The Musical Bridge from Cuba*

Osmel Almaguer

Diana Fuentes. photo: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 2 — Diana Fuentes is a rising star in Cuban music. Though some try to pigeonhole her within the trova category — which I wouldn’t exclude her from — her work surpasses such a limiting space. She sits with ease on a vast plain of fusion that melds trova, Cuban “feeling,” boleros, pop, hip hop, funk and other traditional Cuban rhythms.

On the basis of talent and beauty, she has burst upon the scene, first with her efforts in the group Synthesis, later with singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, and most recently in solo efforts on her first album: Amargo pero dulce.

As a soloist and a backup singer, she has worked with illustrious figures in Cuban music, including Amaury Perez, Yusa, Roberto Carcasses, Aldo Lopez Gavilan, Omara Portuondo, Free Hole Negro, Beatriz Marquez, Aceituna sin Hueso, Haydee Milanes, Ogguere, David Torrens, Pablo Milanes, Silvio Rodriguez, Amaury Gutierrez, Mayito Rivera, Carlos Varela, David Torrens, Kelvis Ochoa and William Vivanco, to name a few…

“Musica de fondo” from the CD “Amargo pero dulce”

For nearly a week you’ve been away, / just thinking about the last time, / fills my system with anxiety and madness, / I don’t want this story to turn into bitterness, / naked, alone between walls, I lie behind / shadows that are lost, it’s not the same now / loving you from afar, I’m lost in this darkness, / I’m going out to find you.

I can’t take this city, I can’t take it anymore if you’re not here, / I can’t take it if you leave. / Today I miss you more than yesterday, if you’re not here, / if you leave, it leaves a void in my heart, an illusion.

I feel your skin surrounding me in a thousand caresses / And your intense scent that I’ll never forget, and in my imagination, background music, the melody / you and I, naked, alone between walls, I lie behind / shadows that are lost, it’s not the same now / loving you from afar, I’m lost in this darkness, / I’m going out to find you / I can’t take this city, I can’t take it anymore if you’re not here, / I can’t take it if you leave. / Today I miss you more than yesterday, if you’re not here, / if you leave, it leaves a void in my heart, an illusion.

The most important idea of this song is not expressed in its words – or at least it’s not understandable in conventional language. The story she tells is one of someone who needs their loved one and therefore suffers from their absence.

The things she says have been said in love songs since the days of Romanticism. But the essence of these lyrics is not linguistic; rather, it’s the expressiveness. It’s more important what’s said rather than how it’s said.

The essence lies in the feeling with which Diana sings it. The real beauty lies in its simplicity. A love expressed without powder or makeup, because in the end it’s the sentiment that counts, and it must be valued for itself, without devices needed to validate it.

This simplicity also is also in keeping with the image of the singer, who dresses and presents herself in a sober fashion. She looks into people’s eyes from the depths, with a grave and yet fresh look, serious and at the same time sensual.

(*) A Musical Bridge from Cuba: This is an effort to find new bridges that promote communication between peoples of the diverse regions of the planet.    I will be using simple narration in a series of articles to connect with those who are interested in the messages transmitted by Cuban songs, which due to their limited commercial potential and the difficulties posed by their translation, languish in a state of communicational stagnation – despite their being true jewels of Cuban culture.


3 thoughts on “Diana Fuentes: Rising Star in Cuba Music

  • Does Diana Fuentes still perform with Kumar and DJ Gonzalez? What a beautiful & lively groove. And where do we find an upcoming concert schedule for Diana (for that matter, for Kumar, DJ Gonzalez, and others [those wonderfully crazy Popeye rockers too!])? Has Diana Fuentes continued to perform solo with her guitar–in the best of folk traditions? Many thanks for providing this site. To the music!

  • “A Musical Bridge from Cuba” is a wonderful concept. The information you are providing should be helpful for me in selecting music for a new Internet radio show I host once a week. The theme is “world music” but, because I am very fond of Cuba, I often feature CDs by Cuban artists. The hard part will be getting CDs by the musicians you talk about! If you have any tips, please let me know. Gracias!

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