"Our music has just blown up": San Luis Obispo band Próxima Parada goes viral
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for the San Luis Obispo-based band Próxima Parada.
Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Nick Larson was out with his friend on a typical Friday night, when he received a text that would change the trajectory of his life. Someone sent him a link to a TikTok video.
“Songs you never would’ve found because life gets busy sometimes,” music influencer Matt Firestine said in the video before playing the Proxima Parada song, “Musta Been a Ghost.”
“He plays a clip of our song, and we’re like, ‘Oh, wow! That's really cool,’” Larson said. “‘This guy is shouting out our song.’”
Larson said his jaw dropped when he saw the video’s view count.
“I realized that it had a million views already, and it had just come out,” Larson said.
Since then, the video has amassed more than 15 million views. The song now has millions of streams, and it has topped multiple charts on Spotify. Larson said several major labels have contacted the band.
“Our music has just blown up in the last couple weeks, and it started with this person that we don’t know,” Larson said. “This guy has changed our whole career, and he had no idea that’s what was happening.”
The band’s sudden wave of success didn’t come out of nowhere. Larson said Próxima Parada has worked tirelessly for a decade to reach this point.
“To be so many years into a project and to feel like it’s just the beginning — that’s a really weird feeling,” Larson said. “We’re just getting started, it feels like, after 10 years, and I love that. It’s really motivating.”
Próxima Parada formed in 2012 as a college band at Cal Poly. They started off playing at local venues in SLO, from donut shops to wineries.
“We’ve really gotten a lot of practice learning what works for us, learning what doesn’t work for us, and the San Luis Obispo community has been really supportive along the way,” Larson said.
Próxima Parada’s pursuit of a music career over the last decade has been rewarding but equally grueling. Larson recalled the band’s first tour in the summer of 2019.
“We toured across the country in a van that the AC broke down two hours into our first day, and so we toured the entire country with no air conditioning,” Larson said. “I think the bands who succeed are the ones who are willing to stick through that discomfort.”
Even though the band spends a lot of time on the road, Larson said they will always be proud to call San Luis Obispo their home.
“When we finally come home and play a show, it’s just so sweet. It's so rewarding because we know everyone there,” Larson said. “We're there with our friends and our family, and it means the world to us for that to be where we call home.”
2023 is going to be a busy year for Próxima Parada, with talks of an album release, a national tour and festivals in the works.
The KCBX Arts Beat is made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County.