For Annie Garcés, one of the new voices seeking a successful position in the Cuban musical landscape, the world of rhythms and strung chords reached her since she was a little girl, when she didn't even dream of shining on stage.
Those first childhood performances in Cantandole al Sol festivals, in the Isle of Youth where she was born, made her discover a talent that later would polish the musical academies, until she graduated as flautist in Havana.
After a few early approximations and the approach to different Cuban interpreters, she was convinced that the Trova was her destiny, and she made that genre in the wide horizon that she seeks to reach with a style of her own with modern and daring proposals.
Annie wants to be a youngster of her time attempting to revolutionize a genre that represents for some people a cliché of the 90’s, when their singers were considered a shadow of the musical elitism.
"The Trova is the genre that gets me crazy: I enjoy singing songs with nice lyrics and an attractive music. Singing other genres that have nothing to do with me would be just a simulation. My proposal right now looks for ties with rhythms like conga and Son music, because I want people to dance and demonstrate, in this way that Trova doesn't have to be something exclusively romantic", she says.
During her years as a student, she had the chance to come closer to the talent and trade of famous Cuban artists who guided her in her task, like Pepe Ordaz, Pancho Amat or Eduardo Sosa.
"I took singing lessons at school, but the true singer is made singing, and those people helped a lot. You can be born with the natural conditions to sing; but you must have an 'angel' and an appropriate repertoire that goes with you. There are people who sing very well, but they don't know how to get to the public; and the important thing is to discover that as you go", says Annie.
Right now she is promoting the launching of her first licensed DVD, Sublime Soul, directed by Yadniel Padrón that constitutes a selection of Cuban trova, that includes La Bayamesa as well as songs of Adrián Berazaín.
"The production of this material was very difficult because it needed a large infrastructure. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. I start singing La Bayamesa, a Capella; but I also included songs like Perla Marina of Sindo Garay; Pasión y Prejuicio, of Noel Nicola; No te empeñes más, of Marta Valdés, among others.
"The objective is to give the public an elegant trova. Sometimes the image people have on the troubadour is him seated holding a guitar. In this case we wanted everything to be very flashy: the minstrels ware blazers and the stage of Covarrubias Room at the National Theater was decorated with original vintage lamps. It’s a mixture of trova with classic music that constitutes my academic training.
"I believe I can make the difference like this because I bid trova with symphonic genres that I show differently, through a renewed image. That is a way of approaching people to a music that maybe had never interested them", highlights Annie.
At present the singer is also preparing her first CD with brand new songs, with the purpose of making the public recognize her through new songs.
According to the artist, trova movement is healthy in Cuba right now. This reality has been confirmed in several national events, despite the idea that the popular taste grows towards commercial styles.
"New generations of minstrels are few in Havana: there are people doing excellent jobs, but attaining an effective transmission is always very complicated.
"However, advertising is a personal task for each artist. There are a lot of people who could not afford to pay the resources to reach higher goals, and yet they make their best effort to do their work more visible. You cannot simply wait for a record house to call you, or make a video clip of five thousand dollars if you can make one with a shorter budget", she says.
Following this line of thoughts, the singer emphasizes that beyond the institutional support, it’s important that the youths are insistent to achieve their purposes, because in all times that sector of the population has been regarded with distrust and suspicion for lacking experience.
"But trust is earned with the quality in the job. If you are given a 'no' for an answer I show my talent and try to change that attitude. I understand is nothing easy and many doors are close on your face, but you must also be very responsible and demonstrate a serious work", ended saying Annie.
- Published in Specials