Javier Limón: “They told us that piracy was going to put an end to music and it was music that has put an end to piracy” | Culture

Flamenco and Latin music would probably be different today if Javier Limón (Madrid, 49 years old) had not existed. He still has a long way to go, but in full maturity, with eight Latin Grammys, this flamenco by vocation and a restless musician by obligation has revolutionized various fields simply by mixing them. From the experimentations of Enrique Morente to the authenticity of Concha Buika, from the fusion between Bebo Valdés and El Cigala to the Titanic Orchestra by Serrat and Sabina, jazz, songwriters, rock, pop, salsa and flamenco are their weapons to make success explode. Just take out your Memoirs of a music producer (Debate).

Ask. She comes to us now with her memories, what did she not want to remember?

Answer. Well, look, probably one of those albums that haven’t had the success they deserved from my point of view.

P. In other words, he only wanted to remember what went well for him…

R. No, actually there are shits on the album, sorry, in the book.

P. Which?

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R. Well, when I erased some voices by Enrique Morente.

P. Wow. She would remember all her ancestors.

R. He got very angry, yes, he went to Granada and asked me to try to get them back. When she found out that it would cost us 3,000 euros, she said that she would record it again throwing hosts and she sang it again very well. that disk, the little clock, is one of the favorites of Arcángel, the cantaor, now.

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P. Is it worth recording an album today?

R. More than ever, we were told that piracy was going to kill music, and it was music that killed piracy.

P. But a record is now a mere business card. Or something else?

R. Making an album helps an artist find their niche. Although I am presenting the songs one by one.

P. To caps.

R. Exactly.

P. What does “I love you” mean? ride like me bicycle”?

R. I don’t know, but what I’m sure of is that Rosalía’s lyrics have already become another great marketing tool. mommy Yes, I understand. That mom rides on the motorcycle.

P. What has Rosalía invented?

R. Singing Andalusian melodies more than flamenco on electronic bases of urban music. It is true that others had done it, but…

P. Without long nails?

R. Yes, and without becoming influencers as she does, that is, conceived as one more job of her career.

P. At Berklee, the school where you teach in Boston, what counts most for musicians? Instagram or the sheet music?

R. I am a classic, I prefer music. But now we are developing new courses, how to become a producer with a laptop.

P. Well, like you with your protools, that program that revolutionized the recordings, with which it began.

R. There isn’t a studio in the world today that doesn’t have it. It’s fundamental.

P. But won’t you abuse the auto tune to make up roosters in the voice?

R. Sometimes always to correct defects, not as a rule.

P. With how nice it is to go out of tune or those broken voices. What would become of Sabina, of Chavela, of Calamaro?

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R. Or Bob Dylan… For me, I like more and more what flamencos say, that it’s semitone or regarding the rhythm, which runs a mijita… In the imperfection I find beauty more and more. It is essential, if not you do not believe it.

P. Basically, should we continue drinking from Morente?

R. Oh right, his ability to turn mess into genius was historic. She would record a song and if it was too pretty she would tell me: “Javi, let’s see how we mess this up”.

P. Does the example spread?

R. What I love is that many young people know them and are inspired by that to find their own path. They know that they shouldn’t be Spanish-style Beatles, we have to get out of our trunks, like Rosalía, C. Tangana, Nathy Peluso. Their option to compete with the greats at a global level is betting on materials that only they know and they differentiate themselves from the others by doing the best possible and with all their humility.

P. They just closed the Candela bar, Madrid’s flamenco temple, what do we do? Doesn’t a world end?

R. Maybe. There are some places that have lost the magic that they had before YouTube existed. Things happened that you could only see if you went there, now, anyone posts things to you on the channels and you get tired of seeing it. It’s not the same, but…

P. The myth, the legend, the surprise is lost.

R. That is the key. Paco de Lucía stopped going to certain places because he guessed what was going to happen to him, he lost the surprise effect.

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P. They just did a tribute to him at the Latin Grammys. Deserved?

R. Never! But what I like is that there are in Spanish, they do not exist in French or Italian. Why? Because there are more and more of us there, in a few years the United States will be the country with the most Spanish-speakers in the world. Walls cannot be erected against us as this Trump wanted to do. That wall, on the other hand, has been built for decades, what it touches is to demolish it.

P. Have you put down roots there?

R. I feel uprooted or, better yet, as Juan Ramón Jiménez said, let the wings take root and the roots fly. I like to show off my Andalusian origin, but I can mix that with my Irish friends in a bar.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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