Since the beginning of the summer, Cuban singer/songwriter Elaín has been hosting "Sígueme," a one-hour reality show on Mega TV (Sundays, 8 p.m.) that delves into the inner-makings of artists and their music.
Elaín, who last year was nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Tropical Album, approaches his show from an artist’s standpoint, going to the source of the music (in addition to artists, he also interviews songwriters) and also, diving into impromptu performances with his guest. Elaín, whose guest list has included Albita, Arturo Sandoval, Jorge Luis Piloto and Arthur Hanlon, spoke with Billboard about his new show.
This is an unusual show for Spanish-language TV. How did it come about?
I began experimenting with the concept a few years ago, because I realized there are many things in the creative process that fans really know nothing about. We always see the finished product, but there’s a process to get there. And that’s what we wanted. We want to show people the magic process of creating music. And we also wanted to spend time with great composers and authors who’ve made a difference in music. We record together, so it’s a big encounter with the magical world of music.
Who are your guests?
I've had Albita, Alejandro Sanz, Arthur Hanlon, Arturo Sandoval, Yoel Henriquez. We want all kinds of artists who are linked to the creative process and all facets that make up the artist. We want to show how the world of music is part of their lives and how through music they can communicate with their fans all the experiences they live in making their albums and songs.
Why is it called "Sígueme?"
We began to shoot in different cities around the world and the name came up spontaneously. I was touring around the world and it was the only way I found to communicate with people in one word.
You look very natural on-screen. Had you done this before?
No. This just happened! But I see "Sígueme" not just as a music platform but as an educational platform. It’s a meeting place for fans and their artists.
Tell me how you got into music? Did you study music in Cuba?
I never had formal training. I would have loved to but I didn’t have the opportunity. My parents were from the countryside and the thought of my becoming a musician scared them. They wanted me to have a "real" career. But by the time I was five I sang with all the groups in the neighborhood. And by six I learned how to play the guitar.
You garnered a couple of Latin Grammy nominations last year. What are you working on now?
I’m working on my fourth album, which I want to dedicated to my accomplices around the world. I don’t want to call them fans because I don’t think it’s at the level of all those people who give us their love. It’s called "Mi Paraíso" (My Paradise) and it has 13 songs I wrote. In fact, I’m also featuring the creative process behind the album on "Sígueme."
"Sígueme" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Mega TV in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. An acoustic concert with Elain will stream live at 4 p.m. Sept. 6 on terra.com in over 19 countries. For more information on Elaín visit elainmusic.com.