Xoel Lpez: “A Concert Is A Place Of Catharsis And Emotion Management”

If my ray reached you is the fourth album that Xoel López he has posted since deciding to pursue his solo career. An album full of symbolism and new sounds that he presents this Wednesday at the Pamplona Citadel, in a concert framed in the Tourmaline Fest and that will take place at 9:30 p.m. Previously, Mäbu will take the stage of this same festival (8:00 p.m.).

Finally land at the Tourmaline Fest. Are you looking forward to it?
-I really want, yes. This concert was canceled several times due to current circumstances, so being able to play in Pamplona, ​​finally, will be like taking a thorn out of us. It is going to be something very beautiful for all that it symbolically means.

Go to the appointment with If my ray reached you, his last solo album. What can you tell us about this work brought to light between two worlds, the one before and after the arrival of the coronavirus?
– Actually it is a prepandemic album because all the songs are composed before. I like to clarify it because it is true that the songs can be interpreted perfectly as if they had been composed during this process, but no. And this, actually, says a lot about the ability of songs to mean different things depending on the context and the moments of each person. In any case, it is an album that comes from a very vital time, with many disparate emotions, which are reflected in it. The songs are of all kinds, there are very deep ones, even ballads, like Joana, with more melancholic feelings, and other super festive, like Bengal tiger that, although they have their lyrics and their substance, they look for that self-confidence thought in dance. And the concerts are a reflection of all this, with very different moments in which all kinds of emotions are experienced.

The lyrics to these songs, at first glance, can seem very deep. However, if they are carefully analyzed, they convey messages that go deep.
-Yes. Lyrics are very important to me. In fact, if I don’t have a lyrics, I say I don’t have a song, because in fact they are the essence of the song. Everything I want to express I always do through writing. Then comes the music. But it is true that there are songs that are a bit camouflaged, like Bengal tiger, If my ray reached you O Dancehall. It has a clothing, let’s say, festive, with Afro or even Latin rhythms. And perhaps the message is a bit in the background, but you discover it later. These songs, if they were made with acoustic guitar or a piano, have a lyrical message that would arrive much faster. But I like to play that the songs have second or even third readings.

Why did you decide to give female voices more prominence on this album?
– Actually it is something that already came doing. If you notice, throughout my career as Xoel López, not as Deluxe, there are female choirs on the records. But now it is true that we have become stronger in that and it is almost a distinction, because in this environment groups of male voices tend to predominate in general. This album has a lot to do with a band that has established itself on stage, and that more specific sound that appears in almost every song has its reason for being on stage.

After a year in which you have had to adapt to the conditions of each scenario, with what training did you arrive in Pamplona?
–The truth is that this year we have had situations of all kinds, such as some places where we could not go with the entire formation due to lack of structure, lack of budget or lack of technical resources. We have also had to change trainings due to losses due to covid … Anyway, everything has happened to us in this year and a half. It has been very hard. 6 people attended this Wednesday’s concert, that is, the band format. It is a good formation and although we have had to make a substitution of a musician for a casualty, we will manage and something nice will come out.

Lately, the question that is repeated the most in interviews with artists refers to the return to the stage and to the live. In this case, it doesn’t make much sense to do it because they have been one of the bands that has offered the most live concerts since last July …
-As it is. And I like that you tell me that because many times we are asked this question assuming that we have been unemployed. And it has not been so; we have made a tremendous effort to be there because we decided to do so. We did not want the album to die and we were also very sad to stop at a time when we were starting with enthusiasm. What we did was adapt to each situation, sometimes playing as a duet, other times as a trio … We were adapting in each concert. I understand that many people could not and many others did not want to leave, because the situation was insane. We are tired, but also proud to have done that job. Now, at least, we are beginning to enjoy the fact that the situation is gradually improving. But it has been very, very complicated.

Speaking of complicated things, his first concert after confinement was at IFEMA. How was that?
“An absolute shock.” I was very excited because it was something beautiful and hard as well as strange and new. All the contained emotions of all that time came out there, surfaced. Music is a channel of emotions and that’s what it is for. It is very necessary for these things even though it sometimes seems that a concert is a place where people only go to have fun. And no, it is a place of catharsis and emotion management. It is much more than a party, which it is too.

Returning to the album, do you think it has been a reinvention as a musician?
– Let’s say it’s one more step. I don’t think it’s the definitive album because I always have the feeling of being constantly changing. My life evolves, as my musical tastes expand, and my feeling is that I am showing how I am at every moment. Yes, it is a turn from the first three albums I released alone, which were more homogeneous. This one goes the other way, with more current music, more electronic, with the band and the choirs in the foreground … Many nuances have been changed, although I don’t think it has meant a radical change either.

And what about that compilation that you have been saying for a long time that you want to release? Will it ever see the light?
-It’s an idea that I always have there and that is becoming a kind of myth, because I have been saying for a while that I want to remove it and in the end I always end up publishing a completely new album. Someday, because I do want an album that will organize my entire career, containing some Deluxe, Lovely Luna and, of course, Xoel López. But it is also true that if I am releasing new albums for now, it doesn’t make much sense to do so.