Elan pursues musical passion

STRING STRUMMIN’—Issac Corrales plays the acoustic version of his bank Native Tongues song on his beloved guitar Shaniqua. CN/Carla Calderon

By Carla Calderon

Being the lead guitarist of the band Native Tongues makes Isaac Corrales hardly an ordinary East Los Angeles College student.

He lives with his parents, brother and sister in Maywood.

He was born in Sonora, Mexico. His mother claims Corrales showed great skills in making things, and always claimed that he wanted to be a scientist when he grew up.

Being technical and a smart student in the math and science field did not mean he never developed his artistic side.

At the age of 15, he picked up his sister’s abandoned acoustic guitar when his best friend Brian came over and tuned it for him.

The first song he learned how to play was Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt,” an original by the band Nine Inch Nails.

Isaac said, “I got bored and learned more songs. Then the guitar fell apart and I bought another guitar, which I named Shaniqua. I got bored of playing other people’s songs, so I wrote my own music. The first song I wrote was ‘She Walked All Over My Heart (To The Other Side Table).’”

Corrales said his guitar is named Shaniqua because “At the store they only had a few left handed guitars and two of the same model, but the cheaper one had a bigger bottom, which was a factory defect, and it was  black,” he jokes.

Everything Corrales learned about music in the beginning, he learned from the Internet.

He jams out with friends, who share his musical interest and belong to a local band from Maywood called Mano Sucia.

In his time at ELAC Corrales took three music classes

He complained that the first music class he took was a waste, “I already knew the basics,” but he had no choice but to take it to move on to the next classes.

“Musicianship and Harmony have been great (classes) and the teacher, Dr. Nagatani, is a great professor and has taught me very well. I still owe her brownies,” he joked.

Corrales is an AB-540 student; he is one of the many students on campus who will benefit from the Dream Act signed by President Obama in August 2012.

He thinks the Act will help the economy a lot because it will ensure that the taxes are being paid; therefore, help the economy flow.

Corrales is interested in many schools. After ELAC he said he would like to transfer to “Mars University, I mean we might be there in four years, but I probably will end up transferring to UC Irvine, or Riverside. Although I would prefer Santa Cruz.”

His parents seem to be very supportive of his major, which is musical engineering, as long as he doesn’t make too much noise.

His hobbies are playing music, video games, baking and watching TV. Corrales’ baking helped pay for his high school prom expenses. He also enjoys playing with his two favorite cats.

“One of them is Jaime and he’s half Siamese, and Micho is 8 and looks like a cow, both in weight and pattern. Someone once called her the ‘moo moo cat,’” Corrales said.

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