Three years ago they didn’t even imagine where life would take them, musically speaking. That they would spend months going back and forth from San Juan to London, that they would live in Barcelona, that they would record in Los Angeles, or that they would play as guests at Anglo-Saxon festivals; and less than they would record a song in Japanese with a well-known Japanese artist. Cande Buasso and Paulo Carrizo advance in their musical careers like a high-speed train and today they release their first album, ‘Cande y Paulo’ published by Decca Records. The album contains 12 songs, including Barro, perhaps, a version of the Luis Alberto Spinetta song that they made in 2017 but which later went viral – until yesterday it had almost 13 million reproductions on You Tube – and allowed them to reach producer Larry Klein . It also includes songs arranged by Carrizo from classics by authors such as Leonard Cohen, George Gershwin, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Chilly González, Burt Bacharach and Cat Stevens, for example, the last ones interpreted in Spanish with the duo’s translation.
Undoubtedly, the lives of these San Juan artists, who are also a couple, took a 180 degree turn and they fully enjoy it. In a talk with DIARIO DE CUYO they talked about their record work, their relationship and what is coming for them, because they anticipated that they are preparing to go on tour taking advantage of the relaxation of sanitary measures in the northern hemisphere. On that train, they will perform next month at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Sweden and then go to the Espinho International Music Festival in Portugal; and they will also perform several concerts in London and New York.
So far in the pandemic they were also able to join the wave of streaming concerts and thus reached the coveted Tiny Desk concert (the famous US program of mini-concerts by NPR), they were at MIDEN in Cannes and LAMC in the US; they recorded with Cesar Franov and Carlos River and participated in the San Juan Live Session and Mahogany Chanel.
-How would you define this first album?
-C: We are very happy, it is the fruit of a lot of work, both ours and all the people with whom we work on this wonderful album. We recorded it in Los Angeles with the legendary producer Larry Klein (who produced artists like Joni Mitchel, Tracy Chapman, Nora Jones, Herbie Hancock), it was an incredible professional experience, we recorded in one of the most important studios in Hollywood and we found a team of people who believed in what we were doing and in the duo’s proposal. There was a lot of connection in everything and they treated us wonderfully well. It is an album that is difficult to define, but you do have to look for a word is ‘connection’. You can see in the songs the balance with the musicians, Larry and the team. Victor Indrizzo on Drums (former drummer for Beck, Alanís Morriset, Avril Lavigne) and Anthony Wilson Guitar (current guitarist for pianist Diana Krall) played.
– And how do you personally experience this release, being with an international label, being very careful as artists?
-C: We were not expecting anything, three years ago we were only focused on our project, we were like crazy making arrangements and choosing songs, trying this idea of the duo, new sounds. We started recording a self-produced album in Barcelona and suddenly they sent us a Decca Records message from England. They wanted to talk to us and hear what we had recorded and they asked us to do a show in London. So the two of us from San Juan went there (laughs) and they offered us a contract to work with them.
-P: The people of Decca are very pleasant and respect us a lot, they work very seriously, it is a great record label, perhaps one of the most important and oldest in the history of music. We are also with ‘Industria Works’, which is the manager’s company who take care of us and help us in everything. Everything is very normal regarding the launch, it is a job that commits us and you have to do it well like any job. This is how we live it from the personal, with humility, affection, a lot of respect for the music and the project.
-What expectations do you have with the album?
-P: I don’t know, I think it is an album that contains a lot of subtlety and is of versions of key songs that reflect the strength of its composers. The authors are from very different backgrounds and styles and that was a great challenge to make the album. For example Barro perhaps, written when dear Luis was almost a child, but full of depth, or Treaty by Leonard Cohen or Ask where I’m from by our Atahualpa Yupanqui, or Waiting for the man by Lou Reed. We hope that people enjoy these versions as much as we do, in these difficult moments that we go through, music helps us to be better.
– By the way, what would they say to Spinetta if they could? What do you think he would say about this version?
-P: We would say thank you for all the music you gave us and the teachings in your songs. As happens to many people, we did not know Spinetta personally, but we felt him as someone very close and whom we have always loved. We dedicate the album to him. Spinetta is one of the most amazing musicians in history and doing a version of Barro was perhaps one of the most complex things we ever had to do.
-What other projects do you have from now on?
-C: We have many ideas to make collaborations with other artists from different countries and some videos of the songs on the album. Soon there will be a song that we recorded in Japanese with the legendary actress and singer Meiko Kaji with Universal Music Japan, the song is called ‘Shura no Hana’, it was part of the Soundtrack of the film Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino. This new version will also be part of Meiko Kaji’s new album and will be released as a single in Japan next month.
“I think it’s an album that contains a lot of subtlety, it’s about versions of key songs that reflect the strength of its composers. ‘ Paulo carrizo
-How was it to sing in Japanese?
-C: It was very difficult, I had to study a little Japanese to be able to sing. Meiko is an incredibly talented singer with a long history. We caught up with Japanese culture, the folks at Universal Japan helped us with diction. Paulo produced the single and arranged the arrangements, as well as recording all the instruments. It was a wonderful and magical experience.
-In what way do they complement each other musically?
-P: We have the roles armed, but we consult everything. We trust each other a lot. We choose the songs together, I arrange, but Cande participates, she puts together a lot the style, the way of singing and the idea of where to take the music. I always say that she is an exceptional singer and musician. In addition, it is not only the music, we work a lot on the subject of content, interviews, the decisions that have to be made every day, the networks, the productions that we do alone and the image. It’s a ton of work that we do every day. In addition, Cande teaches, studies a lot, studies jazz and classical double bass and lyrical singing. I am lucky enough to work as a teacher at UNSJ, where I trained for free and it makes me proud to work there today.
-How do you get along when working as a couple?
-C: We get along very well with music, with the creative part, and also as a couple. We try to separate the couple and the intimacy of the work. Sometimes we have a hard time unplugging from work. The house is sometimes a super family home and sometimes a television and recording studio, insane. It’s very crazy because the more we work, the more we transform as people and artists. It is wonderful that this happens, because it does not happen to all couples who work together.
-P: We have lived together for several years, we had to live a year abroad between Barcelona and London, we were studying music, perfecting ourselves, learning a lot and it was great, but outside of that, we really chose life here in San Juan. We are both very San Juan. We try not to change life too much, we go to the mountains a lot and try to live in peace, that helps a lot to have a head and a heart, to really dedicate time to music, since it is a profession in which you have to give everything.
The list of topics
1. Treaty (L. Cohen)
2. Summertime (G.Gershwin)
3. Limit in your love (Chilly González)
4. Deja ago (Burt Bacharach)
5. I fall in love too rasily(J.Styne-S.Cahn)
6. Yours (R. Amarante)
7. I’m waiting for you (L. Reed)
8. Sugar mountain (N. Young)
9. The thrill is gone (R.Henderson-L. Brown)
10. Mud maybe (LA Spinetta)
11. They ask where I am from. (A.Yupanqui)
12 You Are Blank (Cat Stevens)