Raphael Reworks Hits In New 'Resinphonico' Album: An Exclusive Interview

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Spanish icon Raphael hates the phrase “change.” 

“It scares me,” he says, deadpan. “No one wants to vary. I've a model and I'm not altering. You can enhance, you'll be able to evolve, however not change.”

We chatted at his suite at Miami’s Hyatt Regency resort above the James L Knight Center, the place that night, Raphael would get the "Living Legend" award on the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

He had flown within the evening earlier than only for the event and was slated to depart this night at midnight following his efficiency and acceptance as a result of he had a live performance in Sevilla the next day. Raphael is 75 years previous, however he has no qualms about getting on a transcontinental flight with zero relaxation in between if it means getting in entrance of an viewers that adores him. And audiences nonetheless adore him, nonetheless bow all the way down to his abilities because the consummate performer. 

In the recording studio, regardless of his aversion for change, Raphael is a fearless experimenter, and in the present day (Nov. 9) he’s delivering Resinphónico. The album of covers of a few of his “crown jewels,” as he calls them, options symphonic preparations, redone with thrives of electronica by producer and arranger Lucas Vidal. It’s a daring and stunning tackle traditional repertoire that reminds us why Raphael stays related, as a performer and because the final performer who embraces change but by no means succumbs to it. 

Billboard: Why one other album with symphony preparations? 

Raphael: I nonetheless had loads to speak about. I had been interested by the idea of “Re,” which implies one thing else. I mentioned, ‘I've somebody who can do symphony preparations for me, however I need somebody who can go additional.’ And change is a phrase that scares me. No one wants to vary. What one wants is to evolve consistently. I've a model and I’m not altering. You can enhance it, you'll be able to evolve, however not change it. I'm going to evolve as a lot as I can. 

This somebody you discovered is Lucas Vidal. Who is he? 

Aside from our music, we've got a really humorous factor in widespread which is, he’s the grandson of the proprietor of Hispavox [the first label that signed Raphael]. I had by no means met him however he known as my supervisor [Rosa Lagarrigue] as a result of he was receiving a Goya award in Spain for the music to a movie. He requested Rosa if I might be curious about giving him the award. I didn’t know him, however his grandfather -- Jose Manuel Vidal Zapatero -- not solely found me, however was like a father to me. He launched my first album once I was 15. So, in the course of the dinner on the awards, he tells me his story and the way he needed to fulfill me as a result of his grandfather at all times gave me for instance. I couldn’t consider this younger man was a musician and that his grandfather was the person who invented me. The subsequent morning, we went for espresso on the Hotel Palace and in 10 minutes, this challenge was born. 

Obviously, this wasn’t an concept that got here up in the course of the assembly. You’d been interested by this for some time? 

I’d been interested by it for months. But I hadn’t been capable of finding that “re’ high quality. I've tons of of crown jewels and I gave him just a few choices. The first one he despatched again was “Inmensidad,” which was my first hit once I was 16. The second was “Los hombres lloran también” (Men Also Cry).  I took one pay attention and I mentioned, let’s do it. I didn’t want the rest. 

You recorded the orchestra at Abbey Road in London. What’s your recording course of?  

I recorded vocals in Madrid. I have to file in my residence in Madrid. I used to file completely different albums in several cities, till I mentioned, ‘No. I’ll file in my home.” I file the whole music in a single take. I do a number of recordings of the music prime to backside. My son Manuel, who directs my recording classes, at all times asks me for extra. And on the finish, we at all times find yourself utilizing the primary one. 

Which of the tracks within the album actually captures the sound you have been after? 

“Digan lo que digan,” which I describe as a cinematic music. It has many elements throughout the music and Luis has managed to virtually make a film out of it. 

Another observe I like is "Los Hombres Lloran Tambien." Tell me about that one? 

I hadn’t sung it in a very long time. I’ve needed to rescue these songs to inject them with new magic. You can combine symphonic and digital music in my songs as a result of they've greater than sufficient melody. And songs by [songwriter] Manuel Alejandro are particularly stunning. 

Really, this was a courageous album so that you can do, but additionally for Luis Vidal. He had a enormous duty wouldn’t you say? 

I’ve at all times labored by intuition. I see an individual and I understand how it’s going to work out. The very first thing I favored was his resolution to take the challenge. He didn’t even give it some thought. 

You kick off your new tour Dec. 17. Through the years, have you ever discovered that the viewers modifications from nation to nation? 

Maybe, however the job of the artist is to transform your viewers. Maybe the Russian viewers, or the British viewers has nothing to do together with your different audiences. But the artist, like a superb conductor, has to take that viewers on a journey for 2 and a half hours. 

Have you ever encountered resistance from the viewers? 

Of course. I keep in mind it was actually arduous to go carry out in Russia; numerous paperwork. And I went out to sing on the Opera Theater in Leningrad, and the viewers was tuned out. I began to work to convey that viewers with me. And they stayed. Maybe we don’t have the language in widespread, however we've got our arms, our gestures. 

You love that, don’t you? 

I do. [he smiles]. I would like the viewers. But I sing precisely the identical within the recording sales space. 

You look nice. Do you're employed out? 

More than I do onstage, unattainable. I watch what I eat. I eat to stay, I don’t stay to eat. And I don’t drink or smoke. 

Going again to the album, I actually like this new model of “Yo soy aquel…”

I finish my live shows with that music. And we present all of the levels of my life on the video screens. But it’s not nostalgic. People who're at all times speaking in regards to the previous, versus the current or the long run are nostalgic. On the opposite. I look again at my life with pleasure. I’ve been a really fortunate man.  

Such an extended profession. No main hardships? 

My job is to take good lyrics, well timed lyrics, and sing them how they must be sung and bought to the viewers in a really convincing manner. Everything might be very tough or very simple. It’s been simple for me. I do know it’d make for a greater story to say it’s been robust. But it’s merely not true. Yes, I’ve labored very arduous. But from the second I began this journey, the viewers pointed at me and it was performed. 

Stream Resinphónico beneath: