Venezuela - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97
Interview - autumn 1997
After a long and distinguished career, sales of over six million records
worldwide, and seven albums filled with classic hits such as Yo Que Te Ame,
Ojos Negros, Dejame Llorar, Sera, and too many more to list here, Ricardo
Montaner, born in Argentina but raised in Venezuela, has recently
finished recording his eighth studio album, which will be released by WEA
Latina on October 28, 1997. First single, Es Asi, (It's Like This), from
the album of the same name has already been serviced to radio in the US and
around the world and should debut on the charts next week. Recently,
Ricardo was in Los Angeles to promote his new album and single, and was
gracious enough to grant Luna Kafé this exclusive interview:
From the beginning, you have crossed international barriers with your
music. Now, you have sold over six million records, please tell me how your
personal and professional life have changed, and how they continue
How has it changed? Before, I dreamed in black and white--now I dream in
color. This is to just give you a quick explanation. Now, I think that day
by day I continue crowing, and continue in my personal evolution, and I keep
growing artistically as well. My truth is that I continue growing and my
growth is shown to my public through my work.
What music influences you?
My European roots - my grandparents were European. Although I am
Venezuelan, my parents were from Argentina, and the way I was brought up was
very European, with many Italian customs. In the 80's, in my country, in
Venezuela, there was a lot of Italian influence in the music. It was a very
strong influence. And, the producer of my first album was Italian. His name
was Paolo Manavello, he was my first arranger, my first producer. I am
absolutely convinced that my music has been completely influenced by the
Italian music and atmosphere.
What artists do you listen to?
Well, this is another thing entirely. I listen to and have always
listened to Al Jarreau. He is definitely my favorite artist. I listen to a
lot of music in Spanish and I like a lot of Spanish artists and composers. I
also like to read. I read Mario Benedetti and I also like to read
Argentinian authors. There is an Argentinian woman author who I like because
she likes to describe the surroundings as she tells the story. She can tell
you the story while she describes the chair, the table, the wall. That is
the way I like writing, although she is better than me of course, but that is
how I write the song. Even though I talk about two people in a relationship,
I also give a lot of inportance to the surroundings, to the place that they
live, to their environment.
And are you an author also?
But in addition to songs, is it true that you are writing a book?
Well, I haven't written a book yet. What I do is I have a pad, upon
which I write all sorts of things. I write of many intimate moments in my
life, of love letters etc. I decided not to be so rigourous on myself,
because when you write songs you are always thinking about the rhythm and the
timing. I let myself go, I vent, I write whatever I feel like writing, I
write for hours until I get tired. Like I said, it is like a way of venting,
of getting it all out. Then, I put it away, and those things I have written
sometimes become songs, sometimes not. Sometimes they stay there, and
sometimes I keep what I have written for later on.
Tell us a little bit about your most recent production, Es Asi (It's Like
This) and how you came to work with Piero Cassano.
I had written a few songs with Piero before, such as Dejame Llorar (Let
Me Cry) and Cuando Nacen Amores (When Loves Are Born) Vivir Con Animo
(Live With A Positive Attitude) and the experience was wonderful working with
him--we were very succesful with those songs, they sold a lot. And we were
never able to work together again because he was very busy in Europe and I
was very busy in America. Time went by until one day we decided that no
matter how long we had to wait, we would work together again. That we would
set a time and we would start working on this album, we would start writing
this story together and so we did. It took us about six months to finish the
album, but I can assure you that is one of the richest experiences of my life
as an artist.
Because he knows a lot, he has a lot of experience. He has worked with
many people, including Eros Ramazotti among others. He is very talented and
you can definitely see his influence in my music on this particular album.
This album was recorded in different countries - part in Italy, part in
Bulgaria, and we also mixed in Paris, Germany and Sweden. It is a very
powerful album, a very rich album as far as the music is concerned, and the
technical details as well.
Of all your hits, which is your favorite?
Actually, my favorite songs were the ones that were NOT hits. Of my
favorites are El Mundo Giro Aunque No Estes (The World Spins Even Though
You Aren't Here), but that wasn't a big international hit. Me Va a
Extranar (You Will Miss Me) is one of my favorites, but that one was a very
succesful song. I also like Sera and Al Final De Arco Iris, which did
really well here in the US. Oh, you know what? I have many songs that I
How do you see yourself musically at the moment?
It is all part of evolution and growth. But I can tell you one thing,
that my essence is the same. It is kind of a way of being respectful towards
my audience. They accepted me the way I was, and they don't have to put up
with changes, with weird things, because that is the way they like me, so why
change it for them? I am not going to scare them by coming out with green
hair (laughs). Of course, as you grow musically, you change. But your
essence has to stay the same. The way I see it, changing is a way of wanting
them to change, and I have no right to do that. They are the way they are
and I am the way that I am, and they love me and I love them and I respect
Do you prefer to be on stage or in the studio?
That is a good question! They are two entirely different things. In the
studio, I am bareoot, I lay on the floor, I sleep if I want to. On stage it
is different. I feel like I am barefoot, I walk on stage as if it was my
house, and I enjoy it as if I was eating my favorite dishes or drinking my
favorite wine. There are two different energies but one comes as a result of
the other. It is almost like a full cycle-- the energy that I put in when I
am in the studio reflects on my albums. Then they play the songs on the
radio, and people buy the album and come to my concerts. Then the people
bring their energy to my concerts and that gives the energy back to me. Then
I reprocess the energy and I take it back to the studio and put it into my
songs and so on. It is a way of exchanging love and positive energy. If
one of those things were missing, then the cycle wouldn't be complete.
Do you have a computer and are you online?
I have a computer but I barely know how to use it! I know how to go
online, and I also have my own page, but its not that great. Actually, it is
really bad (laughs). My new record company (WEA Latina) is working with me to
make it better. I know how to go online--and I know how to turn on the
computer--- and turn it off! (Laughs again)
Finally, do you have a message for those who are going to read this on
Well, tell them not to turn me off! (Smiles) And to know that wherever
they are, at this very minute, I might be anywhere in their fibic optics of
their computers, or even in their keyboards. As a matter of fact, I am on
the R of the keyboard! Bye!
Ricardo Montaner will be touring in support of his new album, Es Asi,
beginning in February 1998, in South America. Look for Ricardo to perform in
the US beginning as early as May of 1998. Es Asi will be available on October
28, wherever records and tapes are sold.
Special thanks to: Ricardo Montaner, Adolfo Fernandez, Pedro Biaggi and
Copyright © 1997 Allison Winkler