Addys Mercedes – Press Area – Song Infos
1 – Ají Cachucha
Is there such a thing as Cuban swing? Yes, there is. Played with acoustic guitar, violin and stride piano. Addys’ soundtrack on life in the diaspora is a nod in the direction of Pippi Longstocking: “In Europe, I often feel like a brightly coloured bird in a grey world, and I try to change it to my liking. I use Cuban chili, “Ají Cachucha”, to spice up German potatoes so they taste good to me”.
2 – Me Erizo
This is unmistakably dance music, as you can hear from its coquettish ragga grooves, its hypnotic soukous guitar, and violin tremolos. Butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps (“Me Erizo”) are a sign of pleasurable anticipation. In Cuba, the pre-release version ran on “repeat” until everyone was exhausted from singing and dancing.
3 – Pasado Pasado
“I’m leaving the shadows of the past behind me, I’m following my instinct, trusting in the unknown. Don’t follow me …, I want to make a new start.” A thoughtful ballad emerges from the depths of Addys’ warm mezzo voice. Accompanied by bass, guitar, and Lia on the piano, Addys cries out to the world: the past is in the past (“Pasado Pasado”).
4 – Vive la Vida
“Vive La Vida” is a hymn to life. Addys’ motto: “Live life as it comes” balances her joie de vivre with Cuban fatalism. “Vive La Vida” – a song for dancing the night away – is bursting with energy. The music is influenced by Argentine tango and Dominican pambiche, the most highly syncopated version of merengue. In the video clip, Addys is cycling through Havana on a rickety old bicycle, putting up posters with her message on the walls of the houses.
5 – Silbando a la Luna
Addys, enrobed in sounds of dreamy African guitar picking and acoustic deep house, is running into the night, somewhere between yesterday and today, whistling to the moon.
6 – Extraña
(en: strange; unfamiliar)
“I’m the tree in your garden, from a distant land. My flavor has a bitter taste. I’m a habanero chili, a feast for your tongue, a breath of life, I’m light and I’m peace. I’m strange to you, dark and disturbing, dust on your shoes, mother earth. I’m the ship in your harbor, hidden treasure, the pinch of salt in your tears. I’m a stranger in your world, I’m a vagrant made of sun and sugar cane; why am I a stranger to you?”
7 – Cosibate
Electro swing, with its mambo trumpets and wild melodies on the violin, evokes a burlesque from the Twenties and Thirties. Addys coined the term “cosibate”, combining the words “coser” (to sew) and “batir“ (to beat/to swing your hips). “With a mug of hot chocolate to hand, I’m sewing myself a dream dress. Like a Cuban Cinderella, I’ll turn into a dancing beauty in a fairy tale.”
8 – Doña Rosa
A jazz waltz in honor of Doña Rosa, with sustained melodies and pizzicati on the violin. “For my first concert, my Mother brought me a dress belonging to a lady who had died; it had been given to her as a present. We had no money for new clothes. I think about how I can go on living Doña Rosa’s life.”
9 – Pa Crecer
A somewhat capricious woman is leaving her practically minded and unromantic husband because he always thinks up the wrong things to give her. She can’t work up any enthusiasm for red wine in a Tetra Pak, or rings from a chewing gum vending machine, or for a trip to Greenland while she’s dreaming of Senegal. Smugly, she says her good-byes: “As your mother used to say, this experience will make you wiser.” The song is based on a cumbia, a Colombian rhythm that has inspired Addys since her debut album. Cuba is a mere 500 sea miles from Colombia, but Addys only got to know this rich tradition better when she came to Europe, through her friendship with other Latinos.
10 – Mi Deseo
A singer/songwriter ballad recounting the innumerable wishes Addys has been collecting in an old ink-well. A magic spell might make them come true.
11 – Amor Colao
Against a background of atmospheric tremolo from the guitar and pizzicati from the violin, Addys sings of a relationship that has fallen into a routine, and acquired the taste of watered-down filter coffee. Where’s the freshness of love between twenty somethings, where’s its strong taste of espresso? Finally, the song changes to a charanga rhythm, a style of music from the 1940s that has been in steady decline in Cuba.
12 – Guajira
A “Guajira” is both a country woman and a traditional style of music. In the verses of this song, Addys uses ambiguity and irony to describe many Cuban women’s views on how to keep their menfolk from taking a lover. In the refrain, “Guajira” is warned “not to let the rice burn”.
13 – Nada
“My Mother wanted me to do an apprenticeship at a local factory in addition to my music. The factory produces nickel for export that is extracted under circumstances that are a health hazard. Then I got a singing engagement at Guardalavaca Tourist Center. While the tourists were offered every conceivable luxury, the factory workers worried about where the next meal was coming from, and were left with nothing, nada.” This is a new recording of her hit “Nada”, which evolved from the song “No Queda Nada”, originally in the album “Locomotora a Cuba”, and which could previously only be downloaded as a single.