Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Just like water, Carlos Santana seeks his own level

Supernatural... In Latin

  • Print

Carlos Santana has a flair for the dramatic. When asked about his current run of arena shows with Rod Stewart -- an 18-date tour dramatically billed The Voice. The Guitar. The Songs, which arrives at the MTS Centre on Friday night -- he responds: "I feel very honoured to be a part of this glorious event." And yet, you can tell he is being 100 per cent sincere.

 

Carlos Santana compares himself to water. "I'm not a patriotic guy -- I believe in one family. This whole planet is my family. It's important for me to play music and be relevant to everyone. It's wonderful to feel like water -- everyone wants and needs you." And yet, he doesn't sound self-important when he says this. He sounds grateful.

We are discussing Santana's latest studio album, 2014's Corazòn, the 67-year-old guitar legend's first Latin music recording. That the record has topped the iTunes album chart in 24 countries -- and was the top-selling Latin music album in the United States for six consecutive weeks -- speaks to both Santana's reach and the appetite for a Spanish-language album. It's hard to believe it took more than four decades and more than 20 albums to get here, but Santana says the world wasn't ready for Corazòn until now. "It was perfect timing," he says. "It seems like America is embracing the Spanish and Latin community and recognizing that it's part of its tapestry."

Corazòn is a collaborative effort with an all-star cast of Latin music's biggest players, including Gloria Estefan, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Juanes, Ziggy Marley, ChocQuibTown, Lila Downs, Pitbull and many more.

"The idea came from my brother-in-law, Michael (who is now Santana's manager). He said, 'Why don't you do Supernatural in Spanish with Latin people?'

Supernatural, of course, is Santana's career-resetting 1999 album. Featuring collaborations with Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, CeeLo Green and more, the record went on to win nine Grammy Awards and become Santana's most commercially successful release, going platinum in the U.S. 15 times and selling more than 30 million copies worldwide.

It's a good thing Santana thrives on collaboration. "It was very natural and a lot of fun," he says of making Corazòn, adding he especially enjoyed recording with the women in his illustrious group.

"It's their heart. I love surrounding myself with that heart." In fact, he recently told California's Orange Country Register that his trademark solos are informed more by the vocal acrobatics of female singers than the guitar heroics of other axe-slingers.

Each song was matched up to an artist in a way that best played to their strengths.

"The songs are like glass slippers. And then we find Cinderella and Cinderfella," he says. (It's a line he's used in interviews before.) "We paid particular attention to how that person fits that song. You'll send it to someone and they'll say, 'Ah, yes, I hear myself in that song.'"

Most of Santana's co-conspirators were able to make the trip to Las Vegas to record with him.

"It was unique," he says. "It was like watching babies come out. It's the same process every time, but the results are all individual. And they are all handled with love."

Handling songs with love is what Carlos Santana has built a career on. He's a deeply spiritual guy -- and he doesn't speak in empty platitudes. He believes that music has the power to change the world. It's why he kept making it, even when it wasn't always bankable.

"Bob Marley, One Love -- I believe in those songs," he says. "I believe we can inspire people -- political leaders, religious leaders -- to come together and do their jobs. Because they're not doing their jobs. They're a billboard on the freeway with nothing behind it. I do my job. I make a difference. For me, this isn't a profession. It's a way to heal. It's a way to bring people together."

jen.zoratti@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 7, 2014 C7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: Those Damn Hipster Things

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google