Legendary Spanish crooner prepares for Bahrain Spring of Culture
Are you looking forward to performing in Bahrain? I am very excited. This will be not only be my first performance in your country, but also my first visit to it, and I am convinced that my team and I will have a great time. It’s a privilege to see how music becomes a universal language, which connects you with people of different ages and cultures all over the world.
What do you think of the Spring of Culture event that you will be part of? I think it is a very interesting and intense event, which gives the audience the opportunity to see a wide range of artists and styles, which is truly good.
Do you have anything special planned for your concerts? My two concerts in Bahrain will be focused on the most representative songs of my career – those which your grandmother passed on to your mother, and your mother to you. You represent the three generations to whom I owe my 43-year career, and I am so thankful.
We hear you have an album out in March also – will that be part of the concerts? I am working, indeed, on a new album, which will be ready in the following months. It will be focused on the songs the audience has most identified with, during these four decades. I prefer not to reveal too many details right now, because there will be some surprises that I would like to keep.
It says on your website that you have sold 300 million albums worldwide during your career – you’re in your 60s now, do you ever feel it’s time to stop? I am 67, but I feel like I am 30. Music and the audience’s affection keep me strong and give me the necessary energy to step forward. Impressive numbers or records are not my goal anymore. My most important aim is to keep singing, which means keep living to me. Life has been so generous and given me a second chance, after the car accident I had when I was 20 and which almost killed me, so now I don’t have the right to waste any second.
Can you pinpoint a favourite moment in your career? I treasure many unforgettable moments, but one of the most emotional ones is the day I won the Benidorm Festival, in Spain, in 1968, with the song ‘La Vida Sigue Igual (Life Goes On)’. That was the start of my career. Of course, having represented my country at Eurovision was a great honour. And my duets have a special place in my heart. I had the privilege to sing with wonderful voices, like Frank Sinatra, Art Garfunkel, Dolly Parton and Stevie Wonder.
Would you ever consider a duet with one of your children, such as Enrique? Yes, my son and I would love to perform together, but only in a very emotional way. Is it true that Enrique water-skiied naked, which he said he would do if Spain won the World Cup last summer? We heard rumours… Well, I think you better ask my son for these kind of details [laughs]. What I can say is that we had one of the most amazing nights in our lives after Spain’s victory.
Have you done anything that outrageous in your career? You know, this interview is going to be read by my wife too, so I’d better keep the secret [laughs].
We know you’re a bit of a football fan yourself. What do you think of the World Cup coming to the Middle East in 2022? Oh yes, I love football. The period I played for the Real Madrid junior team taught me the meaning of fair play. Regarding the 2022 World Cup, I am sure it will be a success; I think Qatar will work hard and do a great job. Julio Iglesias will perform at Arad Fort for two nights on March 15 and 16, 8.30pm. For more info and tickets, see www.springofculture.org.