«My father cut my nails behind a door to get a cantaor out». And it came out. During an important part of your life. It begins so Niño de Elche (1985) In memoriam. Possessions of an ex-flamenco, a set of scraps, memories and sensations that weave the flamenco spider web through which this unclassifiable artist faces the limits.
“In that detachment from the breastplate, the reason for liberation can be found through singing.” From singing and also from listening. He says Paco Contreras (Niño de Elche) who is not good for memories or dates, but he is good for evoking his own life through music. So in this book, a kind of unorthodox memoir coming out next week, the memories came while listening to the soundtrack of your childhood and youth. From Camarón to Mairena, going by Juan Valderrama O The Paquiro. That with 12 years. «To recover the memories I listened to the flamenco records that I listened to when I was a child and from then on I would have some possessions, some memories».
The rumbas of Parrita o de Los Chunguitos, as well as the bulerías from Shrimp “They were the musical tracks that I followed to find the channel and the cause of my cante,” he writes in one of the 40 small chapters that make up the book. «That’s why the first intonations were clandestine. The first to realize that the child’s voice belonged to another time were my older brother Aladino and my friend Virgilio. My father, like most flamenco artists today, for years continued to think that he played better than he sang ».
In the image that first comes to mind and emotion, he appears with a guitar at the age of 8. «My first memory is when they bought me my first guitar; I used to have an image of when I sang at family parties ».
Niño de Elche comes face to face with the visions of the child who wanted to sing differently, in very short chapters, which are actually stories, “approached from the way of understanding memory as small possessions, that you don’t know where they come from Or why, but they are there and invade you for a minute or two.
The first intention was to build a Flemish autobiography, “but it was impossible.” Corseting the creativity of someone who sings, composes, acts and creates art was as complicated as controlling that voice that has been marking a very particular path. «I am no longer a flamenco singer, I am an ex-flamenco», a category that, he assures, lost with VaconBacon, a show performed in tribute to the painter Francis Bacon, which premiered in Elche in 2011. «I call that text my last recital; that’s when I radically change aesthetically on stage ».
In memoriam has put Niño de Elche at peace with himself. «I blamed myself that in my life I had wasted a lot of time, that I had nothing relevant to tell. But speaking with the writer Ramón Andrés he told me that many times what you think has been wasting time is an essential part of your person, so I realized that it is a reconciliation with that way of attending to my past life, but It is also a kind, not of reckoning, but of becoming aware that if those memories are there, it is because they are important. And he advises that he is preparing a playlist with the soundtrack of the book.
New album and song with Tangana
While he waits to go on stage at the Teatros del Canal with Angelica Liddell in Una rib sobre la mesa: Madre, Niño de Elche has just received his new album that will be released on December 11. The distance between mud and electronics. Seven Valdelomarian Differences speaks volumes about his ability to create titles that define the essence of his work.
In this case, a limited edition album, exclusively in physical format with double vinyl. In these grooves, the artist has collected his particular vision of the sound archive of Val del Omar that is in the Reina Sofía Museum, where he also shows a sound installation around this composer until next April. “I am very happy with the result, it is very different from what can be seen and heard at the Reina Sofía.”
As is also heard, and a lot, the new work of C Tangana, Tú me dejaste de amor, in which Niño de Elche has collaborated. About 2 million views on spotify in just 24 hours. «With Tangana, success is almost always certain in one way or another, but I didn’t expect it. I’m not used to these things … my music is not like that and my profile is not that.
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