“I no longer compete with anyone, I just make music” | The USA Print

"I no longer compete with anyone, I just make music"

Mai Meneses, After five years away from the stage for various reasons, she has returned to the stage stronger than ever. Without making as much noise as years ago, the project of daconte babe is at a point of maximum maturity, with a new record, ‘Almost perfect’, with which he wanted to pay a small tribute to the artists who made him fall in love with music.

caters to Vozpopuli half a year after the resounding launch of his book, ‘I had so much to give you: love, music, anxiety, dreams and madness’, in which he opened up and opened up about his mental health and drug issues. With the bump over, he is working at the top of his lungs to develop his career: despite releasing his latest album last week, he is already working on the next one, as well as having already closed a good number of bowling for 2023.

It is about the rebirth of Nena Daconte, but without denying the past that elevated him in the Spanish industry: She tells us that she continues to enjoy the songs that made her great, such as ‘I had so much to give you’, a song that is already considered a hymn within Spanish pop.

Q: Ten years after the last album, ‘Casi perfecto’ was born. How has the process been?

A: I am very happy, it had been ten years since my last album that I released in physical format and five years since Suerte, an EP that I released in digital format. With Casi Perfecto I return to music with the sounds that I liked when I started to like music, which was in the nineties.

Q: In an industry oversaturated with urban musicians, many of you return to the pop of the early 2000s

A: I don’t pay much attention to what other people are doing. I wanted to make a record with references to Nirvana, The Cranberries, Green Day,… what I was listening to when I had my first bands and started playing. I thought Dani Alcover was the best producer for that because he’s got that sound in the vein. He has been very cool.

Q: So, in which space do we place Nena Daconte in 2023?

A: I don’t know what Nena Daconte’s gap in 2023 is. I make music a bit out of necessity, because I like what I do and I have my unconditional fans who have followed me from the beginning. Then, there are younger people who are starting to get hooked on Nena Daconte’s music, but starting with the first albums as well. They are the ones I meet at concerts and festivals. There are people my age, who have grown up with me and my music, and then young people who have suddenly discovered Nena Daconte.

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Q: What is your relationship with La La Love You? You collaborated with them and now, with their ex-bass player

A: In ‘Tu canción’, which is on the album, Celia Becks, who is the ex-bassist of La La Love You, sings. I also met her in the review of ‘I had so much to give you’ and since then we’ve gotten along very well. She also created her solo proposal and I really wanted to sing with her.

Mai Meneses, during the photo shoot with Vozpópuli | Photo: Jesus Garcia

Q: Continuing with ‘Almost Perfect’, how has it been received in its first week of release?

A: The album, the fans and the people who follow me on the networks and follow me, very well, they are liking it a lot and they say that it is a bit of a return to the first albums, although I have almost never left the guitars behind. The reception is being very good.

Q: I understand that now, after publishing the album, a tour will come

We are touring all over the place and we are including some songs from the new album, although the concert to present the album will be on November 3 at the Barceló theater here in Madrid.

Q: How does it feel to be back doing hours in the van and on the road?

A: I was retired from music and vans for five years and now I return with great enthusiasm, with great enthusiasm to share my music with people. The concerts we are doing are coming out very cool. We have two formats: an acoustic one, with a musician (Chema Moreno) and me. Then an electric format, more for festivals and larger venues, which has a different energy. This is how we are pulling and I still have to fulfill the dream of going to Latin America with my music, something that I have always wanted to do and to see if I can achieve it with this album. The intention is to go to Mexico, we want to do five gigs there, I’m super excited.

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Q: Why is almost perfect better than perfect?

A: Almost perfect is much better than perfect, because I think that perfection and looking for it is a very frustrating path and I have learned that it is much better not to push yourself so much in life. Imperfect things are super beautiful. Besides, there’s a song called ‘Almost perfect’ that talks about a love relationship and explains that: in the end, relationships have their ups and downs, their bad moments and that’s still ‘Almost perfect’.

Q: You have gone from a giant like Universal to an independent record label, how has the change been?

A: Since I’ve been at Subterfuge, an independent record label, I’ve taken a lot of pressure off myself. I no longer compete, I no longer race with anyone, not even with myself. I don’t have to get anywhere anymore, I just make music, enjoy it and make people enjoy it. There is no more pressure for numbers, I am not being required to reach a certain number of streams or record sales. Everyone is glad that things are going well, because that means more work for everyone. But at Subterfuge there is a respect for my career, for the new things I’m doing too… it’s much more relaxed than being in a multinational.

Q: I understand that they also allow you to release albums and get out of the ‘single’ path that the industry has taken.

Records are what give meaning to my work. They include the songs that one has been composing during a stage. It is finished and delivered to the public. I’m already working on the next album and I don’t feel any pressure to do it in a certain way. I feel like I’m free to do it however I want.

“I was retired from music and vans for five years and now I am back with great enthusiasm, with great enthusiasm to share my music with people” | Photo: Jesus Garcia

Q: Lola Índigo, Pablo López, you… it is clear that leaving ‘OT’ soon is not synonymous with failure

A: I think that if I had to say something to my 20-year-old self, I would tell him to be very patient, because with patience things work out. Patience, work and a lot of enthusiasm. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career, keep writing and not really expect anything.

Q: It’s been six months since you released the book. Now, with perspective, how do you analyze it?

R. I wrote the book as a therapy. It helped me to put order and take many things out. It has also helped me so that Nena Daconte fans know more about the songs, why I composed them, what they are about… and when it comes to talking about mental health it has helped a lot of people, because whenever they talk about these topics we remove a bit of the taboo around.

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Q: Of that Mai, what remains after eighteen years of musical career?

A: There’s not much left, because I no longer have stage fright, insecurities, yes, like everyone else. But age has taught me to manage them in a certain way. That dream still remains to be fulfilled, which is to live from music, which to this day I have achieved and I feel super privileged.

Q: Is it true that your return was going to be earlier, but the pandemic spoiled everything?

A: I recorded the ‘Suerte’ EP and we were just going to live in Dallas with the family. There I had to decide if I would stay in Madrid or go with my family to live the American experience. It was a decision that I made, the record was published, it came out and there are people who follow my music who regard it as a very special record. It is true that it stayed there, a bit in limbo.

Q: Seeing how little impact that EP had due to the pandemic, have you thought about re-releasing it?

A: The truth is that I have not thought about it. That stayed and that’s it. Yes, I play lucky songs live and I like them, they still say a lot to me, but I haven’t thought of doing anything else with that record.

Q: Finally, what is it like to close a concert with ‘Tenía tanto que darte’? People leave their soul…

A: I am very excited to sing ‘Tenía tanto que darte’ to this day, although I have done it thirty million times. I really like how people sing that song and how they pass it along. It is a festive moment of the concert and I hope it will remain so for a long time. I don’t think about it much either, it’s something I was lucky enough to compose, it has given me a lot of joy but I’ve never thought of composing something the same or similar. It was a black swan that came up in my career and there it is.