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HomeMusicDrawing on folks traditions, Spanish musician Guitarricadelafuente bridges generations : NPR

Drawing on folks traditions, Spanish musician Guitarricadelafuente bridges generations : NPR


For Guitarricadelafuente, trying again on the traditions of his grandparents’ tiny village in Aragon is a approach of reconstructing a house and id that he can truly make sense of.

David Gomez-Maestre


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David Gomez-Maestre


For Guitarricadelafuente, trying again on the traditions of his grandparents’ tiny village in Aragon is a approach of reconstructing a house and id that he can truly make sense of.

David Gomez-Maestre

Álvaro Lafuente is a part of a era that grew up with entry to a lot of knowledge.

The 24-year-old musician from Benicàssim, Spain, says the web’s unending references and influences makes it laborious to solidly latch on to something.

So for Lafuente — who performs as Guitarricadelafuente— trying again on the traditions of his grandparents’ tiny village in Aragon, Spain is a approach of reconstructing a house and id that he can truly make sense of. His household’s sonic legacy of folklore and bandurria builds the spine for Lafuente’s debut, La Cantera, launched earlier this 12 months. However the album additionally stretches Lafuente’s voice and melodies throughout a wide range of Autotune, ’80s Spanish rock references and a Spanish Civil Warfare track.

NPR’s Isabella Gomez Sarmiento sat down with Guitarricadelafuente to debate his familial roots, the elasticity in his sound and the track that earned him a Latin Grammy nomination for finest quick type music video.

This dialog has been edited for size and readability.

Isabella Gomez Sarmiento, Weekend Version: The place does your creative identify come from?

Álvaro Lafuente: My creative identify got here from a extremely pure place. The music that I used to be raised with was [from] my household’s village in Aragon. This area in Spain is basically linked to a folks musical type referred to as jota. There’s a naming there in Aragon that places “ico” or “ica” on the ends of phrases. So it was influenced by my household and the music that I listened to in my childhood: Guitarricadelafuente — as a result of that is my final identify — as an homage to my origins.

Are you able to inform me about a few of that music you grew up with and the way it influenced the music that you simply’re making now?

I think about that there is two methods of discovering music. There’s nature and nurture, if you find yourself born in a spot and naturally hearken to what occurs round you. Rising up at residence or with my associates in my village, I used to pay attention quite a lot of issues, like Spanish rock music from the ’80s or the ’90s, to quite a lot of flamenco — but in addition quite a lot of jota due to my grandparents. My [great]-grandad was once [a] jota trainer and guitar and bandurria trainer in my village. My mother was a extremely huge fan of Violeta Parra and musica como indicativa. And my dad favored disco music — it was a giant melange of every little thing. This was the music that made me really feel real, that I understood as one thing that got here from a extremely lovely place.

When did you begin writing songs?

I began writing songs after I was 14. I even began writing songs in English. It wasn’t till I used to be possibly 20 that I actually put all my power into music. Beginning [to write] in Spanish was a extremely huge revelation as a result of I began feeling myself extra or the sense of what I used to be saying. I feel that if you sing in your mom language, you’ll be able to specific [yourself] a lot better and in a extremely far more trustworthy approach.

Your album, La Cantera, sounds very very similar to an ode to household and custom and your roots. However then it additionally feels very centered on youth and modernity in a approach.

La Cantera has two huge meanings. The primary that means got here from a childhood reminiscence. It was after we used to return to our village, in my hometown — Las Cuevas [de Cañart] — it is a village with 70 folks residing there, and most people are over their 80s. The youthful generations, the descendants of all these folks, left the village to go to the massive metropolis. [There] was a extremely lovely second when everyone obtained collectively once more and the streets got here [back] with life and with youth, you recognize? And the older guys had been like, “Right here comes la cantera!”

Once I’ve seen folks making references to custom or folks or one thing that comes from an outdated place, it is all the time handled in a decadent approach — within the aesthetics and the sound of it. I feel my era sees conventional music otherwise than our mother and father or our grandparents. For instance, I feel in Spain there is a wealthy musical world, and it is also endemic in each space in Spain. In each province, you’ve got a special sort of folks. For lots of time, it has been positioned apart. [But] one thing has occurred within the final 10 years — you see extra younger folks get thinking about not simply [folk] music, however the seek for their origins or for one thing that is smart for them. Being raised in a society with a lot data round us, [in] the tip having a lot aggressive data, you do not get something particular. Every little thing will get misplaced.

Are you saying you’re feeling like youthful generations which have grown up with a lot entry to data and so many influences — that trying again and specializing in reminiscence offers you one thing to carry on to, a way of belonging and id?

Undoubtedly. It is one thing to carry on to and one thing that makes you’re feeling residence and protected, you recognize? Not simply the music, however the meals. Going again residence together with your grandma, going to a selected bar in Barcelona the place they serve like conventional bravas or the standard tortilla. It is actually lovely. It is within the album. And for me, it is a generational relay not simply in music, however as a way of life.

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The track that to me actually encapsulates what you are saying [is] “A carta cabal.” Are you able to inform me about that track? What was your technique of bringing it to life?

This track was primarily the primary track I wrote on the piano. In the course of the technique of [making] the album, I’ve discovered easy methods to begin from new locations and experiment with many alternative beginning factors. For me, [this song] was consultant of the spirit of the album and this sense of youth. A carta cabal — this expression — is basically highly effective as a result of a carta cabal is the total essence of one thing. You might be trustworthy a carta cabal, you might be humble a carta cabal, you might be blissful a carta cabal. It is just like the fullest expression of one thing. It pertains to youth as a result of it is the time the place you are most keen about one thing and also you’re most excited.

What do you suppose is the connection between pop music and folklore? What does it seem like for you in your personal music?

On this album, speaking about this generational relay, La Cantera represented that our youth is getting all of the references for what our ancestors taught us. And we’re residing our current to stay the folks of right this moment and rework it into the folks of tomorrow. Pop music, these days, you do not know if that is going to be the folks of tomorrow. In folks music — or a minimum of Latin American folks music — when somebody was speaking about “Nos vemos en la fuente y nos besamos debajo del árbol this could possibly be translated right this moment to love, “We meet within the metro and we go to get a pizza by the park.” That is our precise pop, and who is aware of if in 70 years time when folks rediscover these songs that would be the new folks. I am satisfied.

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