Estrella Morente: “The awards are nice, but Burgos feeds me, not the Grammys”

More than twenty years have passed since Estrella Morente included the song What do you want me to bring you, I’m going to Burgos on your disk air street, but he recites his verses without thinking about it as soon as this theme is alluded to. «What do you want me to bring you, I’m going to Burgos, a silk handkerchief, worth a penny, open the window, brunette, close it, brunette of the soul…». The artist from Granada remembers that her link with these lands goes beyond her concerts, which have been quite a few. «My father liked that area a lot and whenever he sang there he wanted us to accompany him, it is a very dear place», he values ​​and returns to those popular lyrics, and points out that they come from grandmother Margarita, José Antonio Soler’s mother , «who is a very good friend of my father, we would visit her and he would sing those lyrics».

This tune will be heard along with a selection of songs from his extensive discography. Since At the top of the hill of Palomares, Return either Chavico Tangos a the last drinkdedicated to Chavela Vargas, Maria from Buenos Aires either they sayfrom his latest album, Leo, nominated in the Flamenco category at the Latin Grammys. This afternoon he arrives at Cultural Caja de Burgos to meet his audience, and he does so with the inevitable “high” of knowing that he has hung the ‘sold out’ sign.

How does an artist get on stage knowing that the stalls will be full?
That’s the best. The greatest thing that can happen to an artist is to be waited on to see what he has to offer. I don’t know anyone who despises a packed auditorium. I have been taught that it is a true miracle that someone dedicates their time, their space and their money to see you. For me it is a real privilege, a luxury in the times in which we live. I go with enthusiasm and the illusion that the occasion requires. When someone welcomes you with open arms it is wonderful. Things are very complicated in society and I know how hard it is for all of us to get ahead and someone betting on culture leaves me speechless. I threaten to arrive excited and delivered. I no longer answer there.

It comes with Leo, an album that has only been out for a year, but not only…
My albums are a consequence of my live shows and vice versa. I am finding things along the way, but I am always the same, the same intention, the same need to express and share. It’s not a presentation by Leo, it’s a compendium, a live Estrella Morente, who will review all that repertoire that he has accompanied us during all this time.

What unites all those black stars that pass through the scene?
The truth and honesty when executing art; If I were to dedicate myself to another profession, dentist, lawyer, bricklayer or sweeper, I would do it with the same honesty. It is the one that has given me the opportunity to continue all this time, which has been a few years, although at the same time you realize that you know nothing, that you are at the beginning of everything and that each day brings its own desire. I do find myself in a moment of struggle, of moving ours forward, and this makes me feel very close to the people. This is what I want to transmit in my concerts and in my day to day. There the different stars are summarized, if there are any.

How long is your father, Enrique Morente, still present when he goes into the recording studio or goes up on stage?
My father has been present since you and I started talking, since I got up this morning, since I took my daughter to school, since yesterday I went to bed thinking about the repertoire of the next concert… My father is in most of my life. My truth is that my father has done something very important, not only in my family, but also in the next generations. Flexibility and solidarity are very important tools in the times we live in and my father has been a great teacher, not only because of how wonderful he was as an artist, but also because he was an exceptional human being who left us those values ​​to be able to fight today.

What is flamenco for Estrella Morente?
My food (laugh), the way to pay the mortgage, to die, not to survive, my fellow sufferer, is what I cling to when I’m happy, and also when I’m worried or dissatisfied. He is my best ally. There are those who talk about duende or a way of breathing, but no, I breathe air, like all human beings, what flamenco gives me is food and it’s my livelihood, it’s such a dignified profession and so important like any other. Artists do not have to feel above the rest because of their talent, nor should we ignore the importance that artists have for the history of the people, who through art and culture can learn about the world and their own lives. Artists are witnesses of the moment in which our societies are living.

He arrives in Burgos a week before the Latin Grammy awards gala (Wednesday 16). What does this nomination mean, which is not the first he has received in his career?
It’s like a pat on the back, but what feeds me is Burgos, not the Grammys (laugh). In Burgos is where half of my throat and half of my heart will stay. The prizes are very nice, but what takes the chestnuts out of the fire is the day to day, the work; I don’t disdain recognition, but honestly, the Grammy is not what rules my life. I am nominated with my brother and other colleagues whom I love very much and I would be delighted if they gave it to any of them, who are young and need that walk. I am convinced that they would be more excited than me (laugh). Where I want to be, and it’s not a rally, it’s in Burgos, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona…, cities where I have concerts, where I’m paid a salary as a worker. Nothing is given to me at the Grammys, on the contrary, my name is used for publicity.

And how do you deal with having your brother among your competitors?
It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. The nicest thing is to share recognition with my brother and he makes me excited because he has made a marvelous album, El cante, a real revolution. I say it from my heart. I would really like it if they gave Kiki the award.

And it runs in the family because on this tour his son Curro accompanies him on percussion…
He plays very well, he has a sense of rhythm since he was little, and I feel very proud that he decided to share music on his own initiative.

Is she a good boss?
(laugh). They say yes, but I think it’s because there is nothing better in life than letting others contribute what they consider to the company, to the record, to the company. Being a good boss is not about tightening the screws to the maximum, it’s not for me, for me directing a ship has more to do with flexibility, understanding, affection, comprehension… That’s why I think they’re happy because I don’t demand nothing they don’t want to give, yes, the door is open for whoever wants to come and go.

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Estrella Morente: “The awards are nice, but Burgos feeds me, not the Grammys”