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Welcome to Palabras Flamencas: Reflexiones Sobre El Arte Flamenco (Flamenco Words: Reflections On The Art Of Flamenco)
"The first step to being political in flamenco is being outside of what’s expected of you and breaking it."
"If I have the chance and have the right connections, I’d like to be a bridge between Spain and Japan. For example, I’d like to bring people from Spain that I work with as a singer and bring groups to Japan. I want to help Japanese people learn more about flamenco."
"The status of the artist has risen a lot, but the salaries are the same. Therefore, I think there’s a problem. It’s the worst time period ever to be an artist. The worst time! It’s the worst because whenever there are economic problems, they always pull resources from culture. "
"Many people in flamenco are critical of younger artists because they lack artistic personality. Why is this and what can artists do to develop it?"
"This is an intellectual music. We’re talking about something that people spend years and years studying. There’s nothing natural about this."
"I don’t want to be pretty. I don’t want to look pretty, and I don’t want to pretend that I’m pretty. I don’t want to move pretty or get a result from my pretty movement or my pretty look."
"There have been many stereotypes surrounding flamenco for a long time. If you could kill off one of these stereotypes, which would it be? Which is the most destructive?"
“It’s fundamental that flamenco stays true to its roots. The moment that’s lost, it becomes a vulgar music.”
"For me, Tina Turner is flamenco. The great Blues artists are flamenco. That term is given to things that seem authentic, that in some way or another approach what is basic and natural to the land and to life in general."
"When you’re performing on stage, do you play for yourself, your fellow musicians, the public, or something completely different?"
"If you have to cry, you cry; if you have to laugh, you laugh; if you have to throw yourself on the floor, you throw yourself on the floor. It’s like a movie."
"If you want to learn fast, it’s impossible. Playing flamenco and all that that implies is quite complicated. This can’t be learned in one month nor in two"
"Flamenco technique today is incredibly advanced and difficult. However, the point of art, at least from my point of view, is to have something to say and to communicate that effectively. Can you talk about the approach and attitude you have with respect to your technique? "
"I’m not trying to say that I’m an especially intelligent or special person, what I want to say is that the impulse to do and to know has always carried me forward. It’s moved me ahead of myself, not of anyone else, of myself."
"One can harm themselves by having a Peter Pan complex, by wanting to be a guitar student forever and by dedicating themselves to that exclusively. Life takes you other places."
"When you think about the flamenco community in general, what is the image you have in your head? What exactly is it to you? "
"He who sings for the public is lost, because his head is not where it should be. I always try to revive my ancestors in my cante. I search for them. I remember them. I see their faces. "
"I want it to be accessible to everybody because it’s a transformative art form. It changes your life completely. It changes the way you see yourself. It makes you believe in yourself. It makes you stronger."
"What do you think about the word flamenco? What does it mean to you and how has it been abused or misunderstood?"
"People often use the word flamenco to help define their identity, so what does it mean to be flamenco?"
"Talent, luck, and the support of your teachers and family, you need to know how to use that, how to take advantage of it, and how to be grateful for it."
"I can’t live without the stage. If I go fifteen days, or a month, without stepping on stage… No, I can’t."
"I just feel the most comfortable when I have a guitar in my hands. The hours fly by and I couldn’t care less."
"When people came to my shows they didn’t really know what was going on. The ones who did know flamenco were surprised and thought it was beautiful."
"From the beginning I felt there was something else beyond what I saw, beyond what my parents did, beyond what my teachers did."
"One phrase of Soleá can have an entire lifetime of experience behind it, and of joy and of sadness."
"I’m playing music, which means I’m part of something beautiful and I get to participate in that just as the public does. "