Placid April afternoon in a secluded recording studio in Boadilla del Monte. While his father pauses to stick the thread with the journalist, Miguel Poveda’s son remains absorbed in a small room, equipped with pencil and paper, to work on the greatest of his fascinations: drawing planets. The world can be this pure, full and exciting when you are six years old and a parent used to contravening all clichés and prejudices until becoming one of the most illustrious and international artists in this country.
Charnego in his homeland girl from Badalona, payo in the demanding flamenco scene, eclectic to rage in a territory so given to orthodoxies and openly homosexual: since he was 20 years old, he only uses the closets to organize suits and shirts, that for that the Itching to be “flirtatious and presumptuous” is not going to be taken away by anyone. This is Miguel, this 48-year-old man who looks a lot less and steps on the accelerator because he knows he is insatiable in his hunger to learn and discover. It bothers him to feel that he has passed the equator of existence, so he does not want to miss “any color on the palette” in this crazy adventure that is to be alive.
Passionate. Hyperactive. Resolved. In his office they implore him not to announce yet how that new album that is taking shape at the end of the hall will be titled, while his little Angel draws Saturn some rings in the sea of plump. But the information “burns in his mouth”, so the advertisement materializes, unstoppable. “It will be called Diverso because that’s how I am. Flamenco to the bone, but also a bit Mexican, Brazilian or Argentine. In love with tangos and rancheras, although he is not the best performer in those genres. And in need of singing in Spanish or Catalan, Caetano or Serrat ”. Even rescuing the memory of a Panamanian transsexual who died in the eighties, a victim of AIDS and rejected by his parents, in El gran hombre: an unusual, brave and little-known original by Omar Alfanno, a genius of Central American salsa, that Miguel discovered through Pitingo.
Question. For what he counts, he is not going to give up that love of hers by picking from here and there.
Answer. Some will say that my music is a hodgepodge, but what am I going to do to it? I can’t go against my nature. A lot of music and places have enriched me, and I don’t think this is a bad idea to build bridges in a world where everything is becoming so radical.
P. Is there a flag that you would gladly wave?
R. I don’t have any at home. I lie! One from the United States that I bought for my boy in Los Angeles, matching NASA sneakers. He was born there [por gestación subrogada]Meet the family that had him, his children. He understands everything naturally. We are all happy: my partner, me, the child and the dog. If the world saw how things are in reality, they would say much less stupid.
P. Are there many lessons in tolerance still to be taught?
R. I took off my prejudices and my backpacks very soon, and that helps to feel free. Diversity shouldn’t bother anyone, it’s a very clean thing. If you pretend what you are not or even lie to yourself, the problem is with you, compadre …
P. But in a world as radicalized as the one you described, even the most established conquests can be in danger …
R. You always receive some gesture of rejection, but before that I can only feel compassion. Even my father, when I explained my condition to them, reacted a bit uncomfortable: “Okay, but don’t kiss your partner here.” I replied: “Perfect, but in that case, don’t let my sisters kiss with their boyfriends either.” Then everything goes back to normal right away. My mother, who was always very naughty, said she was in love with Chiquetete, so I got a trump card: “Of course it’s good. And Don Johnson! ”.
Aroma of son, bolero and cantina in twenties version
Violinist from the cradle, flute singer
P. Were you surprised, for example, by the uproar around Pablo Alboran?
R. I imagine he was tired of being subjected to the eternal question. And I was happy not only for him, but because Pablo has many fans in countries like Israel or Peru, where the homosexuality thing is very screwed up.
P. Have you ever felt yourself a victim of the intolerant for not always following the path of pure flamenco?
R. There are people who live for and for flamenco 24 hours a day. I’m in love with flamenco to the bone, nothing stirs me anymore, but I can’t do without other facets. Not just musicals: when I lived in Madrid, I hung out with actors and didn’t stop going to the theater. And now I force myself to read more and more, because that always opens up new channels for you. I am diverse, like the title of my album, but not for that less flamenco than others.
P. You, always so hungry for stimuli, how did you cope with confinement?
R. The first three weeks of the break, fine; later I already feel that I am withered. Recording, rehearsing, and acting are spiritual food. It is not ego, ambition or a desire to earn money, but something very similar to a drug. When that inexplicable thing of inspiration or elf happens, you get hooked. That is why I feel an inordinate vocation for the stage. Moments of silence are essential, of course, but I need silence to later make a lot of noise.
P. How do you manage the paradox of knowing that you are still young, but with more than three decades of artistic career behind you?
R. I have been leaving many Michaels behind. I have understood them, but there is nothing that fuels and motivates me more than growth. That’s why it’s a bitch that we have to die just when things are getting more and more interesting.
P. Has the passing of the years been so bad?
R. Alejandro Sanz insisted that turning 50 had been one of the best moments of my life, but I don’t want to.
P. At least, there remains the reward of knowing, or feeling, each time a little wiser …
R. Yes indeed. I am a curious uncle and I like to know myself and train as a human being, although in his day I was not even a high school graduate. I have overcome my complexes, those years when I discovered that there are those who eat prawns with a knife and fork. When I shot the movie with Bigas Luna [La teta y la luna, en 1994] I was surrounded by people who used highly cultured words, but my desire to learn goes even faster than the years …
P. After so much experience, is returning to Madrid giving a little less dizziness?
R. No way! It is getting worse, because Madrid weighs a lot. Not that I notice butterflies in my stomach, but Hitchcock birds all over my body. Offstage I don’t feel like an artist, the feeling that I won’t be able to do anything, but the theater is a temple that transforms you.