Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler embarking on first European tour

MADRID (AP) — Capitalizing on an impressive moment in his career, singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler is embarking on his first tour of Europe. “Even Don Quixote didn’t get as far as urban Spanish-speaking music is getting today in the world. You can go everywhere and you will find music that was written in Spanish,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. “I’m happy to see that (Spanish) opens doors to places that I never thought that we could get before.” His award-winning latest album, “Tinta y tiempo” (“Ink and time”), earned him four of his 13 Latin Grammy Awards, part of a haul that includes an Oscar.

On his tour Drexler will perform live for the first time “Derrumbe,” a song about the loss of love that he rescued from his notes. The song was included in the 2021 TV show “Todo va a estar bien”. The European tour will be more intimate than the shows of recent years, with voice, guitar and an open repertoire — a “first date” with an audience that Drexler expects will be seeing him for the first time. “I have always looked West,” he said, with performances in the United States, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere. “I have so much work in that part of the world that I didn’t look East enough.”

He looks forward to seeing some European cities for the first time and visiting others such as Paris and Berlin after many years. The tour will take him to Ireland, Italy and Sweden, among other countries. After the tour ends in mid-June, he will return to the leather armchair in his studio in Madrid to sit with a guitar and a blank piece of paper and “try to get lucky.” But as his repertoire grows, songwriting becomes more complicated because “the more you release, the more space that occupies in your brain,” Drexler said.

Resorting to artificial intelligence is not an option, at least for now. He tested ChatGPT and, although the result “was perfectly written, from a syntactic, orthographic point of view,” it lacked poetry. “I like biographies and I like songwriters, and I like to get to know the personality of a person. And I like the mistakes that guide you through unexpected places. So, I still prefer songs written by human beings,” he said.

Drexler also enjoys collaborations in the creative process, such as the ones with C.Tangana, Rubén Blades, or Noga Erez in his previous album. “It’s a relief for me, it relieves me from myself,” he said. “My worst enemy when it comes to writing is my past, my obsessions, the way I work. It’s what I am. And I’m happy to show it, but at the same time, it’s a big, big burden.” In collaborating, there are no restrictions in the kind of music or the generations that listen. “I don’t think that the music we did in the past was the (good) music, like most of my generation,” Drexler said. “(I’m) more interested in the music that my 12-year-old daughter listens to than the one that my generation used to listen to. So I try to be open to different things.”