CA7RIEL it’s different It may seem strange to state it precisely in a note that is illustrated with an image in which he wears an animal print and sports very long nails and eyelashes, but the one that appears on the other side of the camera to chat with El País, in a bright room in the place that he calls “little house”, he wears a basic white shirt and instills a tranquility that is not the one that characterized the character of his first wave of explosion.
Catriel Guerrero, a 28-year-old from Buenos Aires, went through rock and rap to later shape, with his inseparable Paco Amoroso, an urban sound that captured both the breaking of trap and the savagery of punk. Now, in a stage that finds them both as soloists, he released THE DISKan album that he defines as the best thing he has done in his life and that he will present in Uruguay on February 10, live at La Trastienda (Abitab).
“The album was the only thing that went through my body for a long time, but once you release it and it’s for the public, people make it part of it and they already take out a very gigantic backpack,” he told El País. “And more with the acceptance that he is having: he is receiving an incredible amount of love, and I am very proud of the child that we have given birth to.”
When speaking in the plural, CA7RIEL includes the producer Tommy Sainz: If one is the father, the other is something like the mother of this album that opens with a couple of samples —one from “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by the Beatles, another from “Luna de miel” by Virus —and then walks the listener through a bunch of sounds that could be classified as pop, even if they include everything.
In that sense, he says: “I punished myself a lot for the music I make, and now I don’t punish myself at all. There is something of my person, of my ego that feels like a cover, fulfilled. My whole personality is put into sounds and that is what I do best and almost the only thing that matters to me”.
He also says that, as a “flavour freak”, he wanted to make a “culinary” album. Y THE DISK it’s a bit like that. Sweet at times, salty at others, acid and sour but also bitter although it may not seem like it, it offers several explosive moments for the ear and, why not, for the palate. It’s a good soundtrack for this time of fast-paced days and a lot of intensity.
About the future, which includes a stop in Uruguay, CA7RIEL assures: “THE DISKO is like a master key to open doors, and we don’t know what’s behind it. There is no plan, but we are ready for anything”.
—The punishment you speak of, that way of punishing yourself that you had, what does it have to do with, where did it go?
—Since I come from the underworld, from playing the instrument, I have gotten into many niches. I’ve hung out with metalheads, jazzers, rockers and all of that is in my blood. And in all those niches, one as a musician feels betraying his roots, which seems like total bullshit to me, but it’s there. If you’re a metalhead you can’t do pop, you can’t do that “shit”. So I punished myself for that, because at one point I started making music that people liked, social experiments because my mind got out of those niches. I started rapping and I was a freak for rockers and I felt like a traitor for leaving my bands and giving my project a departure from that idiotic purity of styles and aesthetics. That’s why CA7RIEL punished himself so much, because he did what he wanted and had a backpack that didn’t belong to him.
—When did you feel the click, the need to embrace who you are?
“Actually always, ever since I got out of high school.” I went to a classical music school, I received a national teacher; my mother bothered me a lot to finish it and I love her very much, she didn’t want to hurt her and I did. But in all those years I realized that that was all I didn’t want to do, and I realized that I had to go somewhere else.
—THE DISK it opens with two references to songs by other artists, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Honeymoon”. Does it have to do with that same need to break and go elsewhere?
-Yes. I like to troll people, I like to cause cringe from another side. who will you generate cringe with sounds? Only to people who are extremely closed. If you deform a person that he already knew, more if it is an idol of his, he can get very offended or he can celebrate you. Starting the album like this is a filter, an anti-giles shield: if you don’t bank the album for that, that’s it. It’s like having tattoos. If someone judges you by the first thing he sees, there they are. I put it at the beginning to cause that acid taste that either gives you something or you become addicted.
—Beyond the first impact, the record then takes you to different places. “Bad Bitch”, for example, has a Jackson Five vibe, and at the same time in the grandiloquence of the arrangements of ” Nunca me attende” there seems to be something of the radio Latin pop of the nineties.
-Obvious! It has a lot to do. I am a fan of flavors, I always liked to eat, and since I got to know people with money they have taken me to eat in places where I realized that the chetos eat small dishes with different flavors. And it doesn’t serve you like gasoline, but it’s something else: activate the sense of the palate. On the album I played with that and each song has a different flavor. Some dish, some topic you can leave aside, but it predisposes you to try the next one. I think it goes that way, it’s a culinary record (Serie).
—In the development of this album, where did you feel the riskiest decision was? What led you to be on the ropes?
“I really did what I wanted and I think that’s pretty played. Something that seemed very played to me was also not having any feat, any collaboration. But what is gambling? I think not feeling accepted. So I, who am between pop and under, who am a mixture of Tini Stoessel and El Doctor, feel that what put me against the wall the most was banking the deformity of the album, which is not the most pop in the universe and does not have that of joining forces and thinking about numbers. That put me against the ropes, I was really quite scared before taking it out. I wasn’t afraid during the whole process, but a week before launching it I was filled with questions: not having singles, videos, aiming for the auditory and not the visual, it’s all nonsense. But with Tomy we felt that any external energy could tarnish the purity of the album. I love making music with other people, but we were so face to face with Tomy making the album that we are the mom and dad, and we are not willing to have any godparents to take care of this baby.
—The image of “A 200 en una coupe” from your song “Muy bien” seems to sum up a whole generation of artists forced to go very fast in their careers. What is the best and worst thing about having to move forward with such vertigo?
—(Think) In the career of the pop artist, I think what suffers is fame, terribly. You are pressured by the idea of not having money, like everyone else, and the worst thing about that is that it influences your art. That’s the worst, that all that maelstrom that weighs you down because of capitalism, we could say, is such a great pressure for a person like me, not so pop. Because pop doesn’t come so easily to me, that’s why I make the music I do. I’ve gotten used to it and embrace my demons. And the best thing about living at a thousand miles an hour is that you can go very far and meet people and reach incredible places. That’s very good, but everything else is very hard. It is very difficult to be pure when everyone is looking at you.
—THE DISK it has some images in that line, like “I’m empty, I want to fill the room” or “I can’t stand them forgetting me”. How is the personality of CA7RIEL that you want to be captured with this work?
-Cool. It is the best energy of CA7RIEL embodied in a record. Except for “Donde tai”, which is distressing because my kitten escaped and is dedicated to that feeling, but everything else is cool. Even “Keyhole” which is talking about I’m in hell, when I go to hell it’s a funny situation. When I was a rapper I put all my anguish, criticized the system and the work was more sorrowful, resentful of the world. Now that I am a bigger person, without debts, I choose and I can capture playful and happy things in my art. And the other I solve in therapy. I have to go to therapy one day. And when I go I break it.
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CA7RIEL: “I’m between pop and underground, I’m a mix of Tini Stoessel and El Doctor”
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