Las vueltas que da la vida Daniel Cros

To share my music is the greatest gift I could receive
Interview with singer Daniel Cros at the launch of his album Las vueltas que da la vida

Bibiana Ripol - What were your first steps into the world of music?

Daniel Cros - I started when I was seventeen years old, coinciding with the so called 'Movida Barcelonesa' during the mid-eighties, as a singer and guitarist of mod group Brighton '64. It was a very exciting time, everything was new to me.

BR - From that time, you have never left your passion for music.

DC – It’s true, it is amazing to think how important the music world has become to my life.

BR - After that, you started your solo career

DC - Yes, I decided to study music professionally from scratch at the Taller de Músics of Barcelona and then later in the United States and in Havana and here I am, wanting to do the same as when I was 17.

B.R. - Poet or musician?

DC - The magic of blending words with music remains one of my favorite pastimes.

B.R. – Are you an entrepreneur or an artist?

DC - To develop myself as an artist I needed to be an entrepreneur. It is hard living only from my art. I don’t deny that some people may achieve it, but others like myself have to thresh, plant, gather and start all over again.

B.R. - What would your music be without Cuba?

DC – Definetely, it would have less rhythm and it would have less heat.

BR- You have also been inspired by Poblenou, the neighborhood in Barcelona where you live now.

DC - Poblenou was a good change in my life. I have been able to set up my own company there and it makes me feel good because I live near the sea, and I can feel the sea air every day.

B.R. Life takes many turns, hence the title of the new album?

DC – Las vueltas que da la vida symbolizes important moments in my career, twelve snapshots of the past fifteen years. It also synthesizes the Eastern idea that the only thing that does not change in life is change itself.

BR- Is it a collection of your best songs?

DC - Yes, but not only that: I've also added new versions, I have rewritten some arrangements and rerecorded the vocals on all the tracks. The song 'De par en par' for instance, which had a bluesy touch in my previous album has become a bolero and I'm satisfied with the result. I think the test of strong songwriting can be found when the song can work with different rhythms and genres. It's like a cutout doll that you can dress with different dresses like a princess or a witch.

B.R. - What characterizes the way you compose?

DC - I try to maintain traditional forms: what is a tango is a tango. It’s fine to experience and merge styles, but always with well-structured foundations. I personally do not like the electro-cumbia-rap-ragga-mix. The merge does sometimes miss the original pattern, I try to know and respect that pattern. But I am not a fundamentalist, as a musician myself I like to play. I can do a verse in son and chorus in guaguancó and if it works, great, but you have to respect the music patterns.

B.R. – How do you like your voice?

D.C - The voice is the thermometer of the soul. A singer is so naked... in recent years I have begun to really listen to myself and I have learned a lot about my voice, among other things, to measure what it is worth. I learned to listen, to accept and live with the typical and horrible effect of listening to a cassette recording of myself and not shout: "That is not me!"

B.R. – What about the lyrics of your songs?

DC - Language is so important and, unfortunately, today it is undergoing a process of impoverishment. I think as songwriters we have a great responsibility to use it properly.

B.R. - Your lyrics are very emotional

D.C - I want to express and understand what I feel. I find that sometimes my songs have a prophetic tone about my life, so I have to be very careful with what I write about. Although sometimes it is not until after a period of time that I may understand the real meaning of what I wrote some time ago.

BR- Is this why your songs tend to get less nostalgic about passed love?

DC - Despite the fact that the lack of love it is more fruitful artistically than love in itself, I wish I could stop writing about nostalgia. I prefer to feel the illusion of love that is to come than to revel in the disappointment of love that wasn’t to be or no longer is.

B.R. - What do you want to convey?

D.C - Heat and a hope to share. To share my music is the greatest gift I could receive.

B.R.- Are you interested in esoteric matters?

D.C - Yes, do you want me to read your hand?! I see you have very good health! In the song ‘En la palma de mi mano’ (In the palm of my hand) I created a game with the poem by Miguel Hernandez 'Las tres heridas' (The three wounds) paraphrasing with the three hand lines: love, life and mind (instead of ‘love, life and death’, as in the poem). Esotericism is trivialized, popularized and contains an ancient wisdom that we should not underestimate.

B.R. - Do you believe in fate?

DC - Life is a continuous pulse between fate and man's struggle. There are factors which are marked at birth, but I also believe in the rebellious nature of people wanting to create our own opportunities.

B.R. – When will we see you perform live?

DC - The first concert of the tour will take place in Barcelona in late February in a venue called Círculo Maldà, an intimate space where communication with the public is very intimate.

BR- Tell me the story of the blue rose that inspired you

DC - The blue rose is a symbol that has something magical for me, a touch of emotion and romance. It is as though she chose me herself to write her a song: a tango!

BR- How is your music company going?

D.C - I am encouraged to see how much it grows. I started by myself and now there are six of us. I never suspected it would grow so much.

Bibiana Ripol, Barcelona, December 2009

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