultures. It also comes from the ten-foot by ten-foot room attached to Max’s old house in Lemon Grove where we used to have shows. All you need is a small group of friends to make your day.”

Past Event

The Chili Banditos and King Bloom

  • Saturday, August 6, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
  • Soma, 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego
  • $10

Centeno writes, arranges, sings, and plays guitar and keyboards for Small Culture material, which spans ambient, folk, and electronica, drawing comparisons to Postal Service, Sigur Rós, and Sylvan Esso.

“A lot of times with bands you hear how frustrating it is to try and schedule shows and practices to work around everyone’s schedule. With Small Culture I can have people I love to work with sit in with me. And creatively, I don’t have to butt heads with anybody who may think the guitar is too loud here or the bass is too low there. With Small Culture I’m in control of all of that.”

Small Culture appears Saturday at Soma with King Bloom, the Chili Banditos, Pueblo, Bad Kids, and Stick Bitz.

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