BWW Interview: Migguel Anggelo Talks SO CLOSE: LOVE & HATE
Migguel Anggelo, the Brooklyn based, Venezuelan born singer-songwriter and all around artist, is coming back to Joe's Pub with SO CLOSE: LOVE & HATE. It's been a while since we've seen him on stage, so we caught up with the gifted and energetic performer to get the inside scoop on the brand new show.
What inspired your new show, SO CLOSE: LOVE & HATE?
Migguel Anggelo: There's a ton of hate in the world right now, sadly. Everything we read in the media, everything we hear our leaders say . . . there's too much hate! I wanted to create a show that is ultimately about love, about love being the solution.
Your previous shows have had strong political messages. Will this new show be political?
Migguel Anggelo: Of course, I mean, that's who I am. We have been exploring themes of immigrant identity in our previous shows, and I can't escape mining the personal to come up with the most authentic work we can come up with. Like many people, I am so disheartened by what is going on in the world today socially and politically. While SO CLOSE: LOVE & HATE is not a political rant, poetically and metaphorically it is a sonic collage that deals with those issues and love as the antidote to a world of hate.
As an artist and an immigrant, what is one thing you wish you could say to Trump, his team, and supporters?
Migguel Anggelo: In our song "Inmigrantes," I sing, "I crossed my only border when I left my mother's womb." So, ALL OF US - we are ALL immigrants. No matter where we are from.
I wish the current administration and its supporters would get this. Please end the messages of hatred, and bring people back together with love. That is essentially the message of our new show.
Will this show include any new music written by you?
Migguel Anggelo: Yes! Definitely. This new show has eight new songs that I have written with Mau Quiros and David Drake. They express different aspects of love and hate and often have political overtones.
Our new songs "I Hate This Song" and "What Comes Next," for instance, are about my frustration and concern for the future, about selfish dictators and hypocrite leaders, and their divisive effect on the world.
But, there are also original songs in the show that are not about politics, but simply about love. My song "The Love of the Cello" (El Amor del Cello) is one of only a few songs sung in Spanish in the show and is about an old cello that falls in love with a harp. "I Feel Love" is a new song about the things that make me happy.
Without giving away any surprises, what songs can we expect to hear you do covers of?
Migguel Anggelo: Well . . . I can't reveal all our tricks, but I'll give you a few hints: I'm singing a song from the mid 70's that I LOVE, originally done by the "Mother of all Divas." I'm also reinterpreting a song from a little bird from Iceland, but my version is in Spanish. And, final hint . . . I'll be comparing love songs from the Great American Songbook with their Latin American counterparts. It's real beautiful . . . and REAL HYSTERICAL.
How does it feel to be returning to Joe's Pub, and why do you like this venue so much?
Migguel Anggelo: Oh, it feels so good to be back at Joe's Pub! You know, I always say that Joe's Pub is like a second home to me. David Drake and I call the lounge on the second floor "our office." We do our writing, brainstorming, and have ultimately conceived this show there.
The room is intimate and magical. And, the Joe's Pub team embraces artists that are different, that are not easily categorized, and we are encouraged to try things out, test the waters, and to develop! And, the audiences are amazing, attentive, smart, and passionate. It's a dream scenario for an artist, really!
What advice would you offer to other artists who want to create cabaret shows of their own?
Migguel Anggelo: Make the show personal. We don't need another evening of "favorite songs." Instead, I think songs should become a window into a personal point of view. They become metaphors and theatrical expressions of meaning. I am always more interested in original songs. When covers are included, I am excited when they are unique interpretations that further the story of the show. Make it personal, and the audiences will always connect.
Migguel Anggelo performs SO CLOSE: LOVE & HATE on May 23 and 24 at Joe's Pub. For tickets, please click here. For more information, please visit http://www.migguelanggelo.com. Also, be sure to follow Anggelo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.