Music continues to vibrate Iglesia's soul

He lives to sing.

His music has been heard in every corner of the planet, and his only wish is to continue singing for the rest of his life.

With 40 years of music history, Spanish singer-composer Julio Iglesias has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, has recorded in 14 languages and has released 77 albums.

He is considered one of the top 10 best-selling singers ever, and his legacy continues to dominate the stage.

At 66, Iglesias has embarked on a 'Starry Night' worldwide tour, which he will bring to Table Mountain Casino in Friant on June 28 and Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on June 29. Both concerts are sold out.

In an interview with Vida en el Valle, Iglesias spoke about his experiences and his love and respect for his profession.

Q: Your music has been around the world. Is there a specific place you would still like to take your music?

A: "Last week we were in Hawaii, before that in Japan. The truth is, what I want to do is to never stop singing. I love to sing in Modesto because I have been there before and in California about five or six times at least, since I was a little boy."

Q: Your music legacy is impressive. What else is left for you to do?

A: "I still need to learn more. It's nice to always learn. I believe people die when we stop learning. I learned to sing. I think I now sing better. This morning I got up singing, and yesterday I sung and have found out that I was singing a lot better today." If one stops learning, one dies."

Q: Rap and hip hop have gained popularity over the years Do you like the path that music has taken?

A: "Everything belongs to an era, a moment in life. Just like the music I sung 40 years ago, young people have their space, and it is wonderful -- just as when I was young. There are wonderful young people who sing hip hop, who sing reggae, and they are very valuable people."

Q: Does that leave plenty of room for your style of music?

A: "I am no longer worried about the market. I am worried about learning, about having better clarity in my voice, about being alive, about being awake, about yearning, about raising my children and always being generous with the public, because the public has been very generous with me.

"In reality, I have my life's story line very precise. I am someone who is very grateful with life, because life has given me everything. What I do is try to learn more, try to sing better. I sing to be well. I don't even sing for money anymore.

"I sing because I enjoy singing, because I entertain myself singing, because I love singing to people, because people give me life, because it pumps air to my lungs, because my heart beats faster and many important things. And I continue to be young. I still have at least another 100 more years of singing!"

Q: What do you enjoy most -- the massive concerts or the intimate ones like in Modesto and Friant?

A: "I like to sing for 200 people, for 2,000, for 5,000, for 100,000. What I like to do is sing -- sing for the people. I do it with the same amount of love, with the same happiness. The important thing is to sing and get people excited and for you to get excited."

Q: What can your audience expect at these two concerts?

A: "At least passion, which is the most important thing in life, because everything that is done with passion gives you good results. Then, gratefulness for the people, who after many years still go see me with love, vitality -- and that is very exciting.

"Overall, I need to thank them because it's been years and years. I have been singing for 40 years, and people continue with the same vitality and the same enthusiasm, and that is very, very important. In reality, I sing for them. If people did not come see me, I could not sing."

Q: Some artists say they become another persona onstage. What happens to you when you take the stage?

A: "I don't become another persona, but I do become a person who lives for the audience. I become a person with more vitality, and that fills me with enthusiasm. In reality, what the public does is revitalize my life."

Q: You have received numerous awards throughout your career. What do those recognitions mean to you?

A: "When they give them to you, they are very important, but when they don't give them to you, it is because someone else deserved them, right? But in the end, the most important award for an artist is the one the public gives you, and that is validity, because an award is a one-day recognition.

"The life achievement awards are horrible, because they are like wreaths of time. I like the awards people give me when they come to my concerts. That is a real award, because they pay to see the artist, (and) they buy your albums. The award the people give you is the most important one of all."

Q: What do you think of the reality shows like 'American Idol'? Do you believe they can be positive for those who are starting their career?

A: "Yes. They are positive for one important reason: because at least they give you an opportunity to be seen. On the other side, it is not good for those who lose because if they would have more chances or more time (on the show), they would become better artists. I believe in the contest, because it comes with high emotions, a chance to learn, and it is good."

Q: So what advice could you give young people who are starting their musical careers?

A: "It's easy to give advice but difficult to interpret it. I think that young people already have a privilege -- their youth. And if you have the talent, the aptitude to learn and become better, if you are disciplined and understand that the public at the end is the most important thing, then you do have some possibilities."

Q: Is there a song from your extensive repertoire that gives you goose bumps when you perform it?

A: "It depends on the day. There are days when I feel a great deal of emotion singing one song and others when I sing other songs. It depends a lot on the people, depends on the moment, depends on the circumstances."

Q: What do you feel when, among your audiences, different generations are singing your songs?

A: "I feel very happy, because I understand that the moms and the dads allowed their children to listen to that music, and it just brings me joy. And I feel very grateful, because the mom likes you, the dad likes you and the children like you -- and that is a wonderful thing indeed."

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