Kiko Villamizar, our April Artist of the Month, has been on tour for most of the month promoting his new album “Aguas Frias,” but he was back in town briefly this weekend, so we dropped by for a seasonally appropriate visit with his pet bunny, DJ Silver, a.k.a. Honey Bun Bun.
“This is the first time I’ve been in a relationship with rabbit,” Villamizar said last month when we met to talk about the album. His uncle raised rabbits, but they were farm animals and he knew not to get too attached to them. Along with two dogs, a cat and a hamster, this bunny is one of the creatures who inhabit the life he shares with his 6-year-old daughter Lola, his partner Natalie Lake and her 13-year-old son.
DJ Silver is a six-year-old cottontail rabbit, who actually belongs to Lake’s son.
“He’s not as cuddly as I expected him to be,” she said last month. The first time she held him, she cooed at him and tried to snuggle her face against his fur. He bit her nose.
These days, he’s cool with some handling as long as he’s on a stable surface, but like most rabbits, he’s a bit nervous. He eats a steady diet of rabbit food, supplemented by fresh vegetables. He’s a big fan of the green onions in the garden Villamizar keeps and he enjoys regular supervised hop-arounds in the front yard of the South Austin home Lake and Villamizar share.
Villamizar’s new album “Aguas Frias” was released online Friday. The title translates to “Cold Water” and he considers it a prayer for the water. While he was writing the album, he traveled in his native Colombia and joined pipeline protests West Texas and the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.
Most of the songs on the new release are built around traditional Colombian drum and flute (gaita, in Spanish) composition with “a few psychedelic dings” mixed in here and there. Villamizar’s powerful voice soars even as it aches, as he carries the emotional work.
You can catch Villamizar in town Friday, when he celebrates the album release locally at the monthly Peligrosa dance party at Empire Control Room.
And you can stream the new album here:
We’ll be looking for more ways to highlight the unusual and adorable pets of Austin musicians in the future.