London, .- “A direct disc to the interior light that inhabits the hearts of each one of the people”. This is how guitarist Carlos Santana described Efe’s upcoming musical release “Africa Speaks” (Africa habla), which invites listeners to connect with the deepest part of their being.
“The goal of the band is to awaken as many brothers and sisters on this planet as we can, to embrace their own light and take out all that arrogant and cynical energy that scratches us,” said the artist, considered one of the 100 best guitarists of history – specifically number 20 – by the magazine “Rolling Stone”.
At 71, Santana is “in the best moment” of his entire professional career and also personal, since innocence has never left him and he still thirsts for adventures and desire to discover new things.
His “mystic” thoughts, as he calls them, are reflected in the eleven songs of his last album “Africa Speaks”, thanks to the rhythms and melodies of the African continent, which he has visited several times.
“Africa is connected to our origins, when the first men on Earth were not tied to technology to the point of being disconnected from themselves as it is now,” said this guitar legend.
African music has always been an inspiration to him, even before his interpretation of “Soul Sacrifice” and his Latin American roots made history at the Woodstock festival (Bethel, New York) in 1969.
“When you listen to African rhythms, you start dancing without knowing why and their vibrations remind you that if you are not happy with yourself, nothing you do will work, everything is as simple as being happy,” he reflected.
Fifty years after Santana seduced more than 500,000 attendees in that musical event, summit of the hippie movement and the counterculture, the pioneer guitarist of Latin rock is still remembering what he thought then.
“What I remember of Woodstock is totality and fullness, being on the stage in front of all those people was when I became aware that there is something bigger than the flags and religion, which are the hearts of the people,” he said.
And, precisely, penetrating the soul of their audience and making them feel a “supreme delight” has been a constant in each performance that has made the ten-time Grammy Award winner and three Latin Grammy throughout his life.
“As Maya Angelou – a writer, singer and civil rights activist from the United States – said, people will forget what you said and what you did, but you will never forget how you made her feel,” the musician quoted.
To the African cadence and the guitar solos of Santana that appear in “Africa Speaks” is added the gypsy voice of the Spanish singer of Equatorial Guinean parents, Concha Buika, a “diamond in the rough” for the artist, who assures to hear Nina Simone , Etta James, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin in their songs.
The album number 25 of Santana has had the collaboration of record producer Rick Rubin, in addition to the eight members who are part of the band, among which is the drummer and guitarist woman, Cindy Blackman Santana, his “goddess , lover, musical partner and friend, “he confessed.
In 10 days, the team recorded 49 songs “full of energy” at the Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, which, from the technical point of view, “are connected by grace, as when the planets line the Universe,” he stressed. Santana
“Africa Speaks”, “Batonga”, “Hey this my song”, “I deserve it”, “Blue skies”, “Burnt paradises”, “Breaking down the door”, “The invisibles”, “Luna sorceress”, “Bembele” and “Candombe cumbele” are the titles that give name to the African rhythms in their new album, which is released on June 7 with Concord Records.
“Los invisibles” has already made the deepest feelings of the public bloom since its premiere last January but, for Santana, the last song of the album “Candombe cumbele” is the track that will captivate listeners because, he added, “it’s about a spell, a divine spell. “
The guitar magician, who has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, wants fans to “dance, laugh and cry at the same time without knowing why, as something normal in nature, like when a woman gives birth”.
“Africa Speaks” reveals the essence of the guitarist and his conception of music as something “sacred and mystical” that unites his heart with that of others immediately.
“When I play the guitar, I seek to awaken a global collective consciousness, so that people feel compassion, defend integrity and do not be afraid to embrace their inner light, madness, huh?” Santana asked.