BWW Interviews: Migguel Anggelo Talks BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS & Upcoming LA CASA AZUL Album
On September 24, 2014 Migguel Anggelo enchanted audiences with his concert BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS. Luckily for those who missed it or for those who want to see it again, he and Joe's Pub are bringing the concert back on December 2, 2014. Recently, he and I sat down together to discuss the upcoming concert and why everyone, whether you saw it last time or not, should be excited to see its return.
You have a background in opera, and you also paint. How did you first get involved with singing and the arts in general?
Migguel Anggelo: My father was a chef and mechanic, and he was always listening to opera-Pavarotti or Placido Domingo-when he was cooking. And boleros by [Trío] Los Panchos. He was a big, big fan of opera and Mexican boleros. My mom was a ballet dancer. We always grew up with music in the house. So, my mom and father were all of the time listening to music and singing.
I remember when I was maybe eleven or twelve, I told my father and my mom, "You know, I want to be an actor." They asked, "Why?" I said, "Well, this is what I learned from you guys, so I just want to be doing things on the stage." Then my father-he was a very macho Latino-said, "Okay, tomorrow I'll take you to a place." And where he took me was a ballet company. I asked, "Dad, why did you take me to a ballet school?" He said, "Well if you want to be an actor, you need to know how to dance and how to sing. This is going to be the first step." That is how I became involved with the arts in my life.
This December you'll be returning to Joe's Pub. What is your favorite aspect of performing in this venue?
Migguel Anggelo: I think it's because Joe's Pub is very intimate. You can even feel how the people are breathing. When they are eating, I can hear everything. I feel like Joe's Pub is homey. I feel like I'm in my living room, and all of the people there are my friends. That is what is very magical about Joe's Pub.
What was the inspiration for your concert BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS?
Migguel Anggelo: When I was young my mom gave me Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. So, I read that book, and I was crazy. I said, "You know what, I'm a dreamer, and I want a dreamer. I know that there are people out there like me." You know? I said, "With my music, I want to try talking about dreams, love, and everything like a composition together-like a mix of ideas. I also was looking at doing covers of other amazing singers' songs about dreams as well." I said, "You know what, I want to create something like that." So, when I was talking about the concept of the show, I thought, "What am I going to name it?" I said, "You know what, in my life, and people like me, live between dreams!" Click! That was the name for the show.
In addition to BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS, you'll also be releasing your second album LA CASA AZUL on March 3, 2015. What was it like recording that album?
Migguel Anggelo: It was really great. First of all, for the last five years, I always came into New York City, even if I was living in Miami. I moved into New York only a year ago, but before that I always came to New York every two months to visit my friends. New York, the city, is so inspiring: the trash, the rats in the subway, and the people are so crazy. It's like everybody is in their own zone. You know? So, I always wrote songs in New York City.
There was a time when I was talking to my friend Mauricio-he's the musical director and pianist for my show, and he is a great musician from Costa Rica-he's became one of my best friends. I said, "You know what? We need to do this. We need to record a CD-a very magical one, with bass and a four string quartet but also with different sounds. I want to mix salsa, pop, and opera all together. Then Mau [Maurice] recorded the CD in the living room of his apartment in Coral Gables, Miami. It was a one and a half year process, and after we wrote all of the music and everything, we called musicians and said, "Okay, tomorrow is the violin. Next week is the piano. Next week..." And, it was like that. Then, after recording all the musicians, I recorded the vocals. Then we mixed, and it became the CD.
With songs like "Donde Estará Matisse?" and "La Casa Azul" (about Frida Kahlo), how does visual art inspire you to create music?