Miguel Bosé, Q&A With a Legend: 'Before I Made It, I Was Selling Burgers in London'

Bernardo Doral
Miguel Bosé

America, get ready for some Miguel Bosé. After a successful run in Mexico and Spain, the Spanish icon, 59, is bringing his Amo tour Stateside this month, with six confirmed dates kicking off Oct. 27 in El Paso, Texas, and wrapping Nov. 8 in San Diego, Calif.

“It’s the most beautiful one I’ve ever done,” he tells Billboard of the tour. “That’s what my fans say and I agree. The production and set design are very impressive. I have these big artistic elements and four huge towers. And when it comes to the songs, it has a few key ones from Amo but the rest is a journey of the hits.”

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When asked if he ever gets sick of singing the hits, Bosé, who’s up for three Latin Grammys this year in recognition of his 2014 album Amo, says, “Never! I give the people what they want. They’re not even my songs anymore; they’re their songs. You have to just be grateful. And there’s always new ways of singing them, new arrangements, things that breathe new life into them.”

The fashionable crooner -- whose breakout album Linda came out 38 years ago -- indulged us in a legendary-style Q&A, and reflected on his humble beginnings (selling burgers!), his favorite musical memories (The Doors!), impressive chef skills (risotto!), favorite movie (Disney's Brave, sort of), and more.

Read on to get to know Bosé in a whole new light...

Most interesting nickname anyone has ever given you:

There’s so many. They’ve called me everything from Bandido to Tío Bueno to El Indispensable to El Incansable.

Song you sing in the shower or whistle when no one is watching:

I don’t whistle or sing in the shower.

Three things you have to have in all of your dressing rooms:

Water, fruit, and tranquility.

 Best compliment you’ve ever received:

¡Viva la madre que te parió! [Long live the woman you birthed you!]

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you still apply to this day:

Just be you.

Favorite foreign city in which you feel at home:

Mexico City.

Genre you would never try:

Flamenco. I suck at footwork and you need a special kind of throat to sing it. Same thing with gospel. You’re either born to do it (or not).

Movie you never get sick of watching:

Well, I’ll tell you the one that I better never get sick of watching, because otherwise my kids wouldn’t speak to me -- Disney’s Brave. I’ve seen it around 200 times. Seriously. I’ve never watched anything that much.

Award that has meant the most to you:

My family.

Where were you when you heard a song of yours on the radio for the first time?

I was in a car, and it was “Linda.” It was like an out-of-body experience, it was so foreign and so emotional. To listen to yourself at the same time that millions of other people are listening to you -- it’s a very particular feeling.

On what do you splurge?

I don’t have the mentality of spending on myself like that. If it’s not to share with others, I don’t really crave material things -- cars, watches or things like that. I’d much rather go out to eat with friends or travel with them.

Speaking of food, what’s your favorite restaurant in the world?

My home.

Do you cook?

I do. I cook Spanish food and I also make a great risotto.

Your first job, before you got into music:

Selling burgers in South Kensington, London.

The first concert you ever went to as a fan:

The Doors at Roundhouse in London.

Most recent concert you went to as a fan:

Juanes and Fonseca in Panama. It was beautiful.

Song that first awakened the musical spirit in you as child:

It was an aria by[classical] composer [George Frideric] Handel called “Lascia Ch’io Pianga.” It Italian it means, “Let me cry.” It moved me very deeply.  

Album of yours where you felt you had finally established your sound, your identity:

Bandido (1984) is the album on which I truly started writing music. Before that I was only writing lyrics. That’s where my career started. I have so much fun when I sing songs from it, to this day.