Sueña con el Festival de Viña: the singer who makes his hits sound in La Ley de Baltazar and Hasta Encounter you

“I never have breakfast,” says Antonio José (27) at about 11 in the morning, while he gobbles down a hefty tray of fruit, yogurt and various delicacies. That is an exception, he assures, due to the time change, given that in Spain they go six hours later.

It is located in the meeting room of an exclusive hotel in the district of Providencia, a few steps from the Costanera Center. Hours before, on the night of September 5, the singer made an intimate show with his Chilean fans in the same room where he sleeps.

—Have you been to Chile before?

As he finishes feeding, he replies:

—I was there two and a half years ago, just before the pandemic. We came for a promo and the truth is that it was very nice to meet my audience in Chile; I was in Santiago.

Antonio José at the microphone.
Antonio José at the microphone.

—What is the first thing that comes to your mind when they say “Chile”?

—Vina del Mar, obviously. I really wanted to get to know Santiago, but since I was very little I have followed the festival closely, and we always watched it from home. I told my mom that I hope one day life gives me the opportunity to be there. We always had that conversation. I really like the format because I think it’s where artists are valued.

Do you remember any show in particular?

—Ehh… wow!… Look, I’m a super fan of Laura Pausini, which is incredible —he answers about the artist who has appeared in the Viña del Mar contest in 1997 and 2014.

Short story: the Spaniard, born in the southern province of Córdoba, when he was only 10 years old, jumped into the public arena when he entered singing programs on his country’s television. From a very young age, his mother took him to castings and encouraged him in a career that already has six studio albums, the most recent being a millimeter from you (2020) and Phoenixreleased in November 2021.

Going into detail, these albums contain two songs that are not foreign to Chilean TV. One of them is “A millimeter from you”, which is the main theme of the Mega afternoon teleseries, Until I find you, starring Luz Valdivieso and Daniel Alcaíno. And there is also “For a thousand reasons”, fear that they put the young couple of Benjamín (Bernabé Madrigal) and Candelaria (Francisca Armstrong) in Balthazar’s Law.

the difficult years

Two days have passed since the constitutional plebiscite in Chile and, quickly, the Cordovan comments that “I haven’t looked at anything” about the process. He also comments that he knows the “heavy” story of Until I find you. His song got there because Mega, through his label, Universal Music Group, contacted him and his team.

—In addition to reaching new audiences, what does it bring you that your songs sound on TV series?

I think everything adds up in life. Everything is important, especially with music, which works in a totally different way to everything in life. I think that is the reason why, when your song is in a telenovela or series, it has much more scope, much more opportunity to reach a much larger audience. And the truth is that I am very fascinated by all the good news that has come from Chile, through TikTok and social networks, from many people who have made the song viral.

—How much of your history is there in your songs?

—I think everything is there, I never hide anything. I am a lot of launching everything that comes out, I try to tell a little how I see life, love, lack of love; I think in the end it is what connects us. And I think the message has to be sincere, always, because it brings you closer to people when your stories are true, because practically we all live almost the same.

Antonio José in concert.
Antonio José in concert.

—Listening to your album Phoenixas it is a story of love, lack of love and overcoming…

“Yeah, sure, there’s something to that.

How did you come up with that story in the first place?

—He was armed and, the truth is, I have had the opportunity to have more time for him, with the blessed pandemic. All my attention was focused on the album, and on what I wanted to tell. I hope I have achieved the goal of moving and that many people feel identified with these songs. I got carried away and something very important for me came out. I’d say it’s the most important album of my career so far.

In January 2022, in a conversation with the site 20 Minutes, he declared about the genesis of the album: “We are all human beings, everything happens for a reason and we have to learn to reinvent ourselves.”

—What did you learn when you finished this record?

—I think that each record teaches you different things. I would say that Phoenix It has made me get to know myself a little better.

“What did you know about yourself?”

—I think that not being so fragile in a situation and, most importantly, loving myself much more.

—You have said that the two years prior to the album were difficult… Why were they so difficult?

—Well, the pandemic, being away from my audience, from the stages, and a breakup. Many things came together that are positive in the long run, because everything that happens in life is convenient, it happens for a reason. And it teaches you a lot. I had to live that moment to learn something true and different so that, in the long run, I can focus on things in life in a different way.


—More than once, you have defined your songs are like a therapy…

—… I think that music in general is a therapy for me, because I take great refuge in it and, through it, I can express my feelings.

—But you have also said that you are “very reserved”: How do you handle showing your intimacy when writing your lyrics?

—I think that, as I told you before, getting to know you better every day, and knowing what you want or don’t want to tell. Sometimes I find the tricks to say something without it being very noticeable what I’m saying. That also makes people care much more to listen and investigate your lyrics.

—”I always try to keep my feet on the ground”, you have stated in other interviews… Can you “keep your feet on the ground” when it comes to romantic love?

—If I said that it would be more because sometimes the success of your career leads you to make mistakes and I think that, in my case, that I started my career so small, the most important thing is to keep your feet on the ground, to know where you come from and never forget that, and do what you really want to do in every moment of your life.

—When you were younger you never felt that the fumes rose a little to your head?

—I always remember that my mother told me that the artist is an artist on stage and, when he gets off the stage, he is half an artist and half 200 other people, because through you, you connect many people and you owe to people and your audience. Obviously you cannot forget that your job, your role in life is that. But always feet on the ground. Success, I think, overwhelms whoever wants to.

—Which singers are your great referents?

—I have many… Alejandro Sanz… Juan Luis Guerra… Laura Pausini… Luis Miguel… Cristián Castro.

“And someone Chilean?”

—Well, there is a Chilean that I love, who is Denise Rosenthal, and I hope one day to make a song with her. We know each other. I look forward to the next visit, or when she goes to Spain, to share something together.

—If you had not been a musician, what would you have dedicated yourself to?

—I would have been a physical education teacher, almost certainly… But, thinking about it, I’ve always asked myself that question, I think I was born to be a musician and try to make a lot of people happy. I fight every day of my life to make music and move my audience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.