Globe, Migrants, Multiculture, Our People, United Kingdom

Emigrant and musician, an artist of freedom

I call her for a telephone interview that we have arranged. She replies from her home in Miami as if she were an old friendThe Prisma’ memoirs.    

Karina Le Gallo

She tells me of the radiant sun, and the joy of being able to ‘stop’ a little while in her own house after being on tour around the world; she’s been in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Concha is an artist of freedom, a freedom which begins with not wanting to be told what to call what she sings. Her music includes jazz, copla, flamenco, electro, funk, Latin… This is her universe and she isn’t in the habit of putting up  barriers. To be able to play for the numbers of people that attend her concerts and to do it in spite of her enormous shyness Concha has to forget herself: “I can’t have my own will within something as vast as music. I forget about me and I think about other people, and that is really great”.

To grow as a human being and as a singer have demanded that she struggle between the love she has for her mother, the need to be obedient, and the fight for her own ideas, to be recognised and respected as an individual.

The result is that when she sings she expresses the fact that she has fought for what she feels, and that her greatest weapon is the faith she has in herself. This is how she has derived her unique style, this is why she is able to sing and to compose from her very soul, and is always open to all kinds of influences.

Her first album came out in 2005. Then came four more. Since then her public, as well as the list of those she has collaborated with, has grown.

Although she made an appearance in Almodovar’s “The skin I live in”, it is as a musician that she feels she can be most sincere, because, in her own words “music can’t be fooled. If you try to hide what you are from something as big as music, it shows.” She tells me that when the day comes that she feels she can no longer be honest, she will come down off the stage without a moment’s hesitation. Concha, like so many great artists, doesn’t feel the need to conform. She says what she thinks, lives how she feels, and sings just as it comes to her…

During the interview, before she answers, she takes a moment to think carefully about her answers, which then come with speed and precision, charged with her profound truths and her humoristic tone.

She doesn’t take herself too seriously, she laughs heartily, she makes you laugh, and she knows how to appreciate the good things that happen to her, the love of those close to her, and even the dislike that some may express, as it helps her to love herself…

She is self-taught and builds herself by the strength of her faith in life and in herself. She says that it is always necessary to “keep going in spite of the doubts you may have, that is what it means to have faith.”

On stage she is a medium, and allows music to enter her where it must, go where it must go, find feelings, emotions and memories along the way, and escape without being held back or questioned, following the notes that give it strength.

She always follows her instinct, with a laugh she says “I owe more to my ignorance than to my knowledge.”

Perhaps that’s one of the gifts which she can offer to “the tribe”, the name she gives to those who go to her gigs and buy her albums: the gift of living the alchemy of music. She lives this from the depths of her soul and she shares it. “To know how to share dejectedness, anger and pain, all of this internal turmoil, with other people, is something really powerful.”

She adds “We go through life following the madness of others, when you sit down to have a coca cola you are following the madness of that somebody who decided to make and sell that drink… But, when do we work for our own madness?” She laughs and says that her drug is music and her vice a good jamon Serrano and wine with friends.

“There is no greater ecstasy than the euphoria of composition or the pleasure of listening to a finished piece,” she says. She already has five albums recorded as well as collaborations with great musicians such as Chucho Valdes (with whom she recorded “El ultimo trago” a homage to Chavela Vaergas), Bebo Valdes, Javier Limon, Montse Cortes, Antonio Carde, Horacio “el negro” Hernández, Iván “melón” Davis…

She also finds herself involved in writing, in cinema, composition, recording her own songs and those of others, an electronic Project and in acting.

At forty-years-old she feels very fortunate for everything that is going on in her life. At the same time she is filled with energy, strength, the desire to do many things.

“There are moments – she explains – when you’ve got to get a little bit obsessed with your idea of life”.

(October, 2012)

(Translated by Thomas Andrew Wright – Email: – Fotos: Pixabay

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