Eduardo Cabra: making music with a particular identity

in AM

In June 2017 the AM-PM event "America for its music", organized for the third time by Fábrica de Arte Cubano, decided to bring together some of the most outstanding musical producers of the continent with the intention of sharing and debating with their peers. Cuba the main regularities, concerns and trends of the profession.

As part of that meeting, AM-PM commissioned a group of interviews to several of the essential musical producers of Latin America, which were published as a dossier in the Spanish magazine Zona de Obras and which we are now starting to reproduce in our magazine, with the intention to continue spreading the musical thought of these "monsters".

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Latin American music production can be drawn, reconstructed from those particularities proposed by its makers and artists. Eduardo Cabra, with a career already supported in the musical production, has a vision of his own to face each album he leads in the recording studio.

Goat, known in the scenarios as the Visitor of Calle 13, watches with zeal every delivery in which it intervenes, is documented and uses close communication with the artist.

His commitment has caught the eye of the Latin Recording Academy, which has legitimized him as one of the producers with the most nominations and awards received in the different Latin Grammy ceremonies, with a total of 32 nominations and 21 awards.

We talked with Eduardo Cabra about his participation in AM-PM "America for her music", at a time when the music industry no longer bets on discs as essential supports and searches digital platforms and shows for promotion.

How does the producer face these new challenges?

I think that songs are the raw material of digital platforms and shows. So the challenge for me remains the same, creating music that has a particular identity.

What has changed is the way in which the proposals are marketed ... Now the focus is on the singles. Work focused on singles It's cool, but the good thing about an album is that you can present different emotions and explain the proposal better. This translates to having a better show, since a proposal is presented, not just a theme.

What do you look for in the albums you work on? Is there a method? Could we call it "Eduardo Cabra Method"?

When I start working on a project, I like to connect with the proposal and feel that I can add ideas. I like that they have their own identity, that I am surprised by some particularity when I listen to the proposal for the first time. During production I always look for good communication. I understand that that is the basis. So when the process starts there are more words and ideas.

Everyone has their method. Recently Tweety González He said that the producer is the equivalent of a film director. I agree. The production work is a bit of everything; is a little composer, arranger, designer, recording engineer, mix engineer, psychologist, financier, musician, promoter, motivator ...

How do you take that aesthetic conciliation with the protagonist of a record? Achieving, in passing, success in productions such as Planetary Planet (Diana Fuentes), Everything falls (Jorge Drexler), Music Box (Monsieur Periné), To the sea (Vicente García), Tecnoanimal (Gustavo Cordera), and New cycle (Chambao)?

I like that the person or the leaders of the project get involved in the production. It is the ideal. This part of the idea that when the producer delivers the "disk" and ends his work, the defense of the proposal begins. This is up to those who make up the project, and if the work is as a team, these people will come out to defend it with more intensity. They will fight for something that they lived from beginning to end.

When the pre-production starts we start the debate using references. Much is heard of YouTube or movie soundtracks to try to connect with the emotions you want to present. That is where the debate and the plan begin.

Latin America is an inexhaustible source of music, do not you think that the industry of the area is conservative when it shows its new productions? Do you prefer risks as a producer?

When I read the word industry I get words like: factory, mass production and smoke. Of all the arts, music is the most that can be commercialized, so commercial is normal, there is an industry.

I think we are living a moment where there is a brutal music offer. This causes that there is more of everything. Perhaps this gives the impression that the industry is being conservative, but no, it is also risking new proposals. Vicente García, Diana Fuentes and Monsieur Periné are examples of this.

In my productions I like that the risk is the particularity, that you can identify the proposal without having to see a photo, that the sound tells you who the interpreter is. Historically, every memorable proposal has a particularity.

At what point of expansion is the already announced Casa del Sombrero, a cultural exchange initiative designed to record albums for different artists and bands of the world?

It is a super ambitious project that I would like it to exist in a fixed place. I would love to participate in a free study that is a meeting center, in which everything that happens there can be documented. Right now it's just an idea ...

Calle 13 has been an innovative band in the urban music of the region. In what row of your priorities do you nest? Do you plan to return to the stage soon?

Calle 13 was an incredible project that served as a great learning experience. But before him, the priority has always been music. For now, I want to continue in production and in the next three months I will be working in Trending Tropics, a new project in which I collaborate with my friend Vicente García.

You have anticipated that Trending Tropics will be "something completely new". Do you announce dates or essential information such as some of its members and details of the issues they may already be preparing?

In August I must have everything ready *. Vicente and I are working on the compositions. It will be composed of four multi-instrumentalists and there will be several collaborations. The idea is to focus on music and enjoy on stage. In September there could be more advances.

* The Trending Tropics project released its self-titled album on October 19.

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