Diana Fuentes and Her Planetario Tour for Cuba

By: Diona Espinosa

She is no longer the cute girl backup singer of Sintesis group or the singer Carlos Varela. She continues beautiful, natural and simple, even sweeter after motherhood. However, at the age of 29, we can see in her a mature woman, personally satisfied and in another facet as an artist.

After her stay in Puerto Rico, with her husband Eduardo Cabra (El Visitante of the group Calle 13), the launching on the international scene or her inclusion in the catalog of Sony Music Latin in 2012, she returns home laden with enthusiasm. She decided to restart her career here with the second album Planeta Planetario, a salad of Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and Latin American sounds with electronic music, hip hop, boleros, pop…

Fuentes can feel herself close. She is one of those public figures who have used the Facebook page to share her career with more than 33,700 followers. Thus, some have remained aware of her relationship with El Visitante or her success in Chile , Venezuela, Argentina and other countries.

She arrived on the island on Monday and fastly ensures encounters with the press because in just a week she will begin a string of concerts in the country. But days before OnCuba contacted her through her page on the social network and smoothly agreed. It is not her first interview for this publication, so she does not add much to what is already known, but the opportunity to firsthand update her work.

Amargo pero dulce emerged in 2009 and now Diana Fuentes is back with Planeta Planetario. Tell us what happened in that period of four years.

Photo: Fernando Medina
Photo: Fernando Medina

My career was stopped by motherhood. I was caught by a life period of changes in personal appearance, which greatly influences the artistic. The creators need time to find what they want, and until now this one was mine.

In 2009 I went to make a production of Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba called Abandoned Animals. The film, in which I played the leading role, took me a long time. Then I fell in love; I got married and decided to start a family. Between 2010 and 2012 I worked on writing Planeta Planetario, and launched a promotional plan in South America. But I got pregnant and decided to stop to devote all the time to my son Marcel. It was a personal impasse.

How have you felt in this new start?

It is very difficult because when you’re a mom priorities change. The number one is now my baby and I do anything else for him, it’s like a gift for him. Currently I bring forward all thanks to the tremendous support of the family: my mother, my aunt, my grandmother, my mother in law…

We are gradually covering a lot of roles as wife, mother, at home. Today I understand more than ever to working mothers. Therefore, in Puerto Rico I’m starting with the State a support program for women. It is important to include family and make it part of our needs, to explain, to ask for help.

In a previous interview for OnCuba you stated that the novelty of Planeta Planetario is in what you have “lived”. Do the change to Puerto Rico, international experiences or perhaps the rhythms you from Calle 13 have influenced on you?

The phonogram is a collection of sounds and experiences. Planeta … is another chapter of many changes in my life. All CDs contain personal situations of each artist and this one tries to do that. I think that that collection of other places can be included in the new album I will begin to concrete in 2015. I do not have the title, I’m just starting to do the lay out of the tracks I shall begin recording later this year.

How would you describe that “universe of sounds” ascribed to this album and that you have also undergone as a result of your union with Eduardo Cabra ?

Eduardo is one of the producers I admire the most. Every day is a super rich experience of working together. In the beginning it was difficult to reach an understanding, but today we have better communication for projects he works and mine. We exchanged many ideas.

I love the support provided to my music, because he has given it Caribbean, Latin American, Afro-Cuban rhythmic riches. I rediscovered sonorities of my country. Sometimes Latin music has a lot of British influence. My first album had of this and the song genre.

Photo: Fernando Medina
Photo: Fernando Medina

Will we find some references in Planeta … of Calle 13?

It has nothing to do. It is a misinterpretation or association which unfortunately some media have given it. When hearing Planeta Planetario you understand that the only contact point is my husband, also a composer of the sound world that Calle 13 is. The tracks are mine; Eduardo Cabra just added the final touch, as it should be in his work as producer. He has devoted much to research in music and rescue rhythms I commented before and a little to cancel music in English language. I love English speaking music, but I also rediscovered this Latin-Caribbean matter.

Do you consider yourself a conventional singer?

I am a performer who sings what I like. I have worked pop, but from a more alternative side. However, I am not an alternative artist at all nor a hundred percent pop. That makes a little difficult to pigeonhole myself into a genre, because it does not come to be either of the two categories. I like the song.

Many find in Diana a coincidence with Julieta Venegas, what would you say about it?

It is very strange because I do not listen to Julieta. I always say no when this association is made. I met her and she is a wonderful person. I r espect her career because she is a creator with the courage to defend her work, sing it, take it internationally and being recognized. That has an important merit. But she is not a source as Elena Burke is, super significant influence for me, or Erykah Badu, for example. Everything is due to the mix that I do in my music, but I consider Julieta´s more alternative.

So, how do you managed to integrate the catalog of Sony Music Latin, becoming the second Cuban who achieved it after Celia Cruz?

We concluded this CD; an album made at home and started looking for record labels. It appeared the opportunity to meet with the president of this multinational Afo Verde. He heard several songs and in a month he rewrote me interested in. Then, we made a presentation before all entrepreneurs of the company and since then (2012) I’m a Sony artist. However, Planeta… comes out in Cuba licensed under the catalog of EGREM. I wanted to try it, because it never happened and I am excited to be part of the two companies.

Since your launch as a soloist in 2007 you have never taken your music outside of Havana and Matanzas, what do you expect, after appearing before international audiences in this tour throughout Cuba?

We are organizing the concerts since last year. It has been a very laborious team work, with much help from a sponsor. But we have the support of the Cuban Institute of Music, Ministry of Culture, the National Centre for Popular Music and my production team La Buena Fortuna in Puerto Rico.

We organize the tour in two parts, because unfortunately we can not do it from East to West by logistical problems. We will reach first center to the west and then will continue through the provinces east of the country. I am very happy because really my natural audience is Cuban. My career started here and it was spread from the island outside Cuba, long before belonging to the multinational Sony.

It was mandatory to restart my career here. I hope many people to attend the concerts, because I have a lot to give and many songs to share.

Photo: Fernando Medina
Photo: Fernando Medina

First part of the concert schedule:

February 23 Matanzas, Matanzas (Teatro Cárdenas)

March 1 Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus (Casa de la Música)

March 2 Santa Clara, Villa Clara (Teatro La Caridad)

March 4 Cienfuegos Cienfuegos (Teatro Terry)

March 6 Varadero, Matanzas (Casa de la Música)

March 7 Pinar del Río, Pinar del Río (Teatro Milanés)

March 13 Havana, Havana (El Sauce)

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