By Helson Hernandez
HAVANA TIMES — Frank Rodriguez, a young folk musician from Santiago de Cuba, can already look back on a long and rewarding music career.
HT: Do folk musicians from Cuba’s eastern provinces have any distinctive peculiarities?
Frank: Yes, to the east, coffee tends to be stronger. The Caribbean and a wild mixture of traditions have given the region many traditions and a different music.
HT: Is moving to Havana a greater challenge than having a music career?
F: They go hand in hand.
HT: Why does a folk musician from Santiago de Cuba decide to travel across Cuba to move to Havana?
F: The capital offers unique opportunities. Changing our milieu is good for us as artists, you have to be willing to risk everything. It’s a path you have to trace for yourself with your own two feet.
HT: What are your folk music influences?
F: I listen to just about every kind of music. I draw from genres like jazz, Brazilian music, African music, son, traditional Cuban music, some Caribbean rhythms and, of course, folk music.
F: Things having to do with the world around me and my experiences, the events that mark our everyday life: love, lack of love, the inexplicable.
HT: Did you study anything else besides folk music?
F: Yes, I graduated in Psychology at the University of Oriente.
HT: What albums or projects are you currently planning?
F: I finished my first album, an independent project I hope to sell through a label. It has ten of my pieces which blend genres such as son, boleros and traditional Cuban music. I’m satisfied with how it sounds, I feel happy listening to it. Taking this album where I want is what lies ahead.