Fito Paez Talks Potato Pies, Tango, Luck in Music in 'Growing Up Latino' Episode

Argentinian pop-rock singer-songwriter? Fito Paez looks back at his childhood in the newest episode of Billboard's Growing Up Latino series.

His immediate memory? An afternoon throwing firecrackers with his cousins in the entryway of his house. What happened next? Well, a coat caught fire and a fuming man marked the end of the playdate. “My father and aunt had to pay for his coat,” he remembers.

So how do Argentinians say hi to each other? “Hola” seems to be the most common, however, a variety of greetings come to mind: “¿Qué haces, man?” or “¿Qué haces, ché?”, both which translate to “what’s up, dude?” Even the American casual “hi” is acceptable.

For Paez, and his family, a homemade potato pie (which is similar to a casserole), was cherished: “Ground beef, spices like pepper, eggs, olives, even raisins. Some make it with rains, but I don’t like raisins!” he firmly proclaims. As he savors the memory he goes on to explain that the pie is covered with a layer of potatoes and shredded cheese. “It’s so delicious! It’s different in every home; to each cook his own," he says.

For Paez, the best place to visit is, of course, Argentina. He smiles as he enlightens on how bursting of amazing places and people his country is. “It is full of great spaces like Sierra de Córdoba, Nieves de Bariloche, Villa la Angostura. Even the Argentinian sea has beaches with extremely cold water but surrounded by beautiful locations," he explains.

Crossing over to his life as an artist, the best thing about being a Latin artist is not a tangible thing for him: “I have been lucky that a lot of people allowed me to work on my dreams.”

Finally, a meditative Paez tries to think of a song that represents his country. “It’s so hard to decide! For every tribe a different song,” he muses. Giggling, he ends up by deciding on the national anthem, but on that same podium goes Carlos Gardel’s famous “El Día Que Me Quieras.”

Watch the full episode of Growing Up Latino above.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.