“Music always finds its best place and time” – Gloria Estefan

(Photo provided by Sony)

By Viviana Ortiz

Metro talked to the singer about her first album in seven years ‘Brazil305‘, Latin music and the lessons she learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

Why did you wait seven years to release a new album?

That wasn’t the plan. We recorded it between 2016 and 2017, and I was going to enter the studio, but my mother got sick. For 33 days, I was in the hospital together with my sister. We thought she was safe, but it wasn’t the case. It was such a big loss that when I tried to record the album I couldn’t sing, no voice came out, I was very sad. I asked Sony for patience, and it took me more than a year. Then the COVID-19 appeared, then the George Floyd case happened. So, the album was delayed for several reasons but music always finds its best place and time. And I think that the song ‘Cuando Hay Amor’ would not have had the same impact as the one it’s having now. Because now we need joy and love, and that’s why I wanted to release it. And it has enchanted even England. Thank God they accepted me in both languages (English and Spanish). Everything came at the time when it had to happen.

 After so many successes in your career, what was your experience releasing ‘Brazil 305’?

I have lived it very differently. In previous albums, I didn’t have so much contact with media and fans. Now I interact with them directly, they write to me, they tell me what they like. I have much more contact, and that’s nice. Because of the pandemic, we have looked for a way to be with the media, and I like it because I am in my quiet house, I don’t have to spend a whole day somewhere else. It is more intimate to be able to communicate through video calls. I live it in a different way, but always with the same feeling of happiness of being able to offer something to the fans.

What can listeners expect from ‘Brazil 305’?

You will hear songs with spectacular arrangements such as Mi Tierra, Abriendo Puertas, a new song called Hasta Siempre. A duet with Carlinhos Brown, with whom I made a very good friend in Brazil that we recorded in Miami, a song called Magalenha, which is inspired by his mother. It is an anthem to the strength of women and it is the only theme in Portuguese.

How do you perceive the evolution of Latin music?

There are always waves coming out. But there is a moment when so many people like a genre, the youth say ‘this far,’ and they go in search of something new to identify themselves with. It’s happening with urban music, reggae, which comes from something that already existed but with different fusions. Each wave has its magic, what I find in this genre is that sometimes they occupy strong words. I never imagined to hear that kind of words in music, but I don’t believe in censorship either. You have to let the music express itself in all its forms.

What do you think of the future of concerts?

Perhaps there is more opportunity to share global streaming, I can do a concert without an audience, but the energy that one shares at a concert will be missed for a long time. But, hopefully, it can be back soon. And it will be a double celebration, not only of music but of being able to be together again.

What has been your experience of the pandemic?

I have the joy of living in a very nice place. I like to be alone at my house. I miss my family, hugging them. We see each other with my children and grandson in masks and without touching. During the pandemic, I tried to have more contact with the fans and I launched the song We Needed Time, trying to get something good and important out of this experience. For me, the most important thing is to learn and grow from the things we experienced. I hope we don’t forget the lessons, like celebrating things as a family or spending time with the people we love.

How have you balanced your marriage and career?

I never feel different or more down-to-earth than anyone else. I feel a connection with the world, people, animals, nature, my family. I maintain the values that we all share. I have the joy of having a partner who helps me with everything and we are a team.

‘Brazil305’ is available on iTunes.