Antonio Carmona: “When I Wasn’t Famous, They Filled My Car With Graffiti: ‘Out Of The Neighborhood'”

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Photo: Javier Barabancho
Photo: Javier Barabancho

The former Ketma singer is the ambassador of the new Citron C5X. After a successful collaboration with C. Tangana, the guitarist is producing a new album and a documentary about the music of the Gypsies in Europe.

You have recorded ‘Me Mateen’ with Si Tangana, which has been a hit. How was that family table?
Pucho is a very up-to-date musician and has set the bar very high. You learn a lot with him.
Now your nephew and your daughters go on tour with him. Is he stealing musicians from you?
No, they are doing great shows where they have fun. He is a man who has won the hearts of all carmen.
Which projects are you involved in?
In November I’m going to record a live album and I’m working on another studio album. In addition, I am preparing a documentary based on my experience with several Romanian and Portuguese gypsies … I would like to have a meeting with them because the music of gypsies in Europe is very unknown.
You have said that playing with your father was more important to you than Cameron or Paco de Luca.
You have given me three impressive artists. I toured with Cameron and Paco de Luca, but I was very honored to see my father play up close. I could ask him, “Dad, is this Alegria or the only one?”
What advice did he give you?
Always keep your feet on the ground as this profession is very short lasting. One day they are worshiping you, and the next you are neither playing on the radio nor filling the place with 20,000 people. It is a very variable profession. My father is one of those guys who traveled around the cities playing guitar with Farruco, Paco De Luca and Cameron, but he also played with fans. His rings never fell. We have always been very ordinary people. He asked me to become a musician before becoming an artist.
Ketma brought many people closer to flamenco.
The fusion I do was because my father brought a lot of Latin music from America. He was a very open boy, even though he came from the purest flamenco. It was on those albums that I started making my own music and fusion.
Have you misunderstood flamencos?
It gives you courage. Because there are singers who don’t have a platform for people to know them. I have seen influential musicians and guitarists who have faded over time.
In Spain, we care very little about flamenco.
There are many musicians who are not known, who were idols to us.
How which?
gypsy indian, ramen, portuguese, gerardo nez… I was lucky enough to be able to play on the radio at the right time, meet influential people, and create the music I create. I’ve been very lucky, but there are many flamenco people who wonder: “Why didn’t they come because they were such good musicians?” This is somewhat incomprehensible. Then you go to France, Japan and Italy and there they are blown away by artists that nobody here knows.
What is the worst thing purists have said about you?
That it was inexplicable, that we created heresy and that it was not flamenco at all. To up to half of Spain, we did more. Down, a little. Earlier, in the 80s, they didn’t like or understand us.
And when did they succeed?
Later the same people said that we are the benchmark. But, when we started, there were very few people who left pure, conservative flamenco.
Are Purists Harming Flamenco?
Purists defend flamenco and want to put it in a pot. And it cannot happen. I love that flamenco is kept in its purest state, but there are other artists that we like that can be mixed with other roots.
Flamenco is born out of misery, what inspires you?
And of happiness too. From fatigue, of course. Gypsies are a wandering people. It is believed that he left India and started traveling all over Europe. There is a share of pain and misunderstanding, but if you want joy in your life, put on flamenco and your sorrows will go away.
You ran from Ketama’s voice, right at the moment when it hit hardest. Do you like to go upstream?
No, I didn’t say that. I feel very proud of Ketma Sound. Most of the music you hear on the radio now is because of the ragas and beats that we made in the 80s. People really absorbed it. Obviously I won’t take a step back now because I want to grow and I have different perspectives.
Did you feel lonely after leaving the group?
I was very lucky because I met a guy named Gustavo Santolla, who is just like me Quincy Jones Latino, He is an artist who has produced many people, whose film did he make? Brokeback Mountain hey uproar And all of a sudden when I left Ketma I thought it must have a more American sound. I went to Los Angeles to meet Gustavo and when I arrived, I sang his songs on guitar and vocals. From there I did my three solo albums with him.
Has Antonio Carmona broken too many molds?
I have broken many guitars and many cajons. There is a stamp and a personality in my music. It is better to have a personality and be known for one’s own distinct music, than to be in a musical stream that has 500 musicians who don’t even know who they are.
You were the first person in my family to marry a clown. Is this still somewhat rare or does it happen more often?
Thank God the world has opened up and now it happens more often. Now you can watch gay and lesbian gypsies. For me, it was a difficult and painful moment, because we come from a very gypsy family, where they were not used to going out cannons and mingling with other races, but now have a great naturalness and common sense .
Is there still a lot of discrimination against Roma?
very. According to statistics, the most rejected are gypsies.
have you lived it?
Muchsimo.
to be famous
When he didn’t know.
give me an example.
Suddenly leaving his house and finding his car full of graffiti that says “outside the neighborhood”. I have felt racism quite hard.
Does this keep happening?
Now I’m not. But I think there is still a disapproval towards gypsies, blacks and Arabs. We still have much to learn.
Best flamenco party you’ve ever had?
With Parrita and Camarn, the last time I met them at a kid’s house in Seville. We left after playing. I was playing percussion with Cameron. Vena Tomatito and my brother Juan. but come on a few weeks ago i did a sin with rosario and lolita too and it was the best too [re],
Don’t lose good habits.
We really like to enjoy ourselves. We’re always composing and suddenly we spend all night listening to them pescalla, Lola Flores or Cameron. Maybe we don’t take out the guitar and we’re just listening or we grab the guitar and play 20 hours a day. This is our life.
Are there still too many drugs in those sori?
For now all is calm. People my age are more fond of whiskey and wine.
There were two days of parties at your house. What do you learn on those spree?
This is a very important job. He used to come from work from 10 pm to 5 am. Seven uninterrupted hours playing for parties. When they finished, he said: “Let’s play for ourselves and have a cottage.” And then Enrique Morante, Manzanita, Cao Roto, Faruco began to appear at my house … You could not sleep in the bed. That sing-song got you out of bed and joined the party. I am very lucky to have a father, who has been a very respected and respected figure among flamenco. He was one hell of a guitar player and has always blessed the friends who came to eat a plate of stew. We like to listen to each other and we play the guitar when we feel comfortable.
Sometimes you’re not comfortable?
It’s one thing to go out on stage to make money and another to be at home with a bottle of wine and a plate of ham and listen to others.
Do you like it more at home?
They both enjoy each other. I love to travel, grab my Citrain and ride with my daughters and visit Spain. Carmona is now in a pivotal moment in terms of music. I need to travel and get on stage. I can’t be at home.
As a teenager you devoted yourself to selling windows. Are you a good trader?
We gypsies have always been good traders. It is going on since ancient times. The best merchants have always been Jews and Gypsies. I’ve sold paint, glasses and chocolate since I was 10 or 12. I always like to have my freedom and money in my pocket. I sold everything until I was able to make a living as a musician at the age of 14.
When did you first come on stage?
It was a tribute to Rodri, who was an Atlético de Madrid player. I’m a mattress That would be like 12 years old. I got my first salary.
At that age, children no longer even know how to tie shoes.
Today’s children have to live more life by leaving more mobiles. I come from the Campamento neighborhood where it was a pleasure to go out with coworkers. I had the Casa de Campo opposite. The monitor is less a way of looking at things on the computer and more of a way of life.
That neighborhood life is now lost. Now the kids are in a bubble.
The bullet is the enemy of children. Don’t give him a tablet: Give him a book, a conversation, or a game where he learns.
You were complaining that this country is like shooting a mud pigeon: the higher you go, the more they will shoot you and fuck you.
He has caused me great harm with many criticisms, many people who did not understand my music or did not want to understand it. He has told me everything that can be said. But look at the channel, now the whole world is crazy about it. And he is a great artist and a great fighter who deserves to be in the top positions in the world. It is very difficult to dance and sing together. When she is on top, they will kill the mud pigeons with her. Spain is like that.
Carmona with new Citro
Carmona with the new Citroen C5X.Javier Barabancho

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