India Martinez Fernandez - A young woman with an old soul
One can not learn to sing flamenco if it is not inside you. But talent is not enough to make it, especially if you have the ambition to extend your art beyond Spain. In the beautiful theatre Handelsbeurs (HA’) in Gent, Belgium, I had the privilege to attend a unique concert of India Martinez Fernandez. Only 22 years old, born in Córdoba, Andalucía and a singer with a very personal style. Perfectly accompanied by a phantastic (young) guitar player and assisted by a superb (young) dancer. The performance of this trio improved with every song or piece they played. You could hear and see them ‘growing’ on stage, like young horses in the field. And the small crowd, mostly flamenco aficionado’s, appreciated it very much.
They exceed the many flamenco styles by also playing flamenco songs that sometimes sound like a ballad as “La vida es una dilemma” (life is a dilemma). With a little latin spirit you may even discover some samba melody in it. And why not? These young artists have the talent and the right to experiment as long as they control and respect the basic traditional values of flamenco. And they did: India Martinez sang like a tormented soul whilst the accoustic guitar gently weeped. The dancer demonstrated not only correctly flamenco, the percussion of his feet was brilliant, similar to how a (latin) conga player would play with his hands.
It was the Belgian flamenco impressario Guido Declercq of La Barraca ( www.la-barraca.be) who discovered India’s international potential and brought her to the stage in Belgium only two years ago. Recently India Martinez has been signed by a major record company.
As a gitana India is the ultimate proof that the Cante Flamenco is not folkloric, but a living and modern art form, which is being practised by a new generation of artists who, respecting the traditions, dedicate themselves fully to their art.