Musiques Métisses - 40 ans de Festival d'Angoulême
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Leyanis LopezCorazon presumido
Leyanis López Luque was born in Guantánamo, East Cuba, on the 8th October 1971. She began to perform there at the age of seven, singing in the choir of the Fabio Rosell del Río primary school. Her natural gifts were soon recognised and she became a solo singer with different musical groups in her children’s organisation, the Pioneers. In 1985, accompanied by a first-rate group called Ismaelillo, Leyanis won first prize at the Summer Festival. After several trips abroad to represent Cuba, the young woman was ranked in the highest category of amateur artist in 1988 and so was able to begin a career as a professional singer the following year. She continued her training, appearing in different festivals, then in 1994, she entered the higher category of professional singers and obtained her singing-section diploma with flying colours.
In 1998, she recorded her first album, Como la Mariposa (Like the butterfly), for French label Lusafrica. Her repertoire included the different popular genres of Cuban music: bolero, cancion, waltz, guajira and son. After a second record in 2004, Mi Corazón y Yo, Leyanis López released Corazón Presumido in April 2005, a album of striking maturity. On this third record, the young butterfly – who now shows remarkable confidence – confirms her place among the established voices of today’s Cuban music.
On Corazón Presumido, Leyanis has relied on the sound advice of two producers now greatly in vogue in Havana: David Alvarez Garrido, who also wrote 4 of the tracks, including the tremendous Corazón Presumido, and Evaristo Denis Baro, who wrote the lyrical arrangements of Sombras, a song by Brito and Sansores that no-one else had dared record since Blanca Rosa’s unforgettable version. The result is a much more extrovert album than the previous ones, featuring a Leyanis who seems more at ease than ever before. This progress can be sensed even in the way she performs songs by her favourite writers, Martinez Zapata and Gonzalez Louit, who have been there from the start, or on the 3 tracks written by Polo Montañez. Fernando Borrego Linares (Polo Montañez) and Leyanis immediately became firm friends when they met. Both were from very ordinary backgrounds – Leyanis from the east, Polo from the mountains – and they shared a language as well as emotions. Polo wrote Tu y Yo with her in mind and suggested she sing his repertoire. The sudden demise of Montañez came as a shock for Leyanis, as it did for all Cubans, but the music lives on and Leyanis López is more determined than ever to put across the message of life that his music holds.