“If music doesn’t touch people’s souls, it’s meaningless.”, Tania tells us from Mexico, a few days after arriving in Lima, to give life to the third edition of “Eva con Libertad”, this May 12 and 13 in the auditorium of the Santa Ursula School.
“This installment will be same as last year. We will change one or two songs, not clear yet,” he elaborated. “Then we will take this beautiful and harmonious show to Mexico. We will perform there on May 27 and 28.“, Collaboration.
─How did this initiative come to Eva Aylon?
It was the idea of the businessman who supported Eva. She thought we could do a concert together because we were friends and loved each other so much. Once we accepted, Eva came to Mexico with part of her team so we could edit the songs and check the tones. During the performance, we sing, play and sing together. There are only two parts that we sing separately.
─When you go to the beginning of your music, what comes to mind first?
I think I took the right steps. It was not easy, I started from a very young age, five years old. At seven they were already paying me to sing, and at nine I was already recording records. At that age I had no voice or vote, my father decided everything about my career, and in 1980 I went to Mexico.
─ Was there a turning point that prompted you to take that step?
I put the land in the middle because I had to start again without depending on anyone. My goal is to have a long and stable life, making my own decisions with rights and wrongs.
Are you looking for freedom?
Absolutely. My family has always been very involved and one begins to feel very ruled. And not just for family, but for friends. You end up singing what your friends want you to sing. I wanted to take charge of my artistic career and follow my own plans.
─You had a career in Peru, 10 recorded albums and a TV show. How did it start?
I started singing in schools, prisons, hospitals, cultural houses and public squares. I did what I wanted and what I thought was best for me. It wasn’t easy. I paid too much. I was fighting and fighting for years without taking anyone’s place, trampling, throwing elbows. I did the waiting rooms I had to do like everyone else to get a job. Also DI had to reject many things that would make my life short.
What offers have you turned down?
In 1985 I recorded “Boleros” which was a huge hit. In Mexico alone they managed to sell a million records in a month. It brought all kinds of offers that I could become a millionaire in a year. They gave me a 50% advance for a season of 100 presentations. There was a lot of money. I disagree dI was afraid to spend a year in glory and then no one would remember me. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into those kinds of scenarios. AndI tried to be civilized.
─Then what happened in your life?
Then I did a salsa record, another opera record, I went to London to record Polaro with some rockers. I also recorded an album of black Peruvian music and created a production called “En America” with Alex Syntek, which gave me great satisfaction.
─”Boleros”, the album you recorded in 1985, gave a strong boost to your career in Mexico. It achieved platinum certification for sales of over 400,000 copies in that country alone.
We sold a million records in a month. From there I began reaching out to other types of audiences and giving presentations in auditoriums of ten thousand people.
─Gabriel García Márquez fell in love with your music and asked to meet you because of “Boleros”. How was that first meeting with the Colombian Nobel laureate in 1987?
He adored Bolero, and in fact, he asked to meet me through a diplomatic friend. It was called Serenity Cervantes. He asked for a party at his house. I came to that meeting with my books for him to sign and he came with my records for him to sign. It was very exciting. That meeting marked a beautiful friendship for him and his family.
─ Is “Traveling Cloud” a tribute to Gabriel García Márquez?
It’s Capo’s Bolero. I sang for him (sigh). Life has been generous with me and I have so much to thank you for. He always puts me next to the smartest and smartest. From Sabuga Granda to Juan Gonzalo Rose and all the Peruvian writers: Scorsa, Vargas Llosa…
─What can you say about that friendship with Sabuga Granda?
Many years ago, at a party, Lucho Gonzalez (guitarist of Chabuca and Mercedes Sosa) introduced her to me. He said to her: “Here is your successor as interpreter.” That day I stepped outside him, into his world. He invited me to the gatherings he arranged at his home with composers, musicians and poets. We became friends. When she got to Mexico, she would look for me and ask me to stay with her. She is a very intelligent and generous woman.
─Are you still thinking of telling your life story in a book?
I had, and still have, many offers from publishers, but as there are many interesting and fun things happening to me, I will wait until the moment is right to do it.
─You once said that you had three artistic births: your beginnings in Peru, then in Mexico and finally, the release of “Por Ti y Por Mí”. Is that so?
I think the first was in the north, at Chiclayo; Second in Lima. The third was in Mexico, but not because of the album, but because of everything I experienced.
─Will there be a fourth birth of art?
I see the start of a new phase in everything we are experiencing with the pandemic. It changed our lives. Technology was placed in the service of this misfortune. We’re getting closer with Zoom and other apps. Now digital download and artificial intelligence prevail.
against the tide
─Is it true that he studied engineering as per father’s request after finishing school?
it is absolutly true. I studied fisheries engineering at the Technical University of Galloway (now the National University of Galloway) for five years because that was the profession my brother was studying and the only way my father could find to control me. What I really wanted was to study orchestra conducting at the National Conservatory (now the National University of Music). Although domineering and pompous, my father could not conquer me. Before I finished college, I rebelled. I ran away from my house. Then when I came back I put my condition. From that moment life started to become a little kinder to me.
─I imagine your father changed his mind when he saw the great artist you had become.
Maybe, yes, but he never showed it to me. He was very rude to me. He always says that I sing badly. And it’s a good thing it was, because it didn’t trust me. Until now I was very self-critical and demanding. If something doesn’t work for me, I try twice, triple or whatever until it works.
─Has music had a liberating effect in your life?
Definitely. It is my refuge, my lifeline for many situations. It is almost my only means of communication. I enjoy talking, but I love singing more. That’s why I don’t put too much verbiage between songs in my concerts. I say everything I want to say with music. I get all the feelings and emotions. I give love and warmth to people through songs.
─What plans do you have after this show in Lima and Mexico?
I have to finish with three albums that have been pending since Pandemic. One of them is a tribute to Violetta Barra. I also want to do some unreleased music. Bring in musicians and create songs in response to reggaeton. Instead of fighting with representatives of this genre, I prefer to respond to them with beautiful songs.
─ Planning to make an urban music record?
I want to do something with that rhythm, but with a different melody. With songs that leave a positive message to the society and have beautiful content. I am very playful in music, I like to mix, create and play.
─Have you ever thought about stepping away from the stage and stopping singing?
I think all singers have thought about that possibility when suddenly you don’t hit a note. I am ready to say goodbye to the stage at any time as I have a physical fatigue problem from singing the same voice all the time. You have to be physically fit to sing for hours. Many people end up sitting down and singing. My life plan is not to sing until I am 90.
Tickets for Eva con Libertad are on sale Teleticket.