Alex Cuba, or how to win a Grammy under a snowstorm in Canada

The windshield wipers of Alex Cuba’s car (Artemisa, 1974) were not enough on Sunday in the face of the copious snowstorm that had broken out on the way to his home in the province of British Columbia (western Canada), when his agent called him by phone and said: “Prepare a speech”

Due to the lack of visibility on the road, the Afro-Cuban artist could only reply briefly “what for?”, before which his surprised representative returned to the fray: “Don’t you know? you have won the grammys”.

The musician had not even attended the gala, held this year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (USA) and in which singers like Camilo, Pablo Alborán or Selena Gomez took over all the pools to win the golden gramophone in their category, the best Latin pop album

“The music won and not a marketing strategy or a record company pushing its artists,” said Alex Cuba in an interview with Eph in which he said he was “floating” after recognition

However, the creator of the album Mendo -in which he fuses genres such as jazz, pop or soul- acknowledged that having signed with a record company “does not determine the quality or not of a singer”, and even did not rule out accessing any of them “if they respect artistic freedom ”.

On occasions, the verdicts of the Recording Academy, organizer of the Grammys, have been called into question for supposedly being more inclined to award artists with a great impact and volume of followers. However, for Cuba this “is changing”, music is being valued “from within” and its award “is good proof of this.”

“They (the rest of the finalists in ‘Latin pop’) move a lot of numbers, for whatever reason, but I don’t do reggaeton; I make fine and elegant music,” added this Cuban singer-songwriter and composer who has lived in Canada for 23 years.

Changing your biography on Wikipedia

It was the fourth nomination for Cuba, who has also won four other Latin Grammys, but now, according to him, it has changed his life because “the phone has not stopped ringing with dates for the whole summer.”

“What my Wikipedia biography says about me has also changed,” the artist joked before sharing a kind of rule of three in which “one American Grammy is more than four Latin Grammys.”

The golden gramophone has come to him when he has just turned 48 and after a musical reinvention during the pandemic that led him to continue deepening with Mendo in that mixture of rhythms, tones and melodies that characterizes his career.

Cuba explained that, if the award had been given in any year, it had to be this one because in previous nominations it faced “legendary figures such as Juanes, Shakira, Ricky Martin or Alejandro Sanz.”

“Alejandro Sanz wrote to congratulate me and said: «Brother, congratulations», but I still haven’t been able to answer him,” said the Cuban, who declared himself an admirer of Sanz’s music and flamenco.

Flamenco, purest art

Cuba is a great fan of this genre, included in the repertoire of Mendo a song with Antonio Carmona (“Corazón Gitano”) and revealed that he is helping young Spanish flamenco artists with production.

“The deepest art that exists on Earth is flamenco art… it is a very intense way of expressing yourself, it comes directly from the soul,” he assured.

The Cuban yearns to tour in Spain for the “satisfactions” that the public and the reception of his music can bring him, and to continue increasing his international projection.

Jazz and Latin Pop, genres with which three Cubans won at the 2022 Grammys

Also in his country, which, according to the singer, is “haunted” and where they want him to position himself politically for or against the regime. However, according to the artist, “they will continue to wait” because he only feels represented by “justice and humanity.”

“No country or human is perfect; We have to unite without accusing fingers involved, ”concluded this singer-songwriter who proudly carries his country of origin in his stage name.

Guillermo Azabal/Eph.

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