Grammy-nominated Gaby Moreno talks migration, Spanglish jazz and her next album, Spangled
Musician Gaby Moreno left her home in Guatemala City for Los Angeles at the age of 19, and the experience forms the heart of the 37-year-old’s music. “I bring my story into my music. I have written about being a Guatemalan immigrant and how hard it was for me to make that journey. I love where I come from and I’m very proud to say that,” says the singer who has been dubbed “Guatemalan Edith Piaf” by The Telegraph, London. This weekend, the Spanglish jazz and blues musician makes her India debut.
“As an artiste and as a Latin immigrant, I do feel responsible to be the voice for the voiceless. We should be celebrating diversity and all immigrants who come to this country, to make it a better place,” Gaby tells us. Her upcoming album, Spangled, honours the music from across the continent of America — north, central and south. “I sing in three languages, Spanish, English and Portuguese,” she says. The album is in collaboration with American musician Van Dyke Parks.
Gaby was awarded the Latin Grammy in 2013 in the Best New Artist category, and nominated for a US Grammy for her album Ilusión in 2017. Another feather in her cap is an Emmy nomination (with her co-writer Vincent Jones) for the theme song of the sitcom, Parks and Recreation. “It was a lucky strike. I had never composed for TV before and I never did after that. We submitted it, but we found out 200 other composers had done it too. It was a race! But they chose our song. I really love that show, and I feel so honoured to be a small part of it,” she says.
Talking about her gig in the city, she says, “I’m so excited. It’s been a lifelong dream to visit and experience the culture, the sights, the music, the food...just, everything! I hope people will connect with my music and respond to my songs in Spanish,” adding that she will take off on a six-week Europe tour after her Bengaluru concert.
Rs. 500 upwards. September 20, 21 & 22, 9.30 pm. At Windmills Craftworks, Whitefield