Rob Garza

In 1996 Rob Garza and Eric Hilton formed music group Thievery Corporation. In 1997 they captured music fans’ imagination with the release of their debut album, Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi. They have since released eight studio albums, the latest called Saudade, which hit the stores on April 1, 2014. In addition, Garza and Hilton have released 18 compilation albums and started a label, Eighteen Street Lounge Music (ESL). Originally from Washington, D.C., Garza now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Rob Garza is one half of Thievery Corporation, a music group that blends sounds and musical influences from around the planet. Their music is the soundtrack of my immigrant story, each album of theirs having a cultural significance and also marking my transition from India to New York and eventually becoming an American citizen.

Their music is timeless. If you don't believe me, check out their debut album. There is more than a good chance that while relaxing on a beach somewhere or sipping a martini in your favorite lounge, you have heard something that makes you raise your eyebrow and ask, ”What kind of music is that?” That eclectic sound — a beat blend of Asian, Middle Eastern, reggae, bossa nova, dub, electronica, and chill-out — is something Thievery Corporation pioneered. In fact, Thievery's sound epitomizes the post-internet planet.

Ironically these vanguards of indie music are seeing their musical mosaic crumble, thanks to the internet. A few months ago, Garza and I walked down the memory lane about vinyl and ended up talking about “snacking culture” and why we’re now failing to form emotional bonds with music.

Continue Reading