Behind the screen, they are but shadows, and Dracula likes it that way. Vocalist Dorys Bello and singer/guitarist Eli Oviedo, both 33 years old, are a tranquilizing folk
Behind the screen, they are but shadows, and Dracula likes it that way. Vocalist Dorys Bello and singer/guitarist Eli Oviedo, both 33 years old, are a tranquilizing folk duo that go by the moniker inspired by Bram Stoker. And like the romantic vampire, they prefer to remain low-key and in the dark. Last week at Gramps, a bar slightly off the beaten path of the tourist trap that has become Wynwood, they tried an experiment: performing in silhouette behind a screen. It’s an idea they are considering for their second appearance at III Points in Miami this weekend.
Perched on a pair of stools facing each other, their profiles are projected by a single red light bulb located behind the screen. Their silhouettes add another ethereal layer to their timeless sounding music. The mysterious couple sing emotive music often in the romance language of Spanish but sometimes in English, Portuguese, French and even Japanese. “Yo soy como el chile verde, Llorona. Picante pero sabroso,” they coo with a beautiful harmonized vibrato, as Oviedo gently plucks his acoustic guitar. You can still see their feet below the edge of the screen. During the chorus of “Como La Flor,” a cover of a Selena song, Bello’s right foot, in simple Mary Jane shoes and gray socks that glow blue below a black light at the front of the stage, begins to swing a little bit. As she sings, “Aye, me duele,” her foot rises up toward her partner and hovers there for a bit.
The screen is a new theatrical touch for the duo, but their unique stage presence of facing one another has long been a mainstay at their performances. Before the show, Bello and Oviedo spoke about their inspirations, a recent recording contract with Sweat Records Records that will see soon them release an album on vinyl (Sweat Records launches new Miami independent music label) and where the idea to face each other while performing came from.
“I think it happened naturally because we like to focus into each other’s eyes,” says Bello. “Facing the crowd would distract us a lot, and I have … an anxiety disorder,” she admits with a nervous laugh.
Oviedo also relates. He says encouragement from friends has helped them, even though they both admit that they become even more self-conscious with friends in the audience. “With people’s feedback, it just became easier to do it,” he notes. “Everyone was just like, relax. It didn’t seem so much like this crazy feat to be bringing in front of people that we were so afraid of being rejected by.”
This modesty goes way back. Before forming Dracula with Oviedo, Bello used to record music by herself on guitar in her bedroom. Even though friends pushed her to perform in public, she declined. It wasn’t until meeting Oviedo that she found the strength to perform for an audience. “I always said, no, no, no, and with him, that was the first time I actually tried it,” she says, “and it’s just me trying to get over stage fright and just anxiety in general. To this day, I have crippling anxiety before the show and during, but it’s gotten a lot better.”
23 (Thursday) 8:00 pm