A “bonafide” musician creates without deception. How?

Posted: October 20, 2023
Bona fide means "in good faith" in Latin. When applied to business deals and the like, it stresses the absence of fraud or deception. A bona fide sale of securities is an entirely aboveboard transaction. Outside of business and law, bona fide implies mere sincerity and earnestness.
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Applying bona fide to this article we will be using the portion that is defined as an “absence of fraud or deception. Often, we can determine when a musician or artist is a straight up fraud. They bring in studio effects that cause them to become something that they are not. Relying upon their gifts to sing or perform at a high level are often detected in a live setting. Under the bright lights, and closed doors of the studio, something else is occurring. Electronics, software applications, and brilliant minds will enhance your sound with an adjustment or two. Some are familiar with the abilities of “Auto Tune”. It has brought a significant professional career to many artists who were able to capitalize off it.

If you had a voice, or you could perform at high level already, then the use of Auto Tune is acceptable. Cher was one of the first artists to use auto tune. However, Cher already had the ability to sing, without the use of studio controls or apps. In fact, in only enhanced her music under certain releases. Totally acceptable in our book. However, others that completely rely upon Auto Tune to give them an edge are frauds. Might I say they are not bona fide artists. Unfortunately, it happens too often, when a quick buck can be made, or when the competition gets too heavy to deal with.

This isn’t going to change anytime soon. Though, we can say that there are artists that sing and perform without the use of the studio magic. Vanessa Harbek is perfect in the studio and in a live setting. Which is one of the reasons why we continue to focus our attention on her accomplishments.

Did you know she interviewed with Guitar Thrills Magazine in the past? In fact, it was under the topic of The topic: Building habits for change. Restructure your routine with effective ideas. Implementing creativity.

We asked her the following: Do you consider yourself a creature of habit. If so, in what areas of life?

Vanesa responded by saying “far from being a creature of habit I consider myself as a creature of change. My nature is being in a constant search of new challenges, new ideas, new ways to face my life, my creativity, my work, my inspiration. If I must think in a habit, I will say I have the habit of diving into the depths of my soul to find my answers, my feelings, my notes and my colors, to express my feelings in the best way through my songs and paintings.”

She also mentioned “Change is the nature of life, as well as failure is a part of learning. It's very important to adapt to change, and in fact, I'm always adapting to new places and routines, because of my work as an artist I'm usually on gigs, changing countries, stages, playing with many different musicians, sometimes using different equipment, my life is change and adaptation.”

She exclaimed that “routines are very important to order your tasks and accomplish your goals. I have my routines to study, to keep order in my daily life, to make all the work referred to booking concerts, to keep in contact with people I care, to guarantee space and time to create and to take care of my health with physical activity. All those routines are so much important to be able to face my very changing way of life.”

In conclusion Vanesa Harbek was an important resource for answering this topic. Therefore, we had to go back to her later in the year with some important questions that with tantalizing responses.


Blues, soul, rhythm and blues, swing, tango, jazz, rock, and roll, Latin, are the styles of this talented Argentinian singer, guitar, and trumpet player with a degree in Music, Teaching and Composition at UCA -Argentine Catholic University.

She has a versatile and powerful voice and moves comfortably in different musical styles. She has a natural talent with the guitar. Her exquisite technique and solid sound, make a perfect combination for her virtuosity and quality as a performer.

Since June 2017 Vanesa is living in Berlin, Germany.

Vanesa shared stage with Ciro Fogliatta, Black Amaya, Luis Robinson, Jaf, Hugo Mendez, Rubén Gaitán, Semilla Bucharelli in the argentinian scene; at internacional scene she played with Igor Prado, Decio Caetano, Big Gilson, David Tanganelli (Brasil) Omar Coleman, Sugar Blue, Dave Riley, Linsey Alexander and Vino Louden (USA), Antonio Vergara (Ecuador),BJ Stolle (Germany) Kenny Blues Boss Wayne (Canada), Marcos Coll Vargas Blues Band (Spain), Daryl Taylor , Rico MacClarrin (Chicago) Krissy Mattheus (UK).

She has toured Argentina as well as other countries, including International Jazz, Blues and Tango Festivals in Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, Ibiza, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile.

And her Guitar Clinics in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, and Poland have been very successful.


GT: Hello Vanesa. We are grateful for the fine example that you have set for all musicians. Not just within the rock genre, but genres of all kinds. No matter your vibe, you can still be authentic. You have become the voice of originality. A bona fide talent. Thank you for joining us today.

Vanesa: Thank you so much for your words.

GT: I know about your accomplishments. However, I don’t know the foundation for your love of Blues. I have read about your accomplishments with countries the world over. However, there must be something engrained in a person to really choose a specific genre of music. Especially, when they are authentic in nature. What drew you to the Blues genre?

Vanesa: My love for the blues was born when I was 11 years old. At home there was a lot of music in the air and very varied. My father is a musician and I remember as I was a child that he listened to Ry Cooder, Deep Purple, Weather report, the Stones to Bach. But it was when I found Slowhand by Clapton among his records that I felt in love with blues and guitar. There I discovered the blues and from that album I discovered Freddi King, Albert Collins, Vaughan, and many others. Blues is strong feeling for me, the sound captivated me, blues is a passion, expression...the expression of the deepest feelings...

GT: There are countless blues artists that came before you. Who were your favorites? Of those favorites, who have you been able to perform with on stage or on an album?

Vanesa: My favorites were and are many, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, Freddie King, Ronnie Earl, Wes Montgomery, Etta James, Koko Taylor, and many others, I had the pleasure of being able to share the stage at a Blues festival in Mexico with Vino Louden (Koko s guitarist) and in Buenos Aires with Kenny Blues Boss Wayne.

GT: I don’t want you to be considered controversial. However, is there anything in this topic that seems familiar to you? Have you noticed an increase in artists with a deceptive approach to music?

Vanesa: I respect all styles of music and forms of expression if the public feels represented.

GT: Artists are always receiving bad advice. Not just from family members, but from the “professionals.” Booking agents, PR firms, Managers, Labels, etc. are all known for dishing out bad advice. To the detriment of their client. I also know, there are great professionals out there, that have the success of their client at heart. What has enabled you to avoid the pitfalls? Even the use of Auto Tune.

Vanesa: I am a woman who follows my instincts, I came across people who gave me bad advice, but others gave me very good advice, and ultimately the one who decides is me. The music business is not easy, you must be strong, have patience, persevere, and fight.

GT: The music industry isn’t a “one size fits all”. So, what worked for you, may not work for someone else. However, you are an excellent example of musical success. Do you have any advice that has worked for you?

Vanesa: My life is music; it is my purpose. From the moment I get up until I go to sleep, I think about music, I listen to music, I play music; I make my booking, I organize my concerts, I think of ideas or strategies to progress, or I compose... my advice is to love music and work hard to keep advancing.

Do not be discouraged by anyone. Success is in being able to dedicate yourself to music daily

GT: What is the best thing you get from being an artist? At the same time, what is the negative aspect of being an artist?

Vanesa: The best thing I get from being an artist is that music allows me to create, interpret, transmit, express myself. It is a playful space that always preserves me from reality or the everyday, it is MY refuge.

Another positive thing is the love and recognition of the public and support of fans, the energy of playing live and the interaction with the audience, this is my medicine.

The negative could say the uncertainty, the bureaucratic part, the organization of the tours that takes me a lot of time, and I would rather use that time to create...

GT: How would you describe who Vanesa Harbek is, and what drivers you to be the best artist that you can?

Vanesa: I am a restless person, who has not stayed in his comfort zone. Who has had to face many fears and challenges. I’m always on the move, trying to improve and learn new things.

GT: Whether you are on stage, or in the studio, do you have a specific “go to” guitar? If so, which brand is it and why do you select it?

Vanesa: I have two “to go” guitars, both are Fender. A strat, which my father gave me as a gift when I was 15 years old, that guitar has been with me since my entire career, it is a part of me and the other one is a thin line telecaster. I love these guitars; I like their sound and they are comfortable.

GT: Are you currently working on an album? Do you plan on any tours?

Vanesa: Yes, last week we finished recording it. Now is time for mixing and mastering.

The new album will have 10 songs all composed by me. I recorded all the guitars, vocals and trumpets, Martin engelien:bass, Bernie Bovens : drums ,Renis Mendoza:percussion and Jürgen

Dahmen : keys and hammond.

Yes, now I’m working on the tour and release party for my new album for next year.

GT: Excellent. That is great to hear.

GT: Needless to say, it has been my pleasure to interview you. I want you to know as well, that we will be including this interview online and in our next issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. I would like to interview you soon. We must keep in touch. Would you be interested in another interview?

Vanesa: Thank you so much for the interview and for making my music and my career known.

GT: Awesome. Thank you so much. We wish you continued success in all your endeavors.

Vanesa: Thank you!

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