By Ivonne Malaver |
Miami (EFE).- The singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan was honored to be the first Hispanic woman to enter the Songwriters Hall of Fame and stressed that it is a sample of the contribution of Latinos to music in the United States and the world, as indicated to EFE.
“It means that Hispanics have made an important contribution to the world of music in the United States and hopefully that will help many more Latinos to receive this great honor,” says Estefan, who was born in Havana (Cuba).
She remembers that both she and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan, had to hold “firm” not to change their names and their sound in order to sound “more American.”
However, he says that times have changed.
“This is clearly seen in the success that Camila Cabello, Luis Fonsi and Bad Bunny have had among many, and reggaeton is heard on radio stations in many countries,” he says.
Gloria Estefan enters the Hall of Fame
Next June, Estefan, who has sold more than 100 million records and won eight Grammy Awards, will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held in New York.
For the interpreter, this tribute is very “special” for the same “magic” that composing music means, but especially for “being the first Latina woman to receive that honor.”
“Since I was a child, music spoke to my heart with its melodies and lyrics,” said Estefan, 65.
“I would sit listening to my records and read the names of the people who had created the songs that filled my heart and served as a catharsis and I imagined how they could have created that magic,” he recounts.
«In those moments I never imagined that one day I would have the privilege of writing songs that would mean the same to other people, much less that I would end up being one of the few composers who receive the honor of being invited to be part of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame» , he emphasizes.
Honesty when composing
This year, Gloria Estefan is one of a diverse group of seven songwriters inducted into the Hall of Fame, including famed rapper Snoop Dogg and British-Nigerian Sade.
The singer, married for more than 40 years to Emilio Estefan, emphasizes that Latin rhythms “are already part of the fiber of music, not only in the United States but throughout the world.”
She remembers that when she was a child her inspirations were José Feliciano, Carlos Santana and Desi Arnaz, who sang and spoke in Spanish “in one of the most successful programs” on American television, “I Love Lucy”.
«For that reason I believed that the doors were open for Latino sounds on American (American) radio. But that was not reality. It took a lot for Emilio and me to convince our own label that we could be successful with our sound,” he explains.
Estefan says that they remained “firm” that they would never change their name and that “we were not going to dilute our sound to sound more American.”
«We were sure that what would give us success was that we had a fresh and different sound from what was heard. Today there is not so much resistance anymore, ”says Estefan.
In the case of women, he said, there are even many dabbling in genres previously dominated by men.
“Hopefully we are seeing a lot more women competing in the previously male field of music like urban music.”
“Not only are they at the artist level but they also compose their own songs,” he emphasizes.
write from the heart
The vocalist of the group “Miami Sound Machine” remembers that when they had the first world hit, “Dr. Beat” (1984), “few women competed worldwide.”
“Thank God that when I was a teenager in the seventies I had Carole King as an example of what a woman could achieve. She was the first woman to sell out stadium concerts and compose her own music,” she says.
Estefan points out that the only advice she has for the new generation of composers, be they men or women, is to write from the “heart.”
“That they talk about their experiences, emotions and ideas and not just sit down and try to compose a hit (success) because those are the songs that last, the ones that make an emotional connection with the listeners,” he explains.
“Audiences may not know what the inspiration for a song was, but they can easily feel if it’s something honest that came from the songwriter’s heart,” he adds.