Leonel Garcia is nominated for six Latin Grammy Awards this year.
Mexican singer-songwriter Leonel Garcia is the surprise of the year with the most nominations for the 2015 Latin Grammys; he is the candidate for six awards thanks to his Amor Futuro album and his collaboration with Natalia Lafourcade on “Hasta La Raíz.”
After six years of not attending the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony, justice is served for Garcia in this 2015 edition, as he sees the fruits of his labor as a composer and artist while becoming the most nominated artist in the 16th edition of the awards ceremony taking place Nov. 19 on Univision.
In an interview with Living Out Loud – Los Angeles, the former Sin Bandera member speaks with us about how he took the news the day of the nominations – an event that he preferred not to know about – while he is now the artist with the most possibilities in taking home an award.
“I didn’t see it, I played dead and fell asleep. My brother made a comment about it the day before they announced the nominations, so I said, ‘Great, let me know.’ I decided not to keep an eye on it, knowing I would eventually find out. Then the phone calls started. I got a call from my sound engineer in Mexico telling me I had been nominated, and then I got a call from my brother. I didn’t expect to get more than one nomination, but then came three, four, up to six nominations,” he recalls. “I received a lot of calls from friends and colleagues in the media, it was a beautiful day of many congratulations.”
Garcia defines himself as an optimistic person, but at the same time, doesn’t create many expectations so he doesn’t feel like a failure if his work isn’t recognized or awarded, even though he considers it to be of good quality.
“I’m a guy who always uses optimistic pessimism. I always say I don’t expect things to happen, but am thinking, ‘what is the worst possible outcome: it not happening.’ I’d rather not follow the whole process of watching nomination after nomination, if it ends up happening, surely I’d find out about it. Plus, you’d find out with amazing energy and emotions, and I’d rather find out that way,” he says. “Since I hadn’t been nominated in six years, the expectations weren’t high, so it definitely surprised us a lot.”
He goes on to talk about the work that made him worthy of this milestone: Amor Futuro and collaborating with Lafourcade on “Hasta La Raíz.”
“It’s incredible that they were both joined this year. Naty opened her doors for me in this album in a very generous way. We’re really good friends, but we had never made music together, and so she told me to produce one or two songs for her album. When she heard the song proposals, she got really excited, and we finished them together in my studio. The song took flight, and people started to see that it had something,” he tells. “I am so happy that Naty let me be a part of this, she’s an artist that continues to grow and mature. Working with her has been a great pleasure.”
Three of the nominations came for his solo album, Amor Futuro, which released in 2014, and was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Aureo Baqueiro, whom Garcia considers his musical accomplice since his days in Sin Bandera.
“My album was made with the love of continuing to take risks, knowing that this was not common or the way that pop sounded on Mexican radio,” says Garcia. “We made an album that had certain risks in terms of production and lyrics, and seeing it get recognized is a pleasure because it’s not something you’re expecting. You’re simply trying to give people honest music that you believe in.”
Garcia is honest when saying that although his work hasn’t always been favored by high sales or played on the radio, the results aren’t that bad. It turns out to be more than favorable to be reborn and take a new look with the Grammy nominations.
“The album hasn’t had much success, but that’s because the radio diffusion hasn’t been too big. It’s been a bit complicated to play singles on the radio, and that always causes the album to be unknown and not have the results you hope for,” he offers. “But it’s been good, too. I think that with these kinds of things, albums have a second chance, they are reborn.”
He believes that receiving nominations for awards like the Latin Grammys is really important, and as a member of the academy it is nice to showcase one’s work and share it with other artists, listen to their albums and vote between millions of songs competing in just one category.
To conclude, Leonardo Garcia tells us what his plans will be the day of the Latin Grammys, which will take place in Las Vegas once again.
“I’ll be at the ceremony. After the awards I’ll be at the Sony party, which is my company. The day before that, Natalia has a concert in Las Vegas. and I’ll be there accompanying her. It’ll be really nice and symbolic for the both of us. The idea is to celebrate, and we’re going to enjoy it.”
For more information, visit leonelgarcia.com.
Karen Cruz contributed to this story.