Antón Álvarez Alfaro (Madrid, 32 years old), C.Tangana OR Fagot for the whole world, he is sitting on the ground in a yellow polo shirt matching his socks, a gold chain, under the impressive view of the estuary from the roof of the Celta de Vigo headquarters, his father’s club and his . The star he blew at the seams of the industry with The Madrilenianan album that captivated critics and audiences, took over the command of the centenary anthem of the Galician club (Oliveira two hundred yearstitled it) and an impeccable musical and audiovisual theme was scored made in Tangana and Little Spain. It wasn’t alone. With him the writer Pedro Feijóo and musicians such as Rodrigo Romaní, from Milladoiro, or Alfredo Dourado, from A Roda; Xisco Feijoo and the teaching staff of ETRAD, the municipal school of traditional music of Vigo. Or the Casablanca Choir, the As Lagharteiras pandeireteiras and a representation of the rock Tropas de Breogán with the presence of Sime, leader of the punk group Keltoi!
Ask. His father is from Vigo.
Answer. My father, who has lived in Madrid for more than 30 years, is still asked on a street and he replies: “No, I’m not from here”.
Q. And by extension, you of the Celt.
R. When I’m little I realize that the team to stay at home is Celta. My mother says she’s from Madrid, but she doesn’t really like football. I’m from Celt and that’s it. I have experienced exciting moments such as the Copa del Rey final, the Eurocelta, beating Juve or Liverpool. Which scores. It’s your team, it’s your father’s team, that’s it.
Q. We are all here because of a tweet [C. Tangana contestó en 2021 a una encuesta de Radio Vigo sobre quién debía componer el himno del centenario con una frase lacónica: “Puedo intentarlo?”].
R. I replied jokingly. I was watching the Celta goals and the Vigo media as always, I saw it and I replied. I never thought it could actually happen. I am more excited than a child. It’s the closest thing to scoring a goal in Balaídos that I will do in my life.
Q. What changes when a hymn is composed?
R. Very. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done and it goes against what I usually do. When I think of the audience, I think of always disturbing them and awakening new things in them. And here I wanted to awaken new things in Celticism and propose symbols, propose an aesthetic that gives Celtic something new. I didn’t want to stay in the same place where we were. But it’s the first time in my life that I want to please, that I want to please with what I do: I don’t think I’ll ever put myself in this situation again. Artistically that’s bullshit.
Q. He composes with a favorable wind for an audience of fans, but he also takes risks: he composes for a symbol, for a feeling.
R. And that’s something I can’t control. But the will is there. My dream is that no one knows who composed this chant: it’s a Celtic chant, by all the Celtists. I hope the video delivers images that people will always remember. It is the dream of all things that have to do with tradition and popular culture, which is the highest and most indispensable culture of human beings.
Q. He was steeped in tradition, folk music, Celtic roots.
R. That was a gift. I knew this was going to be a complicated process and that I would not be comfortable with the idea of dealing with an institution with so many sensitivities. I gave myself some time to investigate and that was the best part, the coolest part: being here, investigating, surrounding myself with impressive musicians.
Q. Is art possible without passion?
R. No. Everything I’ve learned here I hope I can integrate into many places. Galician percussion and female vocals are one of the most radical, strong and wild things out there. I haven’t seen music that has that power.
Q. In the video there is almost everything: the estuary, the Rande bridge, the rafts. How long did it take you to figure out what you wanted to do?
R. Lifetime. For me Rande, for example, was a symbol. My father extolled everything about Vigo, he appreciated it very much. The feeling of walking through Rande is powerful. And a fussy cinematographer like Pep [Gay de Liébana] It is said to be one of the best illuminated bridges in Spain. I have absorbed things all my life and have done very deep investigation, but in the end I have come up with simple images that have always seemed spectacular to me. And the estuary is amazing. It always felt like a place from another world.
Q. Do you dream of singing the Balaídos anthem to win a title?
R. I hope so. I think Raphael [Benítez, entrenador del Celta] do something great. I am very enthusiastic about him. Look, among my colleagues there is none from Celta and there are many Madrid fans. I’m not a big football fan, it’s nice to see the Premier League. I’m from Celts, I really enjoy it when I go to the countryside, I’ve been to many in Spain, but I’m not an expert. And when the signing of Rafa became known, many friends wrote to tell me that it’s a great signing. And, besides, there’s a tradition of the kind of game Celta should play, and suddenly Rafa doesn’t seem to be toeing that line. I love it: belonging to a team that can afford a Rafa Benítez in every way. I want you to become like a general [ríe].
I feel the stage turns you into another person, makes you an asshole; everything that happens
Q. This is its characteristic. Change, collide, influence. This of the anthem, for example. The rap. Your name changes. the fusion of The Madrilenian. A few months ago Jorge Drexler spoke passionately about your curiosity, about how you retrieve sounds and influences from the places you go.
R. You think I have to do a lot of things to fill the void of not being a virtuoso at anything. I’ve already managed to believe myself thanks to people like Drexler, who is a giant. In songwriting, I believe I can write some couplets that are moderately good. But other than that, it’s a very small skill, man… I’m not, I’m not a virtuoso at all. I don’t sing or play anything. I have to fill that void with creativity. And yes, there is a certain technique. And I think I’ve developed a certain technique for selecting and measuring the ingredients that I prepare.
Q. You connect with the audience. Very.
R. Is strong. Because the more complex and against the tide the project was, the more successful it was. I have many fame. One of those fames is that I’m ambitious and mercantilist. But the truth is, when I put more art and did what came into my mind the most, and started making music with older people that weren’t trending and with things that the parents of those who are listening on TikTok, I’ve done better in my life. It’s funny: you never know what’s going to happen.
Q. Does every new Pucho take something from the old one? In order not to lose balance, more than anything else.
R. All characters are an exaggeration of one part of the personality. I really like culture and folk art, and folk art uses everyday things, but then you have to give it an artistic touch: you have to edit it, you have to rhyme. I am this person, but you are looking for what interests you in that person. Sometimes suddenly something pops up and you’re like, “Oh, okay,” and you focus on that. When you go from one moment to another, from one character to another, you feel that this character was already in you and continues to be in you.
Q. And what remains of those characters when, for example, he gets off the stage of his latest massive tour of America and Spain?
R. I feel the stage turns you into another person, makes you an asshole; everything that happens. You go on stage and you are able to make thousands of people move, scream, move at the same time and then your body, your ego, your subconscious reacts. Of course it happens. And then normal life has to satisfy you, a beer with your colleagues has to satisfy you and they tell you something they’ve told you 80 times.
Q. It has to satisfy you and it has to be a break from so many people on tour taking you to the altars.
R. Honestly: we would have done many more concerts than we did. But December came and I said, “So far I’m spending Christmas with my mom and next year is over, guys.” That’s why Celta was very cool.
Q. I don’t know if you’ve seen the viral movement of artists against censorship in institutions governed by PP and Vox [en 2019 Tangana fue vetado, tras anunciarse su concierto, por el Ayuntamiento de Bilbao en una iniciativa promovida por Bildu y Elkarrekin Podemos].
R. Censorship can come in different ways, but I’m in the same place and I think the same thing: that censorship is a mistake and it doesn’t achieve its purpose. Which is a failed attempt that only generates conflict and has no value. No one is going to get them to stop writing the things that are written. Quite the opposite.
Q. Are you worried that this will go further?
R. I understand people who say we can’t take this as a joke, I agree with them. But on these issues I have to put up with the horses. My most visceral part comes out and I go up. Are you seriously thinking about telling me what I can sing and what I can’t sing? Nothing has splashed on me right now, but I see all the people around me and my colleagues are worried. And I never like to see my colleagues worried.
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