a Native of western Cuba, the singer Cimafunk trace his road to success. At the crossroads of the afro-cuban and funk, the thirty-year-old is already hailed by Billboard, who sees in him nothing less than “the revelation of cuba, to 2018”. The New Yorker , he believes that “the magic of Cimafunk reaches its climax when he sings live”. When we meet for a morning coffee, Erik Iglesias Rodriguez speaks with enthusiasm alternately in English and in Spanish. And even a little French.
LE FIGARO.- Before you launch into the song and mix funk, cuban music and african rhythms, you were a medical student. How did this shift?
CIMAFUNK.- I was listening to a lot of types of music, more young, than I do bound not necessarily to the movement funk stricto sensu, and of course a lot of cuban music, especially timba. But I started with reggaeton that was THE music of the time for me. It was what was listened to in my medical school in the forest, in fact, where I remained two years. I have not completed my studies. To the age of 21, I moved to Havana. Then this is the trova (songs and traditional music, taking its origin from the music poetic, medieval, ed.) who came to me. I met more people and I was aware of most of the musical worlds. I’m not a musician and academic, and I don’t know necessarily all the chords, I play mostly by ear. I’ve collaborated with a lot of cuban artists in the capital, all related to funk in one way or another. To force the entire mix, I have come to find me.
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Y siguen preguntando por allí… #quecosa #dicelagente #entrevistascallejeras #estoesloquehay
So how would you define yourself?
My name, which is a contraction of two words, gives a lot of clues on my person! First, there are cimarron ( black-brown, ed. ) which refers to the fugitive slaves who settled in the mountains in cuba to lead a free life, is one of the emblems of the afro-cuban culture. These people have created their own culture, their system and their music of course. They lived free in their forest, even if they knew the fear and the anger. And the other part of my username relates to the funk, of course, for the music that derives from it. It is a style that has given birth to so much more! All the musics in the United States that have really hatched after the funk contain a part in them.
Your first album Receives , of which you are also the producer shall be released by the end of 2017. It has met a great success with the critics and the first single Me Voy has over a million views on YouTube. Were you hoping such a success?
Not really, but I’m delighted with it. On my island, which is my main market, I am known to almost everyone. When I exceed the boundaries it is always a happy surprise to be so well received. I’ve really started abroad since this spring, where I taught a lot of dates in the United States. I don’t know exactly what that think the audiences who come to my concerts, but I think it is a good time. The live shows help to give the true essence of the songs. For example, I was prompted to re-record one of my songs after you have made several times in live because I realized that this is the way that I had found all its meaning. I try to produce the most possible. It’s funny but when people come to see me in concert they don’t necessarily know who I am. They do not say necessarily that I am a cuban first.
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You collaborate yet with stars of the cuban song, like the pianist Roberto Carcassés, Irakere, José Luis Cortés or Juana Bacallao…
of Course, but the musical reference cuban major rest of Buena Vista Social Club. We think first of the traditional side of the music, which is not the salsa. There is not a large export of cuban music… It is definitely not in the tops of the platforms of streaming, even if the latin style is very much in vogue. I always come back to Cuba, either physically, because that’s where I reside, or in the message that I try to instill in my songs. My lyrics deal with the cuban mentality, the good feeling . It is necessary to do good, to know what we need to be happy and put it in place. We need sex, affection, love, eat… in Short, do not ignore your basic needs, enjoy yourself ! Do not live for others but for you. We all have the same needs because we like them all!!!
Cimafunk will be in concert on 19/07 at the Festival the Green Lizard to Saint Etienne de Furzac, the 20/07 to Chanac at the festival Detours of the world, the 25/07 to The Bellevilloise, the 27/07 at Zik Zac Festival, in Aix-en-Provence, the 28/07 to Vic Fezensac for the Festival Tempo Latino, in Carolles the 31/07 the Jazz to the Bay, the 01/08 to Vence for The Nights of the south and the 02/08à Crozon for the Festival of the End of the World.