He welcomes me into his house with a foot in a cast and supported on an armchair. Apparently he broke a finger walking barefoot around the room. He laughs and tells me that he wanted to give a concert like that, but they have not left it. She does not like to be still, except after having returned to the stage after an accident that forced her to stop her career for almost two years.
With confidence in herself and what she does, Patry White "The Dictator" returns to the scene stomping with her new album, Original sin, which seeks to transcend urban music in Cuba and also internationally. She is proud of Daring, the theme that "is sticking" and fuses reggaeton with flamenco and Arabic music, but even more proud of the video that accompanies it: a fashion film * loaded with symbology, directed by Asiel Babastro and competed with Gente de Zona, the Micha, Enrique Iglesias and Descemer Bueno in the Pop-Urban-Tropical music video category in the recent edition of the Lucas awards.
You are back with a new album. What are you bringing?
Sin Original It contains 11 new songs and comes with a lot of fusion, which is what it takes now. In this album we will see a more mature Patry White, consolidated within the industry, which seeks to reach other markets outside of Cuba. I want that when people listen to the album they can enjoy the music, dance it and at the same time understand the message it brings. The video of Daring He was nominated for the Lucas awards, so for now we are on the right track.
What message does it bring Daring?
In part, she goes with me because I am a daring woman, but I address her to all women who like to party, go out, feel good ... It's a more commercial song than others on the album, like It does not touch me, that I dedicate to the learning that I did after my accident. It is called like that because it comes to say that I do not have to die yet, that I have many things to do in life.
The symbology of the video is very strong. There are eroticism, crosses, military, nuns, bodies of naked women, cages ... What's behind all that?
Imagine yourself. Everyone sees it in a different way. Yes, there are erotic messages, but we do not get involved with the Church or with the military or anyone. Let everyone take their imagination wherever they want!
Reggaeton is a very masculinized genre, almost always exhibited or trivialized to the woman in the videos. In Daring you say that you do with men what you want. Have you had professional barriers because of being a woman?
I have been lucky because since I left I had a total success. I chose a good time in Cuba, in which no woman made urban genre. In Puerto Rico there was already a reguetonera, Ivy Queen, that I was liking, and seeing that opportunity I started my career in 2010. I was successful from my first song, and from then on I did not stop. I have never worked as other artists, I can say that I have had quite a flat path. It is now that women are taking a lot of force in the urban market, but I've been shooting a lot.
Are you at your best professional moment?
Right now my career started again from scratch. It is not that I have gone backwards, but that everything I have learned and achieved is simply a step that has prepared me for everything that comes. Until I get a Latin Grammy, I will not stop. And someday I'll take it, why not. I know that I have the potential and all the tools to be able to get there. You just have to expand my product a little more.
You have that confidence in yourself ...
Clear! If I do not believe in what I do, who is going to do it?
Are you successful outside of Cuba?
Daring It has had very good acceptance in places where we never thought that Cuban urban music would come, like the Arab countries. We have proposals to tour next year in Dubai and Iran. In Europe it is also consumed, especially in Italy and Spain, where we are going to go in 2019.
Today Cuba is full of reggaetonists. Can anyone do reggaeton?
You have to be very careful with the street reggaeton, the one that people are scary or censured. But it's because of the lyrics and the content, especially when children listen to certain topics and then want to be like artists. You have to elaborate the issues better, take a little more time, you can not do anything.
Is it difficult to continue your career with such competition and after almost two years away?
Well, I already have a name that will protect me all my life, because my career has been solid, I have my seal. What you have to do is be aware of the trends to be accommodating the product to what people ask. I am not afraid to enter the market again, because I know what I do and I know what I like. Also, people know me and love me. In social networks everyone was waiting to see when I reincorporated after the accident.
Are you somehow recovering the lost time?
Can be. It was hard to be on stage, touring, singing, producing, and suddenly stop my career and have to be at home resting. But I think everything happens for something, and you have to know how to face those things and see the positive side. The accident helped me grow as a person, because I almost lost my life and now I value it more, but also as an artist: I prepared myself to return to the stage with a new product and modify my music without ceasing to be Patry White, protagonist of the urban scene in Cuba.
Is fame dangerous?
Too. I played young, at 22 years old. Imagine with that age fill places with 10 thousand or 15 thousand people. I could not go out, I still feel like I'm in the eye of the hurricane, but you have to know how to live with that and have your feet on the ground, without believing more than anyone because in the end you're there thanks to a public that supports you . You have to take care of the fans, take some time with them, take pictures after the concerts ... not everyone does it and that's important. Now I live fame in another way, knowing that I have influence over people and maybe I can help them. For example, my idea with the video clip of It does not touch me is to donate everything that is collected to people who have suffered accidents and have sequels. I want to direct it, inviting real people to tell their story, the accident they had, what dreams they have left to fulfill ...
What was your training?
In a House of Culture. There I started until I met my teacher, Jorge Reyes, who "discovered" me and started giving me lessons in singing and percussion. Thanks to him I started to meet many people and from there everything worked. I never passed a school as such, I can not write music, mine is rather empirical. Even so, I am endorsed by the Cuban Music Institute as a singer.
Who are your references, for you the "greats" in music?
They are few. I listen to pop and alternative music, especially American music: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Maná ... and in the urban genre there are few singers that I like. I think the only one is Daddy Yankee, for me an icon, a man who has managed to focus his carrear and adapt to the times.
You make urban music but you do not listen to urban music. Why?
Yes I listen, but few songs catch my attention. Now in Cuba there is very little quality in this genre. The reguetoneros are always covered, in tiraderas **, in "tell me what I will tell you". I try to get out of that vicious circle. I get along well with everyone, but I never respond to the throws, because it seems unprofessional. The biggest pull is to see the result of a job.
Why do they call you "The Dictator"?
In the urban genre everyone has a surname: Osmani García "La Voz", Jacob "The Immortal", Prince "The Tiger" ... I was told that I always send a lot and someone-I do not remember who-started to tell me that As always, I was a dictator. But I have nothing to do with any dictator (laughs).
Here it can be half controversial, right?
Yeah sure! In fact, it was funny when I performed at the Lucas gala a few years ago. In full Cuban television they introduced me as "Patry White", and people shouted "La Dictadoraaaaa!" (Laughs).
Is it true that you like to send?
I do not believe that, I just like things well done. More than bossy I am demanding with my work. It's the only way you can get good results.
* The fashion films they are audiovisual productions, like short films, at the service of a brand, characterized by a communicative style in which the aesthetic of the message about the product and / or the brand itself predominates. These videos are created almost expressly for dissemination through digital media, seeking virality.
** La tiradera, is an expression and musical subgenre in itself that adopts the word "reguetón"diss", (that comes from diss song or diss track, word created from disrespect), is a song of dissatisfaction, created with the sole purpose of verbally attacking and insulting a person or a group of people. Typically the chutes are the product of rivalries, (beef, in English) between different singers.