0 10 min 2 mths

Photo credit: Sony Music Colombia and Photographer: Ricardo Pinzón

On this edition of SNAPSHOTS, our guest is a four-time Latin Grammy award winner who not spent the last twelve season as a judge on “La Voz” of Colombia’s “The Voice” but had also just received the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album last month. He will be touring North America beginning in April 2024 for his Tengo Ganas tour – which will be making a stop at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on April 30th!

Let’s welcome the legendary Andrés Cepeda!

Firstly, Andrés, congratulations on your recent nomination at the Latin Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Could you share the inspiration and creative process behind your acclaimed album, the fourteenth certified as a gold record in 2023?

Yes, the process that led us to win this category at the Latin Grammy Awards was a lengthy one, involving two albums. It is a collaborative project of two albums, one called 13 and this more recent 14th. It was a space I began working on during the pandemic, where I wanted to invite a series of artists with whom I feel I have common musical influences, especially in romantic lyrics. I called upon very close friends, people with whom I have great relationships but had not made music before. For example, with Sebastián Yatra, the guys from Cali y el Dandee, the guys from Reik, or with Jesse y Joy, along with a series of guests like Greeicy Rendón. Little by little, I worked with each of them on the songs for these two albums and also introduced a couple of solo songs. In their majority, they are collaborative albums, and the process was very interesting because, with each of these guests, I had the opportunity not only to sing with them but also to write and produce with them, which, for me, was a fantastic experience. Working with other artists and finding other ways in which they approach music, composition, and production gives me tools, nourishes me, gives me new ideas, and I start applying all this learning to the projects I will undertake from now on. So, it was a process of beautiful learning, collaboration, and it culminated in the joy of winning the award. It was a very nice process.

Your album features certified platinum hits like “Como no sé querer,” “Si todo se acaba,” and “Lo que había olvidado.” What led you to choose these songs, and how has the audience’s response influenced the overall success of this album?

The audience’s response is always the most important; it provides the opportunity for albums to be known and for many more people to listen to them. Even in our digitized industry, there is still a lot of potential for someone who loves an album or a song to share it with someone else, what we used to call word of mouth. So, when the audience, when our natural audience likes an album in this way, they present it to other people, and that music starts to travel more and gets exchanged more. On the other hand, I chose the songs thinking a lot about the guests. For example, the song I sang with Greeicy (Rendón) is perfect for her sensual style. It made me think a lot about the Caribbean. So, we looked for something related to that. When I worked with the guys from Reik, I thought the song had to be a very traditional pop hit. When I worked with Sebastián Yatra, for example, it was different; we had to flirt a little with the urban pop sound he has. So, each song is obviously chosen by my personal taste and by the artist I’m collaborating with. They try to bring a bit of their style to mine and create a fusion.

Now, as you prepare for your upcoming tour, including a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York, what can fans expect from your live shows?

Well, last year, we visited Carnegie Hall and had a tour called La Ruta Púrpura, which was a very sober staging, a bit solemn, with a very emotional narrative about the beginnings of my career, the heritage my parents left me with music, all of that. It had a very sober acoustic format. This time, I came with a tour called Tengo Ganas, showing another facet of my career, with much more pop in terms of songs and sounds, a more colorful stage, more energy. The previous tour featured boleros and Latin jazz, and this one leans a bit more towards rock and pop, but obviously, there is a lot of romance and a selection of songs that people can sing along with me. The best songs from my career and some new surprises.

Andrés, how do you approach the emotion and challenges in such an extensive tour?

Emotion basically regulates a significant part of the audience’s energy. They are your great support when facing the wear and tear that an intense tour can produce. So, when you arrive at a venue and find it full, with happy people singing, it recharges you tremendously. The other thing is, I think it is essential to be able to sleep well for enough hours. If one sleeps well at night, for enough hours and eats well, they can face the wear and tear of such an intense tour.

You’re celebrating twelve seasons as a judge on “La Voz” in Colombia. How do you balance your roles as a television personality and as a successful artist with 27 singles, ranking number one with more than 30 gold and platinum albums?

Well, I try to keep that artist or TV personality confined to the studio, to the stage. I try to have a normal home life, as normal as possible, with my wife, friends, and family. I try, although sometimes it’s not that easy, to separate those two situations. To ensure that family life and personal life are affected as little as possible by that other public life. So, it’s somehow like taking off the uniform when returning from work a bit, right? And arriving home to find my partner and enjoy the moments we like to have in our home.

With such an impressive musical career, how do you stay creatively engaged and relevant in the ever-changing music industry? As genres evolve, what advice would you give to emerging artists aiming to become singers?

I feel it has been a good strategy to remain true to one’s style and not try to dance too much with the currents. I think that is dangerous because you can lose your way trying to please the trend of the moment. I believe it helps to stay true to your style. And I also think it is very important to be well surrounded, to have a good team. I like working with people I have been working with for many years, but I also like working with very young people to keep the studio fresh, ideas fresh, lyrics fresh. The people around you are very important. They must be talented, committed, and bring different things to what I already have. No, to help me expand my way of seeing music a bit. The team is very important.

Your social media following has grown to over twelve million. How do you interact with your fans online, and how does digital connection contribute to your artistic journey?

Obviously, it is a tool of vital importance that I pay attention to. I try to ensure that people who follow me find positive, beautiful, and soothing content. I like to share music on my social networks. Sometimes I play the piano, guitar, and sing for them because I feel that’s what I can give at times. I suppose that’s what they expect to receive. Nothing about judgments or political topics, just music, and I feel well rewarded. Because I sense that people enjoy a little moment of music or a pleasant comment, without many pretensions on social media, and I like reading them. I like reading what people think, their opinions, their suggestions, right? Sometimes, people give excellent ideas in their comments, make very interesting suggestions, so I like reading them

In conclusion, an invitation to all your fans here in the DMV area, which includes Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

A big hug to everyone in the DMV, a huge kiss, and we’ll see you very soon to sing together in what will be called the “Tengo Ganas Tour 2024.” So, thank you very much for this space, and a hug to everyone.


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