Forget the boss in the promo photo. Naturally – well, on the video call – Gloria Estefan looks smiling, natural, very warm. A woman still fresh at 62 years of age (she was born in Havana, Cuba) with sparkling curls and black eyes in which the lights and shadows of what she narrates can be sensed, as when she gets emotional recounting the agony of her mother, who died three years ago. years. Estefan connects from the kitchen of his house in Miami, where he was in confinement on the day of the interview. One of those American kitchens in which you imagine happy families having breakfast together before each owl leaves its olive tree. I would say that Emilio, her husband, passes behind from time to time. I cannot confirm the data.
Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García. For your parents, Cubans, everything was little for your daughter?
[Risas] A little, yes. So, it was tradition to put the children the saint of the day. But at 18, when I became an American citizen, I took it off, it was a lot of pressure to do miracles. I stayed in Gloria María, which is already a sufficient name in the United States.
Milagros I don’t know, but she has managed to make the planet dance.
That’s what amused me the most on stage. There were the same emotional moments in all cultures, but different moments in which they let loose to dance. In Germany I expected them more rigid. And no, they were crazy from the start. The Japanese also went crazy, but they came out of the Show by rows, incredibly organized. The emotion is the same because it is human.
Why are the hips going?
Because of the rhythm, percussion is what makes people dance, because the first human communication was drums. And then, the energy that we feel next to each other, that’s why it’s sad that now you can’t do big concerts. People do things together that they would never do alone.
Who the hell is going to spend 40 years without differing in something? We have had arguments like any couple, but that has diminished over the years.
Being bilingual, why do you choose Spanish or English to compose and sing?
It is the song that the language asks of you. For some reason, when I’m composing in English I can’t be sweet, but in Spanish there is no such thing as being too passionate or sweet. No one is ever going to accuse you of sugarcoating.
There are no cheesy lyrics.
No, but in Spanish it is romantic, it has other softer sounds, there are no such hard consonants. So it lends itself a lot to romantic songs. Notice that Conga I never did it in Spanish because it is very percussive. And then there is the inspiration that comes to you. With the years that we still have left It was originally in English, but I translated it into Spanish. It was the first song that Emilio and I wrote together, I was very much in love and it is a completely different feeling in English and Spanish. My first language was Spanish and there is something very particular and beautiful about it. Some have told me that they love how my songs sound in Spanish and they have learned it to understand them.
Speaking of sugar, are you and Emilio the perfect couple?
That does not exist, who the hell is going to spend 40 years without differing in something? We have had arguments like any couple, but that has diminished over the years. Emilio and I are very different, but on the important things, like our values, family, business, we rarely differ. We are a team and many times it is the two of us against a pile of people. It was difficult at first to mark where the manager and the husband began. I couldn’t go complain about manager to my husband because he was the same, but those are lines that you learn to level and, if you want to stay together, you can. We are more intertwined than ever.
It is very difficult for something to bother me, because I take things very calmly and I have been through a lot in my life
Can you be 40 years in love with the same man?
Love grows and changes and evolves. At first, it is a drug. It is made like this so that we get hooked and have children. Then it deepens, or it ends. We follow.
His daughter Emily featured her girlfriend on Instagram. Have there been ‘closets’ in your home?
None of us knew anything, she did not talk about any of that in her life and decided to tell us when she was in love and had someone in her life. I was the first person to say that gay marriage should be legal, because one must be able to love and live loving the one they love. I do not understand what the problem is. We will always love the person my children love. And I hope they are good people because that is the only thing a father wants. Why do we have to pigeonhole and put everything in a named box and tie a loop on it? Each human is a world unto himself.
Were you the first global Latin diva?
My mother was a diva. She was a teacher, but every day when she woke up, she sat in her silk pajamas and dressing gown in her kitchen to control the world from her table. He loved to sing, to dance. At any party, she was in the center telling stories and making people laugh. He had that very character of me. For me that is being a diva. I definitely don’t consider myself a diva. I don’t like being the center of attention.
Well, he’s been on the scene for 40 years.
I don’t enjoy that, but I got used to it. You cannot think that you are famous, because you are nothing. Fame is given to you by others, and they still take it away from you. I focus on doing things that I like, in that my way of communicating, music, is positive and gives power and a way of expressing myself to others, I think that is the work of an artist. I think about inspiring people. In being able to say something to someone through my songs when they can’t get words out. Motivate, entertain, make you forget your problems for a while and dance, sing, give a little joy. That is the power of the artist.
He performed for the Obamas, but in 2017, when he was given the Kennedy Center Honor, President Trump decided not to go to the act. I miss him?
It did not appear. No one lost out on it, thank God. I don’t think politics should be mixed with an award that is celebrating a lifetime of an artist, because that is not given to just anyone. When politics mix, things get complicated. There were other people who were going to receive the award with me who were reluctant to receive it, so it is difficult for the artist to handle this situation. So I think you did everyone a favor by not going.
Would I have been uncomfortable?
Not uncomfortable … Look, it’s very difficult for something to bother me, because I take things very calmly and I’ve been through a lot in my life. I have realized that it does not help to be angry, that everything happens and that every four years there are elections. Thank God we do not live in Cuba, there is no way to untie the government. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, Emilio and I are unaffiliated. I think that the time of the matches has come to an end, it must have evolved in a different way because I think they are making things very difficult. They are polarizing. Most people are in the middle, but what you hear is both extremes and all extremes are bad in my opinion, really.