MEXICO CITY (AP) – For the Venezuelan singer-songwriter Lasso, being nominated for the Latin Grammy for best new artist is a culmination of a decade of work that came when he had already lost almost all hope of appearing.
After he was not nominated in 2020 after having tried a series of EPs that together make up the album “Four seasons”, he was aware that 2021 was his last chance: the maximum number of full-length albums to be able to compete as best new artist There are three of them, and at 33 he already had “Without another sense” (2016) and “The voluntary exile of a saturated mind” (2017).
“The last two years I had a really bad time because I was not nominated and I suffered, (so this one) I said: ‘Obviously I am not going to be nominated,'” Lasso said in a recent interview in Mexico City, where he resides.
He found out about his nomination while working on his computer at the “cafebrería” El Péndulo, a chain of coffee shops, record stores and cultural bookstores in the capital, and one of his favorites. His phone started ringing and he saw dozens of messages with the good news.
“I started crying horrible. Also, at that time there was no one at El Pendulo, it was worse for the waiters and for me ”, he recalled with humor.
For Lasso, the Latin Grammy nomination represents a kind of “professional diploma” that he already has whatever happens at Thursday’s ceremony in Las Vegas, for which he was already preparing his suit.
“Four seasons” is a concept album that talks about a relationship that progresses as the year progresses. In spring they meet, in summer they fall deeply in love and in autumn, which begins with “We have to talk,” things begin to fail.
“There may be communication problems, there may be a third person involved,” said the artist. “It is the time when things begin to end, it is like a time of uncertainty.”
In winter, heartbreak arrives.
Inspired by “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, Lasso said he was a lover of classical music and mentioned the Italian Baroque composer and Giussepe Verdi among his favorites.
The project has the Mexican singer and actress Danna Paola as a guest in two songs: “Subtitles”, in the spring section, and “Ladrones” in the winter section.
“I adore her,” Lasso said. “He seems to me to be one of the most loving, prettiest, most talented people. I am a fan of her as a person and as an artist ”.
The videos for both songs tell the story of a couple in which a death occurs from acting impulsively.
“I feel that this video (of ‘Thieves’) is very sad, it is a very heavy reflection of what sometimes involves acting without using the brain,” said Lasso, who anticipated that “a third part” is coming that they have not made but that you already have in your head.
Another of his collaborators is José Madero, from the extinct Mexican rock band PXNDX, in “De me, de me, de me” included in the winter section. Lasso grew up listening to PXNDX (pronounced panda) in Venezuela and is one of the bands that influenced his training as a composer.
“It was nice because you always have a song or a group or artist that represents you growing up. For me it was PXNDX, ”he said. Having Madero now singing a song of his own “is something completely surreal.”
Lasso, whose real name is Andrés Vicente de Jesús Lazo Uslar, comes from a family of artists. His father is Henrique Lazo, Venezuelan actor, comedian, broadcaster, filmmaker and musician; his mother Carolina Uslar, studied fashion design; his aunt is the renowned film and television actress Mimí Lazo and his cousin Sindy Lazo, actress, chef and presenter.
He, the only professional musician in the group, even considered retiring, as it seemed to him that it was too stressful a job.
In fact, his advice to those starting out in art is: “Don’t get into music.”
“If you hear this and say ‘it’s okay (rude) and I’m going to dedicate myself’, that’s the first sign that you have what you need. So the first piece of advice is ‘retire, retire 100%’. If that doesn’t make you withdraw, you have the perseverance and discipline because the whole planet is saying to your face ‘leave this, this is very difficult, get out,’ ”he explained.
Today he says that he cannot live without music, that it is something the body asks of him.
And although he has also acted in the past – in 2012 he had a role in the Venezuelan soap opera “Nacer with you” – he does not consider himself an actor: “I’m not an actor. I like acting, but I don’t have that talent ”.
However, in December he will combine both disciplines in “A Christmas Carol”, a show in which he presents different stages of his life that premiered via streaming in 2020 and which he will now take live on tour. On the 8th it will be at the New Alcalá Theater in Madrid, on the 11th at the Concha Acútica de Bellomonte in Caraccas, on the 17th at The Fillmore in Miami, and on the 21st at the Esperanza Iris City Theater in Mexico City.
“It is not a normal concert because there is acting, and there is theater,” Lasso said. “It will be incredible.”
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After losing hope, Lasso reaches the Latin Grammy