Billboard Latin Music Awards Nominee Diego El Cigala Discusses his Genre-Evading 'Indestructible' Album

Billboard Latin Music Awards,Diego El Cigala,Flamenco,Salsa music,Latin Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Album

FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL ME Diego El Cigala is a finalist in the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards Tropical Artist of the Year, Solo category. Diego el Cigala made his name in the '90s and early '00s as a titan of contemporary flamenco, but for more than a decade he has enjoyed cross-genre adventures, exploring outside the world of flamenco and winning awards for doing so. When he stepped on stage at Town Hall in New York City last fall -- shoes shined to perfection, shirt unbuttoned to clear space for his beard, a flash of gold jewelry at his ears and fingers -- it was to debut songs from album Indestructible, a finalist in the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards Tropical Artist of the Year, Solo category. The album is in part a tribute to canonical salsa. Speaking with Billboard on the phone through an interpreter a few days before the show, El Cigala acknowledged that some listeners were surprised by his interest in salsa. "People almost didn't believe it," he said. "People didn't expect to hear pure salsa from the '70s and '80s with a flamenco voice." Carlos Alvarez, an engineer credited several times on Indestructible -- you can also find his imprint on records by Marc Anthony, Julio Iglesias, and Alejandro Sanz -- was more trusting. "[El Cigala] brings an incredible amount of energy and beauty to this," he said from Miami during a separate phone conversation. "This guy is a student, the real deal. How can you think that it's not gonna be an interesting listen to have a fusion with that iconic voice?" El Cigala has earned this sort of faith through a series of accomplished zig zags. He won his first Latin Grammy in 2004 for Lágrimas Negras, a collaborative album with the Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés that took home the Best Traditional Tropical Album honor, while his most recent award came in the tango category (his second tango win) for 2013's Romance de la Luna Tucumana. Where genre names denote difference and throw up walls, El Cigala tends to see similarities. "[Salsa] has many rhythmic, lyrical and compositional similarities to flamenco,"...

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