HomeChévereSilvio Rodríguez honors his style in "I wanted to know"

Silvio Rodríguez honors his style in “I wanted to know”

The Cuban singer-songwriter promotes his 22nd album

It was the 60s and he was a thin young man with a thin beard leaning over a guitar who was singing to the Cuban revolution with his reedy voice. His trova sparked love or gained adversaries. silvio rodriguez

Six decades later, Silvio Rodríguez is one of the most prominent Spanish-speaking poets and musicians and his hundreds of songs have accompanied several generations of Latin Americans. Now, at 77 years of age, he is still active and promoting his latest album.

Rodríguez clasps his hands and turns his toes slightly inward while speaking with AP about this new album titled “I wanted to know” with 11 songs composed in recent years.

In his recording studio there is a piano, a guitar, a black music stand, several microphones, gray walls covered with insulating fabric for soundproofing, and some wooden stools with turned legs. Behind glass are the sound consoles.

The troubadour laughs loudly when it is suggested that, despite his long career, he seems not to give up with this new production, his 22nd album.

“So as not to throw away the sofa”

On their latest album there are a couple of intimate songs like “Ángel Ciego” or "City", but above all the social and political take precedence.

He highlights “Para no botar el sofa” which he himself describes as an “editorial song” and which plays with a popular Cuban saying according to which a man finds his wife having an affair with another man and, instead of getting rid of her, he throws her away. the chair in which he discovered the unfaithful woman.

“And while they imagine they are good at conscience, the reality is a mess of inefficiency. "The youth flee en masse and they get upset because a mouth is not of race or of its sidewalk," reads part of the lyrics. “And like the mocked spouse, one morning they throw the least complicated thing out the window.”

“To pronounce we, to complete the unity, we will have to count on the other, the lights and the darkness,” closes the song that appears as composed in 2016 but recorded for the first time on this occasion.

From left

The works of Rodríguez – who has no party militancy although in the 90s he was a deputy to the National Assembly of People's Power, the Parliament – ​​have always captured the spirit of the time that fell to his lot.

“I identify with what has been called the left,” he commented, immediately adding that “I don't like absolutisms, I don't like isms.”

The troubadour has not lacked adversaries who point him out for clearly taking sides in favor of the revolution and angrily agitate his songs from the 70s with lyrics that suggest armed violence as a path to achieve transformations.

But he doesn't care about that type of criticism. “It doesn't matter” what they think, he remarked.

Silvio

Born in the small city of San Antonio de los Baños near Havana, on November 29, 1946, Rodríguez was a teenager when the revolution led by Fidel Castro triumphed in 1959, a figure he continues to admire.

Like many in his generation and those who came later on the island, he joined the revolutionary tasks: he was a literacy teacher and militiaman and traveled to Angola as part of the Cuban missions that helped defeat apartheid.

In the mid-60s he debuted with his guitar and began his international tours that over the years took him from Germany to Chile, passing through Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Nicaragua, Peru and the United States.

He released twenty albums and wrote more than 500 songs with which he filled stadiums with fans who idolized him for his music and his poetry full of powerful metaphors. He shared the stage and projects with Luis Eduardo Aute, Miguel Bosé and Olga Tañón, among others.

Who could want more?

For now, and despite the fact that invitations are flooding in, he assured that he has no plans to go out on stage to present “I wanted to know” live.

Beyond the artist is the man married to the renowned flutist Niurka González for more than two decades, who likes spaghetti carbonara and reading at home where Malva, the youngest of his seven children, studies music.

Rodríguez has his routine: he arrives every day at 10:00 in the morning to his studio “ojala”, two adjoining houses painted white and a bit labyrinthine with stairs that lead to several offices and whose walls hang posters of tours and concerts. and some paintings by Cuban painters. He answers emails, composes, records.

“I never took myself that seriously,” he answered modestly when asked how he deals with fame. “One is the result of work… The virtue that songs have is that they accompany people. If any of my songs are good for that, who could want more?

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