For a few years it seemed that the Fran perea The actor had ended up imposing himself on the musician, as if life did not allow for unfoldments and the man from Malaga had to decide on just one of his faces. His theatrical career, in which important projects have not been lacking – with his company, Feelgod, or in reviews of classics in which he shared the bill with veterans such as Ana Belén or Lluís Homar– and his commitments to film and television seemed to have silenced the singer. But in 2018 the singer-songwriter returned to the road with his album Travel the word, and in the difficult 2020 Perea found refuge in composition and shaped Songs to save me, an EP that claimed music as balm. He presents it – with the relevant protocols, because as he likes to say, culture is safe – in February at a Andalusia tour: on the 5th it will be in Córdoba (Teatro Avanti), on the 6th in Seville (Teatro Los Remedios), on the 19th in Almería (Teatro Cervantes) and on the 20th in Mijas (Teatro Las Lagunas).
–When the album came out, he defined it, In an interview with our colleague Pablo Bujalance, as an attempt to reaffirm himself in optimism, “an invitation to live in spite of the complex situation that has affected us.”
-It is that if you are not optimistic you have it clear, as the patio is, with the 2020 that we have had and this beginning of 2021 … We still have a good desert to cross. The other day someone said: ‘You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is more expensive’ [ríe]. And in that panorama, we, those of us who are dedicated to culture, have to continue generating content, we must continue working.
-In Songs to save me the title track of the EP, quotes a good handful of artists who “made life better”, a very eclectic group in which Morente, Mecano, Sabina, Silvio and Pablo Alborán coexist.
-Yes. I believe that music is that, diversity, right? Like life, like the world. There are moments when you go to a certain artist, to a song; others when you need another type of music. When I wrote that song I told myself why not mention all those names that have marked me, or have also marked other generations. I liked doing that tribute.
-In Singing under the moon he imagines someone from another planet observing humans, but the portrait is not hopeless: that alien is left in awe with Gene Kelly, with the cinema, with what allows us to still dream.
–It was a proposal that I made to Georgina, that we tell what would happen if someone saw us from outside. And we were left with a very beautiful game, a tender story, we ended up talking about cinema, about that other leg of culture that is also healing. Although also, in a way, the song raises a question: how is it that we are able to make such good films and then, in reality, we behave in such a strange, so complicated way, and we seem to take any opportunity to annoy the neighbor.
-In the promotional notes of his concerts it is said that he will reinterpret great hits from his discography with the “style of his maturity”. What has age given you?
–I would say calm, basically. Over the years I don’t have the urge, I have less pressure than when I was young. And I would also talk about freedom, the freedom to be able to do what I want. Age has helped me, but also certain decisions I have made. Success caught me when I was a kid, but I already thought that I wanted to grow as an artist, take risks, take risks, try other things. That reflection haunted me all the time, and it was what I chose. It was a difficult road, almost as complicated as walking through Madrid these days with the snow [ríe]Because there are many obstacles and you slip, but that was what my body asked me to do. And the soul. That journey has consisted of looking for projects with a message, with substance; have freedom, with my theatrical company or in the songs I’m doing now.
– That show you did in which an old Prometheus, Lluís Homar, met himself as a young man, a character that you played, comes to mind. What would the dialogue with the boy that was be like, if something like this could happen in reality?
–Well, I would tell him to have hope, which was what the old Prometheus came to say to the young Prometheus. Resist, admire, persevere, commit, believe, those kinds of things that in the end are values and that you should embrace when you are starting, because they will allow you to be calm with yourself in the long run.
–Let’s go back to the concerts: on this tour he will bring an illustrator and he will also recite some theatrical text …
– I like to incorporate, in some way, what I have learned in the theater to my music, to the staging of my concerts. With the presence of Marcus Carus, the illustrator, different shots are created. On the one hand the viewer is listening to a song; he is watching me play that song, live, which is already another narrative plane; Marcus makes his illustrations, which are related to each theme, and the audience is watching him too. I think an interesting experience remains. And I also add to that some texts that I have interpreted throughout my career, and others that I have not done but that I would like to do. I think that music is an intimate experience, something that comes from you and that you share, and I think you should find your own speech. The exciting thing about giving a concert is being able to weave it together with all that material you have.
–The pandemic prevented him from premiering at the Almagro Festival a show about Calderón’s comedies that he was preparing with Ernesto Caballero. Will they try to stage it this year?
– Research projects cannot be carried out now, we will have to wait for some time to pass. Stories like this require you to spend many hours in a room, studying, asking us questions, it is not rehearsing, period. Hopefully we can get it back, because it was a beautiful proposal, the vision that Ernesto has is very interesting and he was putting together a very neat team. But apart from that I can’t complain, I was very lucky because when the confinement ended I was able to continue working and do the second season of The neighbor. It’s a great comedy, very well written, and I can’t wait to see it. Netflix has not yet told us when it will be released. And also bells are ringing for a second season of Cost, a series that allowed me to collaborate with a team from Finland, something that I really enjoyed, I share their way of working. I am excited to have built a bridge with that country. Hopefully we continue.