Walking through freshly fallen snow to talk to an Argentinean singer and songwriter may seem a bit incommensurate, albeit rather nice when on your way to meet this very likable chap at his place in our Saxon adoptive home of Leipzig. Seeing that the buzz term ‘understanding among nations’ is currently being put to the test in this neck of the woods, I found it rather refreshing to talk to somebody who’s not been here long, and – this is what you are about to find out – has a heart big enough for two.
So here’s the gist of a lovely 2-hour conversation with Edu. Picture us sipping on cups of tea while listening to José González.
Here you can read why you should definitely not miss the Latin night with Edu Lopez (Argentina), the band Los del Barrio (Mexico) and the ensuing fiesta at the Mambodrom cellar (A&O Hostel, Brandenburger Str. 2), on Saturday 23rd at 7:30pm. Entry is just €3.
1. Could you introduce yourself in a few words?
I’ve been a father for 5 years now, and that’s the most important thing in my life. And then I’ve been writing and performing my songs for over 15 years. I just can’t stop doing it! There have been times when I tried to steer away from it, but I couldn’t. It’s just what I do. I’m a singer & songwriter, 32 years old from Cordoba in Argentina. Before I came to Leipzig last summer, I lived in Spain for 2 years, and I had lived and worked as a musician in Mexico for a few years as well.
2. Can you describe your musical youth? What are your first memories of listening to or making music?
I’ve always liked jazz. A lot of people start listening to a different kind of music, maybe rock or something else and then end up listening to jazz. I’ve always been into jazz, although neither of my parents are musicians. But they wanted me to play an instrument and make me become creative. I’m grateful for them giving me the chance to experience with different instruments in order to find one I really like. So after playing the piano and the saxophone and also the drums for a while, I ended up taking to the guitar a little bit more. It’s a great companion for writing your own songs, travelling and performing. Oh yes, singing has always been what I liked doing most, and the guitar is just great company for me.
3. What kind of music do you do these days? We´ve heard you play some of your own songs at Poniatowski – how would you describe your style?
There’s a jazzy side to me and a more acoustic-pop side, the latter of which I exploit to write love songs. But there’s always a few jazz elements in there as well, and it is my goal to hone my style in order to create a bigger mixture of the two by applying jazzy vocals to my pop songs. I strive for being able to be musical without neglecting my feelings.
I once read that your style is defined by your flaws, and I totally agree with that. So what defines my music is what’s not fully developed, which is both jazzy and pop elements. I’ve been a jazz vocalist for a very long time, too long maybe, so I want to develop my singer and songwriter side a bit more, and maybe even join or start a band one day soon. There’s material waiting to be released on an album one day, and it would be great to be able to realise it.
4. What’s been your most intense, interesting or moving musical experience?
There are a lot of memorable moments, like the first time I was on stage when I was 7 years old. Or when I was on TV, and when somebody asked me for an autograph. Most interesting for me was to be given the chance to study abroad and get instruction from really good teachers. Travelling was made easy just by playing my music and sharing a stage with some amazing musicians.
Ultimately, the coincidence factor of finding yourself on stage and then receiving a very rewarding reception by the audience is what gives me the greatest moments. And finishing a new song, playing it to myself and experiencing this rather intense moment. It’s a very personal experience, and maybe that’s why I often hesitate to play my own songs to myself months or years after I have finished them.
5. What’s it feel like to be living in Leipzig? Is there anything you miss about Argentina or Spain?
Of course it’s a bit cold now, but I’ve come to like the place. I really like the fact that there’s a big international community here, and many people from many countries have been really supportive. There’s a lot of culture and arts going on here, and it’s probably the city with the biggest cultural life I’ve ever lived in. I have yet to meet people from here on a more personal level, but it feels good living here. And I love the nature! The trees, the greenery, the snow – everything. What do I miss? Family, friends, and – curiously enough – Mexican food, even though I just lived there for a few years. Mexican food is probably the tastiest food with the most variety of flavour I’ve ever experienced.
One thing that I find about living in a northern European country for the first time is that it’s not as easy to get in touch with the locals. But like I said, there’s a nice international community here, and that´s something I missed about living in Spain, for example.
6. What’s your biggest dream?
I’m living my dream. I don’t see a dream as my goal, instead I see challenges on every day of my life. I have a beautiful daughter, an intelligent wife, and time to live for and with my music. That’s something not many people can say for themselves, so I’m very happy and grateful to be able to do so. Having my family and settling down in a place is living the dream for me.
7. Some of your songs are in English, most are in Spanish. What can you tell those who don’t speak Spanish about your songs?
They are love songs, meaning songs that tell a story about love that have happened to me over the course of time. In high school, I liked a girl when I was 15 or so, and that’s when I wrote my first song. Then there’ve been so many personal stories that I turned into songs, but also stories that I’ve seen other people encounter or tell. Sometimes I write the lyrics first, and the song is waiting in the drawer until the right melody pops up. However, most of the time it just falls into place when I pick up the guitar and start playing.
Thank you Edu, it’s been a right pleasure talking to you. See you all on Saturday at 7:30!