Els Catarres, the folk-pop trio that’s riding the Spanish music revolution
The sound of Spanish band Els Catarres is what someone would vaguely put as ‘happy music’ (no, not Pharrell Williams kind of happy, but with more orchestration). Be it in their songs, videos or live performances, there is a feel-good vibe that comes forth, the credit for which may be given to the themes they write their songs on. “Our main inspiration is life itself. We tend to sing about themes which everyone can feel related to — love, happiness, friendship and growing up. Our signature is trying to always look at the bright side of all those things. Even when times are hard or things go wrong, we sing with a smile on our faces and our lyrics and sound reflect that too,” says Eric Vergés, lead singer of the Catalan group, who founded the band eight years ago in their hometown Aiguafreda, along with Jan Riera and Roser Cruells.
Mixing it up
“We started as an amateur band, without any kind of real ambition. We just wanted to have fun. When we began to gain popularity we were forced to take a decision between keeping it casual or going all in — we chose the latter. We quit our jobs and really started learning about the business, not only the musical aspects, but the less artistic — financial, marketing and managing parts of it,” Eric adds, adding, “With time, we’ve come to love it and we try to be a little better every day.” The band describes their sound as Mediterranean pop, with a pinch of reggae, country, corrido, and Bossa nova. Eric shares that when they started, their music was more on the lines of acoustic and folk. “But as more band mates joined, we have developed a stronger, more powerful electric sound,” he reveals.
The bigger picture
With more than 130 concerts under their belt, and three albums to boot (the last having been released in 2015, titled Big Bang) Els Catarres is one of the rising stars in the Spanish music scene. And, their current Indian tour couldn’t have come a better time — as Spanish and Latin artistes continue their dominance in the international music scene, led by the peerless Enrique Iglesias, who has developed a fresh soundscape in his music and now finds his Spanish songs performing better than his English tracks (a big reversal from the last decade). Other fresh Spanish and Latin artistes who are now global superstars in their own right include Luis Fonsi, J Balvin, Camilla Cabello and Cardi B.
Beyond the stage
Despite the new-age Spanish music revolution in the global arena, the members of Els Catarres remain grounded. “We try not to emulate or follow anyone in particular. Our artistic tastes are very different, so our music is usually a combination of different visions. We listen to a lot of different styles, from rock to disco and world music to classic,” says Eric, adding that they do spare time for their individual passions, such as painting and photography. As for their upcoming masterclass in Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM) and a performance at the Global Isai Festival (February 24), Eric reflects, “Cultural differences between our countries are big, but music is a universal language and we can all learn a lot from each other.”
At SAM, the band will discuss Argentinian folk music, reharmonisation techniques, and drum rhythms and techniques. Spread over two days, the camp will end with a performance by the band. February 17-18. Details: 73580-00770.