It’s Always Summer When You Listen To Her

If The Urban Chaos Is Too Much For Your Nerves, Keep A Buika Album On You At All Times.

You’ll feel the effect the minute you start listening. With a velvety voice to match her lyrics, Buika enthralled listeners in İstanbul on April 13 and in Ankara on April 14.

Turkey has really taken to you. Why do you think that is?
I just act the way I feel. I can feel I’m loved in Turkey every time at the concerts, and I let myself be even more free. I share my anger, my loves and my pain on stage in my songs. Maybe a lot of people share the same feelings and that’s why they feel close to me. Actually I want them to focus more on themselves than on me at the concerts, because it makes me happy when listeners experience their own stories in the songs I sing.

How do you explain to the younger generation that jazz opens up new horizons?
I just make my own music and express myself. Music is music for Africans. Professional or amateur, every African sings to soothe his soul. As I see it, there are very good songs for soothing your soul in every genre. But jazz makes me feel free. In fact, I’ve soothed my own soul most through the musicians I’ve worked and performed with up to now. Like performing with a legend like Chick Corea at Blue Note, or working with Chucho Valdes on recordings. All of them are very good for my soul in different ways. Whether it’s jazz or other genres, we all need good music.

How would you describe the music you make to people who don’t know you at all?
As I said, I don’t like to force music into a mold of any kind. I grew up listening to jazz and Flamenco, and the songs in which I express myself are almost all Flamenco and jazz. But I also like dance music, for example, and there are electronic pieces we have recorded too. All I do actually is shut myself up in the studio and sing songs the way I feel like it. The final version of those songs is down to my producer, Javier Limón, but Latin and jazz music are always part of it.

Which album should one start with to listen to Buika?
Among my songs I really like Mi Niña Lola. That song and album have a special place for me, but there are also songs that give me a lot of courage on El Último Trago. I could say that El Último Trago, especially with the songs of Chavela Vargas, is the album that taught me to cherish solitude. When a person loves his solitude, he can also love others in a more healthy way, and the songs of Chavela Vargas give that courage.

Awards And Joint Projects

Buika won her first Latin Grammy in 2010 for her 2009 album, El Último Trago. Before that award, which she won for Best Traditional Tropical Album, she was nominated for Best Album in 2008 for her album Niña de Fuego. Attracting the attention of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar with that performance, Buika got a small role in his 2011 film, The Skin I Live In, and contributed to the soundtrack.