December 6, 2013
Abel Pintos, singer-songwriterTuesday, November 5, 2013
‘Twitter demystifies artists’
Bahía Blanca, May 11, 1984
Training: Children’s Choir of the Bahía Blanca Workers’ Association, self-taught from 11-14. Private coaches: Armando Livani and Katie Viqueira (singing), Alfredo Hernández (piano) and Marcelo Predacino (guitar).
Newspapers: whichever one I find lying around
TV news programmes: none
Social media: Twitter
After a long series of interviews before the release of his latest album Abel, Pintos asked us to meet him inside a big hall at Sony Music. After changing his outfit, he posed for pictures and talked to the Herald about his 15-year career.
This is the ninth album of your career, but the first one you produce yourself. It’s reached double platinum status in just two weeks. What does it offer the public?
After Sueño Dorado, my previous album in which I made new versions of songs from my 15-year career, I came back to the original songs written by me and other authors. The album will be released in other countries apart from Argentina. It is a very important part of the continuation of my career in Argentina and the first step to take my music to other countries.
You began singing professionally when you were very young. You started out playing folk music, under León Gieco’s wing. In recent years you have taken a turn to pop and melodic music. Why?
Everything has changed as I have changed as a person. That 14-year-old Abel stayed where he should be. That was my childhood and my pre-teen years. In those times, I was fully influenced by my idols, my neighbourhood and my family. As I grew up, that changed, as it happens to everybody. I took matters into my own hands and created my own view of music.
Did you listen only to folk music when you were a child?
I began playing music because I liked local singer Mercedes Sosa. She was my point of reference. I sung what she sung. It was not a particular genre, it was her music. Later, I realized that what she did was folk music. When I recorded my first album, which was produced by Gieco, he decided that it should have traditional aesthetics. The same happened with other producers for my second album and for the third, as well, with Martín Carrizo; we decided to make the most eclectic album of my career. Therefore, each album is about what was going on in my life. That explains the transformation and changes.
What genre does Abel belong to or is it a hybrid album?
For me, genres have never had much sense. I love Sosa, who was very eclectic. My other idols belong to different genres. My training has always been varied. Therefore, it is difficult to place me within a genre. At the same time, whatever “category” you decide to put me in, it is fine. It is something subjective, especially in the contemporary era where everything blends together.
You recently received the Golden Gardel Award, the most important prize awarded to musicians in Argentina. Were you expecting it?
I knew that I had good shot because I had been nominated.
You also won the award for Best Pop Artist...
I was very happy and I said it on stage. If one day I compose and record a tango album, I would like to be nominated in a tango category. To consider myself a popular musician, it is great. Pop has to do with popular.
How would you define the so-called música popular argentina?
Argentine culture is a combination of cultures from all over the world, including indigenous people and their art. Local folk music in itself is very eclectic. Each region has its traditional music. I believe that música popular argentina is one of the clearest examples worldwide of what popular music is, the music which represents the people. In this country, there are many communities to be represented.
Over the last year, you have done lots of performances to a full house. What do you feel when you are on stage, in front of thousands?
I feel amazing and very happy! Above all, it is important to appreciate the moment. At the beginning of my career, I looked for places to perform and to catch the attention of the public, to show my music and what I wanted to convey. Now, I am blessed to receive lots of offers from many places. Each concert is a big responsibility for me.
When will you present Abel in a live concert?
The tour starts next May. Currently, we are playing the first single, Aquí te espero as part of the show Reevolución Sueño Dorado. However, I will present a special segment of six songs from Abel in three concerts of Reevolución... this year. The first one will be on November 22 in Rosario (at Metropolitano), the second one on November 23 in Córdoba (at Orfeo) and another one in December in Buenos Aires, venue to be announced in the near future.
Did you ever dream of what is happening to you now?
I have always known that music makes me happy and that is why I have chosen it as a way of living. What makes a musician happy is recording albums, touring the country, gaining the respect of the public and your peers and the consideration of the media.
What inspires you to compose?
I draw inspiration from things that touch me as a human being. I write songs when I need to express feelings coming from deep inside of me. I don’t have a systematic method to compose.
During that process, do you think about the public?
No, but once the song is ready I try to guess how the public will feel about it. I say to myself, with this song the audience may feel this or that. But I don’t trouble myself on what others will think about my work. Writing a song is a passionate act, so I just take into account what I feel.
Nowadays, lots of artists are entering the political arena. Have you ever been offered to run as a candidate for your hometown Bahía Blanca (Buenos Aires Province) or any other city?
No, I haven’t.
Are you interested in politics?
Yes, I am indeed. I think that we are all political beings and our participation is necessary for the country. But, you can engage in party politics or just politics. I like the latter.
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t plan so far ahead. Some time ago I used to do it, but I learned that one can imagine and dream a lot. Life ultimately gives you much more than you could possible imagine.
Do you still read newspapers?
Yes, I read them as a literary exercise of sorts, because their pages enclose a large variety of words. I do not read them for the sake of information.
What newspapers do you read?
Randomly. I pick the ones I find on the table, because I do not read them based on a particular ideology. I have the same problem with newspapers as I do with date books: I like them but I don’t know how to use them. One learns to read a newspaper and I have never learned a method. So, I take any newspaper that is on the table and read a news report about politics, one about culture and another one about sports, but I do not choose them. I like to keep informed by other people. In that way, I feel that information comes to me without filters.
How do you deal with new technologies?
Social media allow us to communicate dynamically with a lot of people right away, as it happens with albums and in concerts, but in real time. Twitter is great. It helps demystify artists. People know when you receive a platinum album and when you have a bad toothache. I tweet everything!