INTERVIEW |  Emilio Aragon: "When there are politicians who divide us, music builds bridges"

The versatile Emilio Aragón returns this Wednesday with his program BSO, a space in Movistar + (at 10 pm at # 0, dial 7 and on its platform) where it welcomes stars from various fields together with whom it reviews its life and career with music as the common thread. Antonio Banderas is the first of his guests and they will follow Dani Rovira, Alaska and Lolita.

Based on what do you select your guests? Each one has a story. With Antonio Banderas we had said many times that we had to do something together and this was the occasion. I love Dani very much and after everything that happened I wanted to talk to him about music and life. To Alaska … strangely we had seen each other on occasion, but minutes, but last time we said that we should slow down and talk. And Lolita was a pending subject as well, because she is an artist like the crown of a pine tree.

Does it happen a lot in show business to meet people but not meet them? Yes, it happens a lot, it’s funny. The public thinks that we all know each other and the truth is that since I do not lavish myself much, I only know the colleagues with whom I have worked. Beyond that, there have been coincidences in some award ceremony and specific things.

Is there a song that your guests ask a lot of you? Mediterranean. We have played it in two programs, Banderas and Lolita, and we have done two different versions. And they have asked for it in someone else, but it seemed too much. Mediterranean it has become a hymn. On people’s soundtrack song list Mediterranean always occupies a preferential place.

What song is in Emilio Aragón’s preferred place? When I asked myself that, I realized how complicated it is to say seven or eight songs, because nobody has so few, we have many, some with more weight than others. But I can tell you that any song by James Taylor, by Cat Stevens, Hotel California by The Eagles and any work by Ravel or Prokofiev and in jazz, well, from North American to Brazilian, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis… It’s very complicated.

Are the guests represented in the kind of portraits that are made of them? Well, yes, above all what amuses them is to see the version that each artist does, which is the fun, that each one makes a version. Some want to respect the original song and others want to change it and we roll up our sleeves and think about what to do.

For example, there was a very beautiful and magical moment in which due to a rights issue the night before the recording of the program, a song that we were going to do Bebe, Cristian, de Moret and I were denied permission and we had to think of a song new, Fight of the giants and we rehearsed it while on the set, for at most two hours and what appeared on the screen on the day of Belén Rueda’s program was conceived at that moment.

You already have a solid career, but are you still learning from those guests and what? Of everything. On the one hand, as they are colleagues in the profession, we have many things in common when they tell stories or moments in their lives, we have things in common, which is the profession itself that gives it to you. But then there is a rule that is repeated and that is that the taller and bigger, the more humble.

Music is an emotional enhancer, right? The music makes a Palestinian and a Jew sit in the same orchestra, on the same lectern. When there are politicians who are dividing us, music makes a Russian and a German, who do not speak the same language, play together. Music builds bridges. Music is medicine.

Did that happen with his father, who continues to mark generations? I am still excited to hear the grandchildren of friends of mine singing those songs. My father would be very excited, happy and proud that his repertoire of songs continues to be sung. And it is not only sung by children, they are sung at weddings, at bachelor parties … they have transcended everything.

Were you tempted to do something other than pursue the family career? Yes, my grandfather on my mother’s side was a pilot and I wanted to be a pilot for a time, but there was a moment when the genes on one side pulled more. Even so, I was able to fly for a few hours and I went to examine it, but that remained an illusion that I occasionally satisfy by getting on and flying in a plane.

He has presented, he has produced, he has made TV, music, cinema … Is he the modern version of the renaissance man? Far from it, all I am is curious. Life has given me the opportunity to experiment and do other things. For that I am grateful, because I have done radio, TV, theater, cinema … and more.

In the field of music I would like to have time to learn more instruments. I have about ten years or so interesting assets left, then the body starts saying no and I hope I can still experience something new.

And what are you going to do after those ten years? The great thing about music and acting or writing scripts or directing is that they will allow me to die with my boots on. What I won’t be able to do is long tours or things like that.

Are you one of those who think that when we die we should not regret having left something to do? For now … if I had to go tomorrow, I’m happy with what I’ve done. I am satisfied with what I have done, but as a restless person I would love the opportunity to do more.

For example, in cinema I have never done a thriller, I have not done a musical … there are so many things to do. On TV there are genres that I have not done and in music there are styles that I have not played. I am still many years old.

Does it bother you that clown is used as a derogatory term? No, because the prejudice is in who says it, nothing more. It is a beautiful and beautiful word and profession. In fact, I am preparing a show for this Christmas that revolves around the circus.

Humor and entertainment tend to be considered trivial, have we put it in value with the pandemic? I think it has always been in value. In this profession everyone knows how complicated it is to make comedy and write it. Throughout history, anyone who has done comedy and drama will tell you that the most difficult thing is comedy. Humor is therapeutic and has served us as medicine for those months of confinement and pandemic.

You were in front of the cameras and at a critical moment you went into the background, how did it feel to walk away from fame? It is that I needed it. Being in front of the camera physically takes you a long time and it did not let me undertake other projects. Going to the other side of the camera, I was able to start some of the ideas I had in mind: writing a book, film and TV scripts, composing for other musicians, producing … in front of the camera I couldn’t. And that’s why it was the decision. Once I stepped back it felt great to have a little more time.

Fame hooked, did you miss it? Honestly, I have not missed it. It was a very natural process. You assimilate it because if you don’t appear on the screen and another generation arrives that doesn’t know you… it’s a calm and slow transition. He didn’t need it, getting out of it was something he wanted. The first year I was out of Spain, then I came, I went back … it was something quiet.

In the family tradition of entertainment, who of their descendants points out ways? None of my children, although all three have developed their work in the creative field. Two in fashion and one in advertising and communication, but none in music or entertainment. They have had the freedom to do what they wanted and what fulfills them.

You are one of the few Spaniards who knew Britney Spears personally, when she appeared in ‘Family Doctor’ … The deal I had with her was the hour it took us to make the recording of that scene. It was something that I don’t quite remember how it came about, but it was forged in three days. She came with her mother and I think I remember that she was a very young girl, 17 years old and having her first big hit. She was very nice, we did the sequence and she left.

Is it a face that we sometimes do not see of fame, when it is twisted? It happens in any field, in sports, in the cinema, on television, in politics … there are ways of managing popularity and fame and everyone does it as best they can. Everyone’s psychology is a universe.

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