Exclusive interview by Paz Rosado
AC- Since your first disc Corazón Latino was released you have not stopped collecting national and international prizes and awards from the music world. How does David Bisbal, being so young and with such a relatively short professional career, live with so much success?
DB- Well, the truth is that I really can’t complain. Things have gone well, that’s for sure, but it’s hard work; there’s no other way to do it. At the beginning it’s difficult to take it all on board, but after a while you begin to assimilate it and understand it’s all part of your work, so really I’m coping quite well – I’m happy.
AC- Do you think that without ‘Operación Triunfo’ you would have achieved this success?
DB- Before doing that television programme I had several offers to sing with orchestras larger than the one I was already with and, as I had delivered live demo tapes to various record companies, television, radio, etc., there had of course been many approaches by people who promise things that never materialise. Who knows whether one day the big opportunity would have arrived; but without doubt ‘Operación Triunfo’ was the greatest thing that could have happened to me.
AC- What do you think is the key to success for David Bisbal?
DB- Well, I’m not sure what to say about that. One thing is certain though, you have to work very hard, surround yourself with a good working team which is also congenial; you have to know how to make difficult decisions, when to say yes or no at the right time, have clear ideas of where you are going, and, above all, believe in what you are doing and love your work, which I do. If you add to that a little bit of discipline and a healthy lifestyle, you’ll get pleasure out of your work.
AC- Do you have any idea how many concerts you have given since your first disc was released?
DB- Not really; I would have to check the details we have in our office, but it must be more than 300.
AC- Of all the songs you have recorded, which is the most special for you and why?
DB- Many of the songs mean a lot to me, but without doubt there’s one which every audience sings along with me at every concert I give, wherever it is, and that’s ‘Dígale’.
AC- Of all the numerous prizes and awards you have received – the Ondas, a Grammy Latino, the World Music Award, the Billboard, etc. – which are special for you and why?
DB- They all mean a lot to me since they signify recognition from the music industry and this is something that makes you feel good and gives you more energy to continue working; but maybe my first solo prize in Spain, the Ondas. The Spanish music industry recognised me at last and that was wonderful.
AC- Which prize or award you have not as yet received would you like to have?
DB- Actually the most important prize is the people who follow you to the concerts, who buy your records, who sing your songs, etc. Instead of thinking which award I would like to receive, I always think about not ever losing that one.
AC- You have performed on numerous stages in Spain, Europe, South America and the United States. At which theatre where you have not appeared would you like to and why?
DB- There are many symbolic places in the United States, in Mexico and Europe, and also in Asia. Difficult to decide on one, but perhaps it would be Madison Square Garden in New York. That would be one of the happiest days in my career, if it were ever to happen.
AC- You have collaborated professionally with numerous artists in the music world, the most recent being Rihanna. What is it like working with her?
DB- This has been a great opportunity for me. To work together with a world number one, which is what she is at the moment; it’s a privilege. Apart from the fact she sings so well, dances beautifully and is very pretty, she is also a very straightforward, understanding and delightful person; this is what she has shown towards me.
AC- Are you thinking about working with other colleagues?
DB- There is something in the pipeline, …
AC- When you were dreaming about success, was there any role model for you?
DB- Oh yes, my first idol was Sergio Dalma who I met when I was with the orchestra. And I’ve been able to coincide with him on stage on several occasions. He’s a great guy.
AC- Some time ago you said you wanted to take part in the sound track of a film, or that one of your concerts might form part of the plot of a film. Have any proposals of this kind turned up?
DB- Yes, several, but they’ve not come off for one reason or another. There’s time yet.
AC- Apart from the scheduled concerts, you are working on your new disc which will be released next year. Have you any idea what you are going to call it?
DB- It’s a bit early to think about that. I’ve only recorded one track so far; it’s going to be the main theme for a Mexican soap opera. So, no, I don’t know yet.
AC- And longer term? What goals do you have professionally as well as personally?
DB- On the professional side, to continue working so I can offer good music in the best possible way I can, as I enjoy doing what I do. Personally, everything is going well, and I’m very happy.
AC- What is a working day in the life of David Bisbal like? Do you follow any fixed routine such as getting up, exercising, breakfasting, reading the daily news, a bit of meditation …?
DB- Life is very different depending on whether you’re promoting, on tour, doing concerts, on holiday or preparing a new project. But yes, you have to be organised and disciplined at all times. Leading a healthy life is important too. Yes, I practise sport, have a very good breakfast, I like to watch the news and read the newspaper. In my spare time I go fishing, play football … A normal life really.
AC- And when you are on holiday, what do you like doing best?
DB- Travelling to a peaceful spot, fishing and bicycling.
AC- How does David Bisbal see himself?
DB- A normal person I think. Demanding at work, family oriented, bit of a joker, and I love music.
AC- Which part of your body do you like most?
DB- Well, I’m not really the person who should answer that, I’m happy as I am.
AC- And that you like the least?
DB- I can’t complain about anything.
AC- Of all the flattering compliments paid to you up to now, which stands out and why?
DB- I’ve always preferred compliments directed to me as an artist rather than my physique. I’ve been told many things and I take them all with a lot of affection.
AC- Let’s talk about your beloved land. Which are your favourite tapas bars in Almería?
DB- There are so many tapas bars in Almería that it’s difficult to choose between them. The most famous are Casa Puga, El Quinto Toro, Casa Joaquín, etc., but above all I like going to La Abuela, Bodegas Capel, the Arenas bar in El Zapillo, these are my favourites. Also they’re very near the beach and to the fairground area.
AC- And restaurants? To be sure there’s a Chinese one among your favourites?
DB- Ha-ha; oh yes. There used to be a Chinese restaurant near my house called Hong Kong … very original! I used to love it. I’ve passed by there several times now and see that it’s closed down. But there are great restaurants in Almería. You can eat well at the Asador in the Hotel Torreluz and I also like the Restaurante El Sotillo which is in San José, I go a lot. Sometimes I go to the Venta del Pobre. There are so many.
AC- And when you go out for a drink with your friends?
DB- In Almería, to the centre, the area of 4 Calles; and in Aguadulce the port in summer. But, be careful, if you have to take the car, someone has to abstain from drinking so they can drive you home with no risks taken.
AC- We would also like you to recommend the most interesting places in your home town for walking around and enjoying its historic-artistic heritage.
DB- A visit to the Alcazaba is greatly recommended, where I recorded the ‘Torre de Babel’ video-clip. Then there is the Cerro de San Cristóbal, the Jairán wells, the recently inaugurated archaeological museum, the cathedral, Convent de las Claras, the Calle de las Tiendas which dates from the 17th century, the underground Civil War shelters, the old mineral loading depots … All these are in the city itself and I’ve left out so much. There is also much more in the province as a whole.
AC- Apart from Almería, which other place in Andalucía would you choose for a break?
DB- Every town in Andalucía has its own charm, but a boat trip up the Guadalquivir would be great.