Attentive, expectant, relaxed. Singer and songwriter Dani Martin thus presents his latest album, Whatever i want (Sony Music), wanting to know if you like it, but at the same time putting out chest for the work achieved. And because, he says, it has been shown in him as he is.
Is this album an emotional, sexual, social revenge or all together? It’s permission to play with sounds and styles that I’ve been a fan of since I was little. I have always felt that you had to be a rocker or singer-songwriter, this or that, but everything could not coexist. As a child I liked Public Enemy, Los Chichos, Alejandro Sanz, Los Ronaldos, etc., and I don’t understand why if someone gets out of his guts to do something, he can’t. Hence the name and permission to take a physical and emotional journey. I went to England, the United States and Latin America, I met a lot of people that I admire and with whom I wanted to work and I came back with a kind of carnival wagon. I made a custom suit with what I like, I feel that I can defend and that it is not a costume.
And yet it names it “function”, as if it were representing something. I think it’s a way of talking to the audience: ‘The show begins, the performance begins.’ But … joe, I hadn’t thought of that. It may be, yes, we all have a bit of theatricals, but look, you got me.
The first single, The lie, it came out a year ago. It has rained ever since. This is also the record of having done a lot of patience work, since I started traveling and contacting people. I didn’t have it, because my life for 20 years has been ‘I want to record, release the album on this date …’. But suddenly you arrive on a continent where you are a gnome and you are number 150 on the list of priorities of others. It has taken me a lot to reach certain people to make my wish come true.
- Madrid, 1977. Singer and composer
A pandemic has also happened. And one of its soundtracks has been Nothing will be like before, from El canto del loco. I have not felt that it has been very popular, but it has been a very remember, of listening to songs that will take us to places where we have been happy, to the memory of summers, friends. Old things. That has been what has brought us a little closer to joy.
Nothing will be like before? It is not impossible. It will be different, it will be better, but as before, no. I think that what we are experiencing is going to be repeated many times due to the model of life that human beings have. I don’t know, I’ve heard so many theories … but I think it has a lot to do with his progress into places where he shouldn’t be. With the thaw, with which we have gone to places to make buildings, to look for oil … and we have found this shit.
In his lyrics he alludes to fear. To others, yourself, to disappoint … Have you ever ruled your life? Absolutely. Everything from deciding on a guitar sound. It’s happened to all of us, it happened to the Beatles: they wanted to sound like Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Muddy Waters at first. We all want our co-worker to like us and that sometimes is more a function than a reality: I have lived in a function for a long time, because people want to empathize, like them and seduce. It is exhausting. It is much better to enjoy those who like your sensitivity, your childishness and your primal self than to be determined to like an intellectual people who read Kierkegaard, because it is impossible for them to like my music.
You never know. Yes, maybe I’m judging them, but I think it’s difficult.
Despite everything, it has come this far. As much as you cover up and want to pretend, in the end the eye sees you very well. And I think that I can be seen from afar who I am, by many shields, earrings or songs of the madman who has put me so that my sensitivity is not seen. And the most beautiful thing is to get to know you, seeing that what I am is also cool. I am a person who makes mistakes, learns and takes a trip and does not stay on the couch with his guitarist who always tells him that everything is fine. That makes me proud.
In the last song he says: “Yes, I will criticize myself.” Has begun? I am a very demanding person and it is not that I have started, it is that I have not stopped. But the album is a cry of ‘I feel free, I can move on stage and I don’t have everything measured’. I love to sing rap and rumba, listen to a band called Ginebras, which turns my stomach and gives me a refresh of life in the body that you shit. And that’s who I really am.
He dedicates a song to his sister and tells her that he would like to tell her that now he sings “worse.” How did she see you as a musician? When I put my records on her, the previous verse says, she told me that the Rodriguezes were the best and I answered her that from that to today everything has gotten worse. It’s kind of a joke. On the way to university he would drop me -we lived outside Madrid- in Herrera Oria, where I went to an academy to try to get my Baccalaureate. On that tour, he taught me the Good luck by Los Rodríguez, records by Fito Páez, Enanitos Verdes, etc .; I would put my group’s models on her and she would tell me that they looked like shit, something very hackneyed, she didn’t like them. He taught me a lot of things that I love today and have been with me all my life.
“It’s a big decision of my life to finish with El canto del loco. I think that if I hadn’t done it I wouldn’t be happy now”
How does the perspective change when one moves from a group like ECDL to being alone? It is a great decision of my life to finish with El canto del loco. I think if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be happy now, because last year I wasn’t happy. I have some values, a way of functioning, of treating the team, and there were beginning to be external agents that would not allow me that to happen. Perhaps I felt El canto del loco as something very mine and that is why I wanted to direct things towards the place where it made me feel happy and where I saw the people around me happy. When that started to escape me, I stopped liking it. It was something that I had invented and wanted it to be the same way my parents started a business 40 years ago: for them, their values and principles were ahead of becoming millionaires, so to speak.
What happened after? When all that starts to happen, I withdraw. I ask for a break, my cousin accepts it, Chema too, and a somewhat ugly situation appears that we have already talked about many times. We put out one album each and I decide to set up my office with people who are still with me today. Jo, and the truth is that it is as if they had suddenly taken three rottweilers out of my stomach and given me a box of orfidal for life to be calm. Because of how we work, how the tours go, the illusion that there is …
Despite what it may seem, ECDL was not a group of girls. That was what someone wanted to label. We were a group of bricklayers, posh and posh, cleaning ladies, everything. When you do three nights at Las Ventas it has to be something for everyone. One day a music critic from that time, getting on a plane, told me: “The other day I was talking to (Diego) Manrique and I told him ‘how unfair we were with El canto del loco'”. Then I looked at him and, having suffered all those criticisms, I answered: “Yes? Damn, we don’t notice it.” It was like a little revenge. To say ‘you have been giving us nine years on the back, you have been looking critically at what was happening under the stage instead of looking at what was above’.
In the collaborations on the album, you go to the other artists’ field in a very natural way. How were they? They are born from composition. When I made The cageFrom minute one I thought of Alejandro (Sanz). I called him, he was on tour and a year later – with patience – I managed to record it with him. The bones It is for me the most Juanes song that he has done in the last ten years; we both composed it. And Coque (Malla) makes the voice of my conscience in The show begins. I called him and he said: “But bastard, how can I judge you …”. But he had to do it, he is my idol since I was little, what I wanted to be when I saw him playing Goodbye dad with some black Wayfarer in the Miguel Ríos program What a night that year! I told my mother: “I want to be like that guy.”
And Camilo? Three years ago we met at a dinner with René from Calle 13 and a lot of other people. And it blew my mind. I invited Zahara to my house, and we did Paper plane. All this boom that you are experiencing now is incredible.
On the album he talks about breaks … I’m an expert…
“When someone leaves me or when I have left someone, I write”
It is a field, musically, in which it moves well, but, isn’t it a bit unsettling to talk about it constantly? It gives me freedom to be able to write it in a song and tell it, it’s like therapeutic. What makes me uneasy is not being able to pass the barrier of transitory mental derangement and being able to live real love. Yes, I have lived it, especially in recent times, but I work with emotions, and when someone leaves me or when I have left someone, or when sadness invades me and it is because of something as a couple, I write. But this album doesn’t have that much either, does it?
Is Julia, Paper plane and that recurring ‘how long is this going to last’. I am like that. I am irrational and my head is thinking all the time ‘the record is not going to go well, the tour is not going to go well, my friend’s friend does not like me, surely my friend is suffering because I said something that has bothered her … ‘.
After the presentation that he has written, it seems that his with Manuel Jabois is serious. We did not know each other and his text is born because he wants to. I am a super fan of Manuel and through (Raúl) Cimas, with whom I have a relationship, we got to him. We agreed to eat at a restaurant in Torrelodones and I fell in love with him. And I think so is mine, because since then, after writing the presentation, we eat together every Sunday. It is a relationship of two very different people, but with one thing in common which is sensitivity. I am absolutely in love with him; and your partner, too.