Reggaeton, Descemer Bueno and My View

Miguel Arias Sanchez

Descember Bueno

HAVANA TIMES — I must start off by saying that I’m not a music expert. In spite of my father being a violin player, none of his children inherited his talent. But I have always loved listening to music ever since I was a child, especially romantic music. I used to sit in a small armchair and I would spend hours listening to the radio.

I would say that 100% of Cubans like music; be that classical, dance, modern or old music, there’s something for everyone.

In Cuba, we have had a countless number of extremely gifted composers throughout the country’s history, who are internationally recognized such as Ernesto Lecuona, Luis Marqueti, Juan Arrondo, like I said, a lot. Their songs have traveled across the entire world because of their beauty and quality and they are even sung in different languages. They are just as current today as they were when they were released.

We have also had really good singers, who sing their own songs as well as other people’s songs, and they do it with such feeling and beauty; such is the case with Farah Maria, Pablo Santa Maria or the incomparable, unique and great Benny More.

There is a new class of singers today who are already famous and others who are still hidden amongst us, who still haven’t received media attention. Many of us have watched and enjoyed the TV program “Sonando in Cuba”, the purpose of which is to discover new young talents in different genres. This was undoubtedly a great idea and it has been well-received by all Cubans.

Due to the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in when it comes to accessing information, I only found out about Descemer Bueno’s statements a few days ago. His words really shocked me. Descemer has calmly declared, as if he were drinking a beer or a glass of water that: romantic reggaeton will be the music that will take over the musical world in the future, along with another style of music that is similar and is played and sung in the south of the United States.

What has happened to Descemer? He is a good singer and an excellent composer, who has risen to stardom because of the quality of his music. His statements have sparked many different opinions.

I ask: Could a bolero sung by Benny More be replaced by a reggaeton tune? Could a ballad sung by Luis Miguel, Mark Anthony or Marco Antonio Solis be replaced by a reggaeton song, no matter how romantic it is?

Could the lyrics of: No sé tú, Flor Pálida o Siempre te amaré por la del Palón Divino be replaced?

Up until the time I have written these lines, I haven’t asked any women – I will do so to see what their responses are – but let’s imagine that we invite a woman out to a club, cabaret or just to Havana’s Malecon to win her over.

At midnight, with a beautiful moon and star-filled sky above, you draw in close to her and instead of whispering a song such as Sencilla y Bella by Alvaro Torres into her ear, you sing a reggaeton song like “quimba pa que suene”, “damela toda”, “virate que te cojo”. What would her reaction be?  I can imagine that in the best of scenarios, she’d burst out laughing in your face and in the worst case scenario, she’d get up and leave you alone in the moonlight.

I believe that every person is a world in its own, we can’t all think in the same way, but we must especially respect the opinions other people have because of ethics and reciprocity, etc.

I admire Descemer for his professional skills, which he is constantly putting on show, but I disagree with his opinion. Reggaeton, no matter how romantic it gets, will never be able to substitute a beautiful bolero which is “nothing but feeling” because reggaeton doesn’t say anything, it doesn’t transmit a message nor does it leave an emotional mark on you.

Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.



3 thoughts on “Reggaeton, Descemer Bueno and My View

  • We have been to Cuba 15 times….I dont consider reggaeton music at all . It is a cancer eating away at peoples minds .It has no heart or soul or feeling .If I go into a restaurant or hotel or anywhere , and that ubiquitous tv is blaring regg…I tell the people I am leaving because that noise is unacceptable .Cuba should ban regg , their oth
    er music is just so good !

    Reply
  • You old guys are funny.

    Reply
  • “….it doesn’t transmit a message nor does it leave an emotional mark on you.”

    Give it an opportunity…

    The reggaeton, specifically the cubaton has a spectacular rhythm and a raw sensuality. There is also a kind of happiness and simplicity associated to reggaeton. It has a strong and optimistic feeling, it is not a whinning music (not that is anything wrong with whining music) but kind of a victorious and celebratory musical genre.

    I love reggaeton. I am terrible dancer, but I enjoy dancing reggaeton and listening to it.

    I do not thing it will substitued the bolero, but regetton is here for stay and it already has its place of honor in the Cuban music.

    Reply

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