Antonio Carmona: “I told my ‘manager’ that this summer I don’t want to work anymore, I’m not 20 anymore” | icon

With open arms, Anthony Carmona (Granada, 57) looks up at the sky while posing for ICON. A few meters from the sea, smiling and relaxed, he emphasizes: “C’est la vie.” The horizon, the environment, jábega included, is a paradise, but Carmona is counting the hours to get to his home in Cádiz, near Cape Trafalgar. He wants to swim in the Atlantic, ride his bike and enjoy his friend’s visit lion angel, who will cook for you at home. ” These days to give a kickbut Cadiz is a lot of Cadiz”, remarks the most flamenco of a flamenco family that will perform next Monday the 18th with “a bunch of Carmonas” where his daughter Marina, his nephew Juan and his cousin Carlos (among others) return, who will be on stage Larian Sunsets At the spa. There, a handful of artists such as Kiko Veneno, Mikel Erentxun or Leonor Watling offer acoustic concerts these days, although Carmona goes with everything: there will be drums, two guitars and percussion.

Looking for shade and something to cool off at, 57, Carmona recalls her summers in Malaga, when her father (John Bean) forms an artistic pair with the mythical Fosforito. From age 9 to 17, he spent several months a year in Llano de la Trinidad, where his grandfather lived. Remember the Tiriri of Malaga or his brother Carapapa. “You peed. He was selling lottery tickets and when he placed everything he got drunk. He was wearing a white suit and a green pepper in his jacket pocket. This land has a lot of art and a lot of characters” , he recalls.Revisiting his childhood makes him reflect an aura of tranquility, wisdom and optimism.

This is what also irradiates the images it uploads to your instagram profile, a collection of guitars, smiles, songs and family events. The constant presence of images from the past stands out, either to justify Camarón or his father, but also to rediscover his younger self, the one who flew with Ketama. “Sometimes people don’t know who Antonio Carmona is,” explains the musician. “I have books and books of very beautiful photographs. And I want people to know a little bit where I come from. That’s why I put photos of the past, of my journey. And because, of course, I also prefer to see myself 20 years ago than now”. He assures that he would like to be 20 years younger but maintains the current wisdom: “It would be the perfect balance.”

The musician, born in Granada but who currently lives between Cadiz and Madrid, justifies himself with his discography and various names he has worked with in his career. Of quincy jones to the three albums produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, but shared the stage with Youssou N’Doursongs with half musical Spain and half Latin America and have been photographed by photographers such as Alberto Garcia-Alix. Atleti fan, remember that started with Ketama at age 13 as a percussionist, until Ray Heredia and José Soto left the band and his brother, Juan Carmona, said to him: “Sing you”.

After a period of continuous concerts, Antonio Carmona wants to take a break to enjoy the summer in Cadiz.
After a period of continuous concerts, Antonio Carmona wants to take a break to enjoy the summer in Cadiz.Garcia Santos

They brought the revolution and they did not forgive it. “We were stars in Europe and we couldn’t get into Andalusia“, he told EL PAÍS in 2018. Over time, they went from 10,000 copies sold to a million and the South opened its doors to them and opened up to Prince. Carmona still remembers a night at the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid in front of 15,000 people. “It was crazy. It was when you could still smoke inside and there was an incredible cloud of smoke. Wow, different smokes, “he recalls happily, as when they entered the field in 1995 with From here to Ketama, which included collaborations with the now deceased Antonio Flores and Antonio Vega. It was the album we are not crazy which continues to be heard during their concerts, like the one this Monday in Malaga.

Looking back, Carmona’s life is full of anecdotes, surreal moments and, also, outstanding accounts that he will never be able to settle. Among the former are the times when Lenny Kravitz He would show up at their house with his cook to prepare their food and later had fun at flamenco nights in the basement of the house. “When I came, I wrote to my wife and she came. we met him because had collaborated with Rosario Flores and we became friends. He loved flamenco and then I was able to collaborate with him in a city of Valencia”, recalls the artist, who evokes his marriage in Gibraltar in 1993 with Mariola Orellana. “Someone from the Larios family showed me a marriage certificate there and it was very nice. So I said to Mariola, come on, let’s get married. And we went,” says who repeated the wedding, this time in Israel, in 2012.

It also highlights the four years he spent in Miami. “A lot of music, a lot of boating, a lot of paella and a lot of composition. We shared guitar and evenings with the best composers who were there. almost always with alexander [Sanz], who has acted (and exercises) as a wonderful host for all those who have passed through this country. He makes very good receptions at home, ”confirms Carmona. Among the latter was the thorn in the side of his collaboration with Manolo Tena, with whom he shared a television show (In my wayin the sixth) six months before the death of the Madrid native. “He is one of the finest composers this country has produced. I left with the desire “, underlines who in the fall of 2017 had a huge fright after spending several days in a coma in hospital.

Already in the present, the most media collaboration has been with C. Tangana. It coincided with him in the presentation of a film by Pedro Almodovar. He praised him for his music, and a few days later Pucho suggested he listen to the album, which he might still want to participate in. “The first time I heard it, I went crazy,” he recalls. They began to compose and one evening, while telling anecdotes, they remembered when one and the other were not allowed to enter clubs. “For shoes, for long hair, for anything. There was always an excuse,” says Carmona. That’s where the lyrics come from. me friends and the subsequent concept, which is even brought to concerts, of a flamenco evening in which his daughters take part Marina there Lucia Fernanda, as well as his nephew Juan. “This is how we Andalusians share, to sit at a table, get served ham, a beer and sing for Los Chichos, La Marelu or Pansequito. It’s like a ritual for us. And doing it with him and the family was a very nice experience,” says Carmona, who gave America goosebumps when they brought the performance to PNR Public Radio’s Tiny Desk. Ten years ago, the musician recalled to EL PAÍS SEMANAL the most special flamenco party of his life, after Enrique Morente’s funeral wake, in which his father, Paco de Lucía, Tomatito or Alejandro Sanz passed the guitar.

The artist has been on tour since April and now wants to enjoy the summer “because no one will know how we will be in October”. In order to take advantage of a little rest these months, he asked his manager not to close him any more concerts in July and August. “If I teach you…don’t see what’s there.” July and August I already told him that I didn’t want to work anymore, that I wasn’t 20 anymore, stop messing around. But I am very happy. After these two years, I needed the embrace of the public, the contact, the van, the absurdity of the trip, to stop in a tavern for a beer and a tapa, to coexist… everything was failed”. He adds that, for him, downloading and sharing with the public “is a blessing”. This is what he passes on to his daughters, who have followed in his footsteps in music and to whom he advises, above all, to have fun. “It’s not easy to sing, for people to come see you, for them to interview you. Being on stage is the best and even if sometimes you go tight and with a lot of work, you always have to take advantage of it,” he concludes.

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