Feature: Musicians Around The World, Part 1: Florencia Cano

The Musicians Around The World feature is devoted to chronicling the lives of both Uruguayan who are traveling abroad, and foreign performers who come to Uruguay in order to promote and develop their art.

In the first part of this feature, I had the chance to speak with young Uruguayan singer/composer Florencia Cano. She is going to travel through the US shortly with some friends, and she will take advantage of the time she spends there to try and promote her music in what is undoubtedly the biggest market in the world.

Florencia Cano

Florencia Cano

Q: First of all thank you so much for your time. I’d like to ask you to introduce yourself to all the readers of MusicKO.

A: Thank you for the chance to do this. My name is Florencia Cano, and I was born in Montevideo (Uruguay). I love singing, and I come from a musicians’ family. My father is a jazz musician, and my mother was part of many different rock bands in the ‘60s. I was always attracted to music, but it was only when I became 20 that I realized how much I liked it, how much I enjoyed singing.

At first I sang pop songs, and the band I was in sort of leaned towards country… it was something that sort of happened whenever we were rehearsing and playing. And that wasn’t really something I enjoyed. Then, I began studying operatic singing. That’s what I really like. It’s what I enjoy signing best. I love fusing it with pop. And since I’m a soprano, I like to take my voice as high as possible, make it explode in high notes and then contrast it with lower passages. I like to take my potential further all the time. I am devoting my life to singing.

Q: I understand that you are developing a style of your very own, that your music is not something that could be labeled in a univocal way. Rather, it could be labeled in multiple ways at once. Can you tell everybody about what you are doing? If possible, could you define it?

A: The thing is, I love music on the whole. I listen to lots of different genres, I appreciate mostly every style that you could listen to. I love tango, and I love rock. I love opera. I’m also fond of Jazz. And I believe I began doing things in a certain way, and that way changed as time went by, simply because I’m in a search process. I like to combine lots of things.

Q: But if you had to pinpoint just a couple of genres, what would they be?

A: Well, nowadays I have a couple of compositions that are a bit reminiscent of Ani DiFranco and Jewel… songs I perform only with my acoustic guitar. These are songs I really enjoy playing, but mostly from a personal point of view. They bring me a lot of calm. They are songs that I like to keep to myself. What I want to share with others are the more operatic numbers, the ones where I combine rock with operatic singing. These are the songs I decorate the most – I love decorating things, making them sparkle… There’s nothing I love best than giving a single song lots and lots of different ambiences.

People have told me that the songs I write are a bit like movies. I begin dealing with something specific, but I end up creating a whole world. My characters are the kind everybody ends up relating to.

Q: So, as a composer you have that gift which someone like Joni Mitchell had of narrating what is personal in a universally-relatable way. Is that the right way to put it?

A: Yes, I like that concept, I like to think we are one and all the same. We all have the very same feelings at some point or other in our lives. That is why there are songs that everybody loves, no matter where they are or which language they speak. Continue reading