With overflowing energy comes the bassist from Guantanamo Yelsy Heredia and his “urban changüí” to defend “Lo Nuestro.”
This is the title of the DVD produced by Bis Music record house and which will be premiered in January to the Cuban public, although in November will be available in digital platforms. Although he has lived for 21 years in Spain, he doesn't forget his childhood mischiefs in Guaso, neither the musical training received in Cuba.
Although with a slight accent from Spain, Yelsy says nagüe and compay as matter-of-factly as he play the contrabass with the tempo of flamenco, jazz or changui in its strings doesn’t disappear, it’s renewed with a different format, instruments that normally are not used to play that genre, but a total attachment to the original sound:
“It’s urban changüí because I always want to clarify that I approach it from the changui to another music, despite the mobility of formats and all the genres I am mixing, from changüí I approach another music. I am making changüí by my own rights and I know how to tell apart what I can change and what I can contribute within the changüí.
“I have taken many licenses, but I have had the most important voice of the genre…”
This how he introduces Celso Puente, one of the guests in the album and, apparently, the changüí compass of Lo Nuestro. The DVD also features the voices of Daimé Arocena, Kelvis Ochoa and the rapper duet La Reina and La Real. However, in any case they were randomly invited, neither in the choosing of the instrumentalists who participated:
“With the musicians I work are people who admire that sound, I was very coherent in that regard, because I thought to myself, well, these people are those who worship this type of music, they will surely help me and rather than to add, they will multiply that sound…”
In his career Yelsy Heredia has habitually accompanied important musicians like Bebo and Chucho Valdés, Diego el Cigala, Salif Keita, among others and he has recorded three albums, but there’s something special in this new creation:
“With Lo Nuestro, more than ever, appears in me the feeling of belonging to my homeland, Guantánamo, because I have always been, the Cuban musician playing flamenco, I said, no, no, now I will be the Cuban musician who is playing by his own right, playing what is ours…”
In Lo Nuestro women play changüí blessed heresy! Changüí with rap, changüí with jazz, changüí with tamales and with yucca, it’s not the same, but it’s the same because it’s made in Cuba, for Cuban talents, with authenticity:
“Lo Nuestro is a hundred per cent Yelsi Heredia, I have been collaborating all these years, it’s not like I’m not committed, those who have seen me on stage know that I do, but it’s only a percent because I am at the beck and call of that project, all that knowledge has been there, but I insist that from changüí I approach other genres, this is a hundred per cent Cuban.
The DVD shows not just Yelsi Heredia’s image, sound and Cuban identity, according to critics that is unavoidable in everything he does, however he affirms that his life is in Lo Nuestro:
“This album is autobiographical and in the text of Lo Nuestro I wrote: I don't pretend to be as popular as Dan Den, or Revé, I was born with this sound, defending the Cuban identity and later what was foreign, my brother, I follow my path, defending my changüí, accepting what I am, so no one could ever say that I don't take care what’s ours and I show off of what was lent, that is why I have always been with great personalities, with Diego el Cigala, with maestro Chucho Valdés, but I am nail and hammer, speaking bad and fast, representing Guantánamo and its music which is also Cuba.”