Music

Raphael on Whether He Would Dabble in Urbano Music: ‘You Never Know’

He’s known on both sides of the Atlantic for traditional Latin pop classics such as “Yo Soy Aquel” and “En Carne Viva.” But Raphael, one of Spain’s most celebrated vocalists internationally with over six decades of career, doesn’t rule out the possibility of venturing into urbano music.

“I know it’s not my thing, because I don’t know how to do anything else. But you never know,” says the 80-year-old artist. “Maybe I’ll say ‘I’m gonna try doing this to see what happens.’ That was the case with ‘Escándalo’, and look how far it got,” he added about his 1992 Caribbean-flavored hit, which spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

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Raphael made these comments this week at the first first Forum on Spanish Language Music in Madrid, presented by the Community of Madrid and powered by Billboard, which took place on Tuesday (March 19) at the WiZink Center in the Spanish capital. He was the star of the Icon panel moderated by Leila Cobo, Billboard‘s Chief Content Officer for Latin/Español.

When Cobo asked him what he thought of Latin urban music, Raphael said that “like all music, there are salvageable things and less salvageable things, there are things that have grace. But I would give it some time, because it is in full bustle now,” he continued. “We have to give it time to see where all this ends up.”

And, with his characteristic humor, he answered whether he would like to collaborate with any urbano artist: “Maybe yes! Maybe someone will call me today!”

During the conversation, the Spanish superstar also spoke about the moment he knew that being an artist was his thing, the role of songwriter Manuel Alejandro as the “tailor” of his career, the process of his globalization and why he doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon.

“I don’t see myself doing nothing, with so many things that can be done and so many theaters and places to go, and so many countries to revisit, where I have been loved so much for so long. I prefer to be active,” he said. “So, as long as this one responds, I’m going to be singing,” he added pointing to his vocal cords.

“Obviously I am aware that someday I will have to stay at home, but the later the better. And if it can be when I leave for good, then let me take advantage of the exit,” he added with a laugh. “It’s not about wanting more, it’s about doing what you are passionate about every single day.”

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