Rubén 'Pelo' Aprile, Legendary Argentine Producer, Dies at 71

Pelo Aprile
Courtesy of Daniel Aprile

Pelo Aprile

Rubén “Pelo” Aprile, the Argentine producer and record man who was a central figure in the history of Argentine rock and pop, has died, sources and published reports confirm. He was pivotal in the success of acts like Charly García, Illya Kuryaki, Mercedes Sosa and Luis Alberto Spinetta, among many others.

Aprile passed away on Thursday (June 3) in a hospital in Buenos Aires of complications from COVID-19. He was 71.

Aprile, a gregarious man known for his “asados” (Argentine barbecues) and long chats over whiskey, founded Argentine label Interdisc in in 1977, releasing music by the likes of Spinetta, García, Celeste Carballo and Pedro Aznar, and first albums by rock legends like Andrés Calamaro and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.

In the late 1980s, Aprile sold the Interdisc catalog to PolyGram Argentina, where he eventually worked. In 2000, he launched his own label and publisher, Pelo Music, where he released Argentine artists like Miranda!, Babasónicos, Pablo Lescano and Marilina Bertoldi.

On social media, dozens of artists and executives remembered a man who took risks and was larger than life.

“There are no words. I think I was convinced that Pelo was immortal,” Bertoldi tweeted.

Singer/songwriter and producer Alejandro Lerner remembered him as “the only producer who wanted to discover artists, not invent them. He took your dreams and multiplied them.”

“One of my great godfathers and mentors,” producer Toy Selectah posted. “Saddened you won’t be here to give us your advice again. What a tremendous recording legacy you leave behind.”