Rubén Rada is one of the most transcendental musicians of Latin American music. His influence, his legacy and his present testify to a career marked by the instrumental revolution and its permanent character to transform songs. However, Rada – who is about to turn 79 – escapes the labels, changes the subject when asked about his legend and manages an inalienable humility.
Just a few months ago he was in Japan as a cultural ambassador to celebrate 100 years of relationship between the Japanese country and Uruguay. He gave 15 concerts with protocols and encouraged the Japanese to loosen up and dance -only allowed in the last three songs-. “For a Uruguayan, going to play candombe in Japan is like going to the moon”, says a little astonished. “I never imagined that he would get to sing there, but I did know that if she sang tangos she would succeed”.
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From that magical and mysterious adventure came the name of his next tour, around japanwhich will lead you to touch your hits and preview songs from his forthcoming collaboration-packed album this Friday at the Opera Theater, on Saturday the 7th in La Plata, on Thursday the 12th in Córdoba and on Friday the 13th in Rosario. “It is impossible to cover my career in a single concert; if I did a recital now like the one Spinetta did with the Eternal Bands, I would be there for two or three days”, he says and anticipates that it will include songs from El Kinto, Totem, from the album The band and other gems from their nearly 50 released albums.
“Candombe with the help of my friends”, his next album
It is not necessary to clarify it, but Rada wants to make it clear that he has been “representing candombe millions of years ago” and that this was one of the engines to build Candombe with the help of my friendshis next album, which will feature collaborations of Fito PaezCoti, Julia Zenko, Pablo Milanes, Jose Luis Perales and other luminaries of music in Spanish. “It is an album that I made so that candombe is bigger and bigger because what matters is not that I look like a singer but that people can see that with candombe you can play any music”.
The version of “11 y 6″ sung with Fito is an absolute gem and marks this that Rada strives to emphasize that “any song enters the candombe key”. It was recorded in a pandemic, from a distance and hides the origin of a relationship of affection and respect between colleagues. “I have known Fito for a long time because when he played in Music Up, Fito came from Rosario and sat in front of everything; I finished playing the first round and started talking to people”, he begins. “When he presented Giros at the Astros Theater I went to see him and he confronted me to tell me ‘you don’t know but we were going to see you and you sat down, without knowing us, to chat with us’; From that day on, the guy loved me.”
The new generations of musicians
Rada, moreover, is a guy who continues to listen attentively to the new generations of musicians. A year ago he collaborated with Little 77, the most important rapper in Uruguay, in the song “Rangos II”, which became the most listened to on his digital platforms. “It makes me happy that they don’t have that respect for me to say ‘oops, the black Rada’, that they know that I’m a musician just like them, that I also started and I’m not far from that”.
On the other side of the river, he says that he was shocked after seeing Ca7riel and Paco Amoroso live, that he does not like songs that are empty of content -”with lyrics that say nothing”- and highlights Wos above the rest: ” That’s a guy who says things, that what he does is good; one has to see where he lives and that people are going hungry. I’m not telling you to become a communist, but I’m telling you the story of what’s happening in the country. That music be a message and a healthy connection; Do not stand in favor of a political party, but in favor of the people”.
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Rubén Rada returns to Argentina to review his career on a tour
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