|Alí Primera's Biography.
"The last interview to Alí Primera."
"I am peasant in my education, in man's main experiences, in his childhood, his birds music, of winds from north and south, from east, in xerophilous Paraguaná trees, in dry Paraguaná, but at the same time of the affectionate, musical, solidary Paraguaná, peasents songs during the sowing, songs about May's Cross, prayers, meringues, waltzes, with old bugles and violins, four-string guitar with goat cords, the song that filled me the spirit and the soul has born there".
"I used to perform serenades before having in mind a different intention with the song, I performed many serenades in the University, when we were living in the university residence, in that beautiful afe of the University and once they broke into the University in '66, I ended up in the Digepol's cellars and there watching through a window I saw a child running and I said: We fight for them and, I wrote a song that was called "Humanity" that I inaugurated it in the Great Hall, in December I remember. And it was sung by lots of people and by Quique Larralde, who once sang barefoot and with a soldier uniform in a Caracas' street, from there I realized the meaning of this song".
"My song has a principal influence: my people's experiences. Later, of course, I have known the beautiful songs of the Latin America South, Central America, Cuba, that are very beautiful, they are also flowers of the same Latin American tree of which we are part of, but my song is substantially Venezuelan, though it's called at the same time Latin American".
During the sixties, seventies, was there a group of singers, a group that protested singing?
- "No, when I started, I did not know anything about the term "protest", the term that by the way I directly reject, categorically, because I do not protest, I do not sing for protesting, I sing for summoning, for being part of a conscience due to the song. Protesting sometimes is simply presenting a spiritual inconvenience before a situation but no more. I sing and I'm active with the song, with the song as weapon, as help, as support".
"I am not in the margin of what song demands, what song says, what songs denounces, I have not remained in the margin, because the matter is not only to denounce an unjust situation but to fight thoroughly, behaviourily present so that such situation could no longer exist, nor gravitate on the man, on the people".
"When I started as singer I do not know anything about Latin America's musical movement, and the movement that a lot of people called "of protest" at world level. I began to sing with the intention of saying with the song and putting song as a support in a combat for the life, for dignity, inclusive, why not?, a combat for a deep change in our society".
"It's about a political song, because any position in Venezuela and in any country is political. We have a intention, though not all the songs may have an obvious political idea, we are intended to write our song, our cultural movement, in a transforming movement of the people, in a political movement that transportat the people. Because when you talk about informing, Inform, what for?? Inform to transform, depart from the fact that a people unconscious about its own reality, inclusive about its own force, it's unable to mobilize transform anything".
"Then, when we make a song we met a folklorist, with boys who are unknown in the national territory, but who have a beautiful work in their people, and when we go we impel that work in function of the fact that our song is converted into a help vehicle for the defense of our root as people, of our identity as people. In that moment it's converted into a political movement..."
The solidary song?
- "We speak about song, not about recital, about convert. We mounted a song for the Victory, the song for the Unit of the People, the song for the Good Fatherland. We have established songs that become cultural institutions of our country' different towns, any people's man song is valid and it is necessary, and we met folklorist singers, popular singers in each people, because we do not only go to towns so they can listen us, but also we also go to promote the regional artists, who sometimes hardly achieve a greater hearing for their songs. We're joined by the intention of singing".
"Of course that principal task in the organization is based in the cultural groups of the different regions where song is performed. The result is marvelous, beacuse it's not only to hear a song and make an entertainment culture, but that people save the idea that it's possible to perform a cultural task beyond the political direction, beyond the partisan. directrix.
It is possible for people active in different political parties to work in a common task, that benefits, whose receiver, whose main beneficiary is the people, their hospitals, their liceés. I produce around one and a half millon bolívares per year that remain in the people, beacuse I do not earn a cent by singing. My economical survival depends on the L.P. royalties, and on the task of singing I do not earn not even a cent.
Sometimes we have demanded a solidary bonus for those groups that have no chance to sell many L.P. records, so they need a solidary bonus for their survival as singers. It's a task that has not had a strong resonance through the media, but nevertheless is a very beautiful task that compel us to invent more daily, and to found many songs in Venezuela".
Suitable for all ages?
-"Most of my audience is young, they are youths who dance and sing and chorus our songs, and ask us for autographs, not in the fan style, they ask us to write them something, that helps them to rememeber this moment and that is very important. It's not an influence motivated to the media use, the TV use, no. We are mobilized with the sense of singing, we have a reason to sing, we have a deep inetention, a walk for sing and that of course has influenced a lot".
"That means a compromise for me and also a signal that has influenced the song. It has influenced though I have not all the necessary advertising support, but nevertheless there's that presence of mine, that worry of being always singing, organizing mass acts, very beautiful acts".
"It's about people that when sing the song, shout with that deep intention of be elevated with shout, leaving the anxiety, the apathy, seeking enthusiasm and and desire, desire of making less sterile our apprenticeship. I can not convert my attitude in a merchandise attitude, I'm not interested in obtain a name through a publicity, I'm interested that people before know Alí Primera, know my song".
"I have always written a song with the main intention of make it audible, in my voice or in another companion's voice; I have reached enough space, I hace covered a long way, of course that way has no limits, I will follow that way until the last breath..."
"I perform willingly that singing work and I feel that when I travel in Latin America, when people applaud me in Argentina, when they support me, when people tell me in Mexico "go on" and when in Ecuador, Cuba, Panamá, when in Europe people tell me "go on", I feel committed with that calling, wuth that impulse."
"I've arrived there, even if I said far, I can easily say that I am, I am very near of tenderness, rage, love, I am very near the combat for life, I am very near of my people, I am very near the root, may be so people's sap arrives more strongly to me".
"I was the first venezuelan present in the Great Hall, alone, singing, and the Great Hall filled up. That was in '69, and from there the Great Hall is and still is my song's most beautiful nest, I receive from students in the Great Hall a frank support, a compromise, a challenege, but nevertheless, a most spacious nest, most marvelous in the whole fatherland, the forgotten towns, discarded in the venezuelan gepgraphy.
I've wanted arrive to them and I've thought that the big percentage of illiteracy in the venezuelan regions, in the interior, in the provinces, is not an obstacle for understanding my songs, because my songs are simple, are tongues of the same people... I'm not singer only for the students, only for the peasants, I'm singer for the man and the man is evrywhere in the corners of the Fatherland. What is more, I said once that Fatherland was any corner where a human could exist...".
The last interview to: Alí Primera. By: Mariam Nuñez. (January 24th, 1985).
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Most recent revision: March 5, 2002.