Without Music, My Life Would Be Meaningless
By: Mercy Ramos / Photos by Alejandro Pérez and José Tito Meriño
Born in Havana some three decades ago, Alain Daniel is currently one of the most acclaimed Cuban vocalists for his charisma and his versatility with all genres of Cuban popular music. His over 100 song repertoire includes salsa, reggaeton, ballads, bolero, cha cha cha, son and fusion. In his interview with Cubaplus, Alain Daniel said that music is everything to him. “I was born and raised in a family that liked listening to music all the time. My grandmother sang and led a trio of female voices and my uncles and several of my cousins are also talented musicians.”
“I started my artistic career at 16 with the show at the Parisién Cabaret in the National Hotel of Cuba, where I worked for five years. That was a very important time for me as I learned to move on the stage with dancers, models and extras. It was my great school,” said Daniel. He has also been a member of several musical bands, including La Constelación and the Cuban group Bamboleo, whose veterans include headlining singers Haila Mompie and Yordamis Negret. He worked hard with Bamboleo and toured many countries in Europe and America. Finally he went solo in 2005 and created his own band.
He has so far recorded three CDs: Avísale a mi gente, Bendita locura and Vestigios featuring his uniquely smoky, warm voice and unforgettable lyrics. He is at the moment in the middle of his most important project as an artist. Strongly determined to push his career forward he explained: “Right now I am preparing my most ambitious release with many important singers participating as guests like Pablo Milanés from Cuba, Paquita la del Barrio from Mexico and others.”
“This CD involves several musicians who work for important artists like Alejandro Sanz from Spain, Puerto Ricans Mark Anthony and Gilberto Santarosa and Carlos Vives from Colombia. It will be produced by the producer of Mexican singer Cristian Castro. It will be an all-Latino product.”
Discussing current Cuban music he stated: “Cuban music is at a great moment because every day more musicians graduate with a high professional level. That being said, I also think that lyrics are in crisis.”
He continued, “I think the message is in the lyrics. There is a dearth of good text and messages in popular dance music. We have lost the romance; I don’t mean love, but what the term means in general.
I urge musicians of my generation to review our lyrics. I am in favour of creation and talent and opposed to mediocrity. It is better when songs suggest rather than simply tell.”
Among his immediate plans, Daniel revealed he is adventuring into combining his singing with acting. He’s at work on filming a TV police series and a Cuban film, but “to me the most important is the music and the greatest gift I can receive is that the audience is singing my songs.”