Latidomusic

Exclusive: Pablo Alborán Talks His Decade in Music, Collabs With Maná, Camilo, And More

On Feb. 1, Spanish singer-songwriter Pablo Alborán celebrated 10 years of his debut album. In that decade, he’s charmed a global audience with his emotive voice. Alborán has also collaborated with artists from all over the world, including Colombian singer Camilo, American pop star Ava Max, and Mexican band Maná. His latest album, Vértigo, dropped in December, so he’s not slowing down. In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, Alborán reflected on the decade and talked about his biggest collaborations and what to expect next.

Pablo is celebrating 10 years in the music industry.

“I think in these past 10 years, I’ve learned to be more patient,” Alborán tells mitú. “I’m still chasing that same thrill. I still get excited with the love from my fans, the social media messages, and with the support from the people who’ve been with me since day one. All that continues to surprise me and bring me joy.”

Pablo’s debut single had Kelly Rowland raving back in the day.

Alborán actually launched his career 11 years ago when he uploaded a home performance of his breakthrough single “Solamente Tú” to YouTube. A few days later Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland proclaimed on Twitter, “I’m in love with Pablo Alborán!” His self-titled debut album was released in February 2011 and later that year, he received the first three of his nineteen career nominations at the Latin Grammy Awards. Demi Lovato performed “Solamente” with him there.

“I’m trying to take things more head-on,” Alborán says. “Before, I was maybe a little more thrown off by things. I was giving so much importance to everything and whatever problems. I believe I’ve learned to take things on more calmly.”

During last year’s COVID-19 quarantine, Pablo comforted his fans with “Cuando Estés Aquí.”

In those 10 years, Alborán also received two Grammy Award nominations. He’s known for his flamenco-inspired pop and his soaring ballads. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, he wrote the heartfelt “Cuando Estés Aquí” that became a quarantine anthem. All proceeds from the song benefit UNICEF in the fight against COVID-19.

“It’s a song that saved me during the quarantine,” Alborán says. “It helped me connect with my fans. I’m talking about everything that we lived together. The lyrics reflect the generous and supportive side of what was happening that wasn’t really shown in the news. There was a positive side to see people helping each other and singing and dancing from their balconies in Madrid. I think this pandemic not only brought out the worst, but it also brought out the best version of ourselves. That’s what I hope.”

In quarantine, Pablo also supported his fans in the LGBTQ+ community when he came out.

While in quarantine, Alborán released a powerful personal video during Pride month. He came out as a proud gay man. Alborán saw the message as a way of expressing his truth and also as something that could empower his fans in the LGBTQ+ community.

“Today, I want my voice to be louder and for it to have more value and weight,” Alborán said in the video. “I’m here to tell you that I am homosexual and it’s okay. Life goes on, and everything will remain the same. There are so many people that did not have the same experience I did. That’s why today, without fear, I hope I can make somebody’s journey easier with this message. But, above all, I do this for me.”

At last November’s Latin Grammy Awards, with Alborán out, there was major LGBTQ+ representation in the top categories. “Cuando Estés Aquí” was nominated for Record of the Year. That category and Album and Song of the Year also included entries from other artists in the queer community like Kany García, Ricky Martin, and Jesse y Joy’s Joy Huerta.

Pablo is spreading the love in his latest album Vértigo.

Last year Alborán also kicked off his Vértigo album era. He released the lead single “Si Hubiera Querido,” a hot-and-heavy heartbreak bop. In the music video, a shirtless Alborán emerges from his internal struggle in the swimming pool. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the magical love song “Hablemos de Amor,” where he paints an out-of-this-world romance with his words.

“It’s an album that speaks from a place of vulnerability,” Alborán says. “From a personal place. A place of intimacy. I speak about love from a very concrete place. I speak about pain, spite, jealousy, and how to love each other well. I talk about all the contrasts there is in love.”

Pablo hopes to tour the world soon when it’s possible to do so.

As more people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, live concerts are becoming more of a reality. Alborán hopes to tour again soon “si Dios quiere.” He adds, “Hopefully we can travel to every part of the world.” Alborán promises that there are more collaborations and new songs on the way this year. Meanwhile, his fans can enjoy his music at home.

“The only thing I want to achieve with my music is that people can identify with it,” Alborán says. “That they feel a hug when they hear my songs. That they feel they have a companion here who feels and lives things like them when they’re listening to me. All I want to do is give a voice to their feelings.”

Since Alborán is celebrating 10 years of his debut album, we had him break down some of the biggest collaborations of his career.

“Rayando El Sol” with Maná

In April 2019, the legendary Mexican group recorded a new version of their 1990 hit “Rayando Al Sol” with Alborán. His powerful vocals paired well with lead singer Fher Olvera’s impassioned performance. The new music video was shot in Madrid.

“Wow!” Alborán exclaims. “That was a dream come true. Maná is a group that I’ve admired since I was a kid. Their songs have been with me my whole life. To be able to be part of a song so important like ‘Rayando El Sol’ that’s like an anthem for a lot of people. It’s a very big responsibility but an honor as well. I love them so much.”

“Tabú” with Ava Max

In November 2019, Alborán teamed up with American pop star Ava Max for “Tabú.” She’s known for her hits like “Sweet But Psycho” and “Kings & Queens.” That song was a crossover moment for her into the Spanish music world. In the music video, a shirtless Alborán goes to battle with a sword.

“That was a unique experience because that was the first time I made a song that was in Spanish and English,” Alborán says. “For me, that was a dream come true. For many years, I wanted to do this. Ava Max is an artist that makes another type of music that’s more electronic with elements of disco and dance. That was a very fun incursion.”

Alborán adds with a laugh, “That was an experiment that came out great. The response was very positive. It’s a song that you can’t stop dancing to and can’t stop listening to. I’m so excited to perform it at my concerts.”

“El Mismo Aire” with Camilo

Colombian singer Camilo dropped his breakthrough album Por Primera Vez last year. He re-released the heartbreaking ballad “El Mismo Aire” as a duet with Alborán. They recorded the music video that was shot from their corners of the world during the pandemic.

“Camilo is like my brother,” Alborán says. “He’s a friend who I always carry in my heart. Collaborating with him was very natural and it was also very casual because it started from an Instagram story I uploaded [singing the song] and he liked it. He called me.”

Doing his best Camilo voice, Alborán adds, “He told me, ‘Record this for God’s sake! We’ll make a video!’ We made the video from a social distance. I record my part at home during this pandemic, which was crazy. He recorded his part in Miami. That was one of the most surprising invitations because we have different styles. However, his way and my way of understanding the music are very similar. I appreciate him so much. I believe he’s a fighter. I went crazy for the song.”

“Y Duele” with Sofi de la Torre

This month, Alborán teamed up with fellow Spanish singer-songwriter Sofi de La Torre for her new single “Y Duele.” In the music video, they go on a wild road trip together.

“That was through my label,” Alborán says. “I listened to this artist that I loved, Sofi de la Torre. She showed me her song. I went crazy for the song. She told me, ‘Hey, would you like to be on this song? You liked it a lot.’ I jumped. I made a demo at home. She liked it a lot. It was very natural. She’s a marvelous girl. I appreciate her so much. I believe it’s a song that touches the soul.”

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Colombia’s Manuel Medrano Talks Spreading Love And “Luz” With His Songs, Working With Nile Rodgers

Latidomusic

Colombia’s Manuel Medrano Talks Spreading Love And “Luz” With His Songs, Working With Nile Rodgers

WARNER MUSIC LATINA

Since breaking out as a singer-songwriter in 2015 with “Bajo El Agua,” Manuel Medrano has dabbled in many genres. What lies at the core of his songs is a message of love that is powered by his soulful voice. In the past few years, the Colombian musician has worked with J Balvin’s collaborators and funk legend Nile Rodgers. In an interview with Latido Music, Medrano talks about his biggest hits, winning two Latin Grammys, and his new single “Hay Una Luz Dentro De Ti.”

Manuel Medrano was gifted a guitar as a Christmas present after he flunked a year in school.

Medrano became a musician thanks to his parents punishing him with a guitar after he wasn’t doing so great in school. To think that we could’ve been robbed of this great talent from Cartagena if he was given a different Christmas gift.

“I wanted another gift, but they gave me a guitar because I flunked a year in school,” Medrano tells mitú. “It was the best gift of my life. I didn’t know it at the time because I didn’t know how to play guitar or anything about music.”

Manuel won the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist in 2016.

In 2015, Medrano would break out of Colombia and onto the international stage with his single “Bajo El Agua.” The guitar-driven ballad was included on his self-titled album a year later that garnered him two Latin Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and for Best Singer-Songwriter Album.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Medrano says about his wins. “I almost fainted. That’s definitely one of the best moments in my life that I’ll always treasure in my heart. [‘Bajo El Agua’] brought me so much happiness because a lot of people in the world connected with that song.”

Despite his love songs, Manuel Medrano admits he’s not a very romantic person.

Medrano is one of the most romantic musicians out there. His songs are either the sweet side of love or the sensual side. I ask him where does that romantic energy comes from.

Medrano laughs and says, “I’m going to be very honest with you, I’m not that romantic. I think it’s the women that inspire me. The beauty of women. It’s everything they make me feel that lets me write romantic music. With love, you can transmit very beautiful things. Not just love between couples, but self-love and love for the world. That’s what can make the world a better place.”

“Mi Otra Mitad” is a bop! It’s hard to believe that some people don’t like it.

Two of Medrano’s sexier songs are “Mi Otra Mitad” and “Buena.” On the former, he’s a smooth operator over an R&B sound. Medrano’s also got the moves in the colorful music video. The departure from the old sound he admits had turned off some of his fans.

“It’s one of my favorite songs right now,” Medrano says. “It’s funny because that’s one of my songs that some people don’t like, but it’s generated a positive impact on an audience that wasn’t familiar with me before.”

In “Buena,” he worked with J Balvin’s frequent collaborators, Feid and Mosty.

In “Buena,” Medrano blended his R&B sound with a Latin trap edge. He worked on that song with fellow Colombian musicians Mosty and Feid, who are the duo behind J Balvin’s early hits like “Ginza.” This is Medrano’s bedroom banger.

“I worked with Mosty and Rafael [Arcaute],” Medrano recalls. “We did a writing session in Medellín. We invited Feid who was nearby in the city. That tremendous song came out. Feid is a huge talent in music for writing. Rafa and Mosty are beasts with producing as well.”

Last year, Manuel Medrano had his “dream” collaboration with Nile Rodgers.

Medrano is also breaking through the Anglo market. While in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked with icon Nile Rodgers for the song “Cielo.” Medrano seamlessly finds his groove in Rodgers’ funky guitar rhythm.

“Mind-blowing!” Medrano exclaims about the experience. “It’s a dream come true that I worked with Nile Rodgers. I admire him. I love his work. It was a little while before I could meet him because we worked from a distance. To me, he’s a phenomenal person with a giant heart. I’ve followed his career since I was young. It was an honor.”

His new single “Hay Una Luz Dentro de Ti” is an anthem for everyone.

In April, Medrano returned with his new single “Hay Una Luz Dentro de Ti.” The message behind the empowering ballad is clear as day: everyone has their light that allows them to shine in their own way. That message Medrano mentions is for every person listening, including his fans in the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s a message of love that’s directed at every person to keep creating a better world,” Medrano says. “It’s a message directed at respect and tolerance for love and friendship. It’s a clear message to all communities. That’s definitively my message with my music. Every time I write a song, I write it with that purpose. That it touches the heart of every person and transforms their lives in a positive way.”

On his next album, Manuel is going to keep experimenting with different sounds.

As for what’s next, Medrano says “Hay Una Luz Dentro de Ti” is the kickoff release for his next album that’s due in the second half of 2021. The album will be 13 new tracks and there will be a documentary covering how it came together. As he works towards live shows pending the pandemic, Medrano promises will be some virtual ones in the future.

“There’s the Manuel that wants to experiment, work with different people, and who wants to learn,” he adds. “Also, there’s the Manuel that people are familiar with from my first album, the singer-songwriter and guitar-player. That Manuel will always be there. Those are going to be the two facets that are present in my albums.”   

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READ: Meet Morelli: Colombian Hit-Maker Talks Writing For Camilo And New Single “Mala Conmigo”

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Romeo Santos, Gloria Trevi, Selena Gomez Nominated For Pollstar’s Latin Touring Artist of Decade

Latidomusic

Romeo Santos, Gloria Trevi, Selena Gomez Nominated For Pollstar’s Latin Touring Artist of Decade

ROMEOSANTOS / GLORIATREVI / SELENAGOMEZ / INSTAGRAM

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down most live entertainment, this year Pollstar is dedicating its awards to the top-performing tours of the last decade. In the Latin category, heavy-hitters like Romeo Santos, Maná, and Gloria Trevi are up for Latin Touring Artist of the Decade. Strangely, Selena Gomez is nominated for the award as well.

The Pollstar Awards honors the best-selling tours each year.

The 32nd annual Pollstar Awards will be taking place on June 16 in Los Angeles. The awards will be presented in partnership with Live Nation. While the ceremony usually honors artists, venues, and teams that have performed well in the past year, that would’ve been tough to do for 2020 with the pandemic shutdown. Pollstar instead compiled the top-selling tours of the past decade for this year’s awards.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Romeo Santos and Gloria Trevi were on roll with their tours.

The Latin Touring Artist of the Decade category is stacked with the icons that definitely filled seats before the pandemic. Aventura frontman Romeo Santos made history in 2019 when he became the first Latin artist to headline the MetLife Stadium. That year Mexican pop icon Gloria Trevi received an honorary award from Premios De La Radio as the top-selling touring Mexican female artist.

Santos and Trevi face-off with Maná, who sold out back-to-back concerts at Staples Center. Other top-selling acts in the category include Spanish pop star Enrique Iglesias, Puerto Rican icon Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Marc Anthony, and Alejandro Fernández.

Selena Gomez is Latina, but her last tour wasn’t a Latin tour.

The outlier in the category is Selena Gomez. There’s a whole pop category that she could’ve been included in. Even though Gomez is Mexican-American, she didn’t perform any Latin music on her Revival Tour. The multi-hyphenate star didn’t go full Latin until the release of her Revelación EP this year.

Jennifer Lopez is also nominated in the category, but she’s always coming through with her own Latin hits and Selena covers. J.Lo in the category is permissible, but Selena Gomez is a hard sell here.

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