Santiago Moreno Charpentier, the Argentine singer known as Chano, is smiling. The 36-year-old artist feels optimistic about his new solo project, born after leaving his group Tan Bionica behind in April 2016.
He’s already released five singles with radio potential: “Carnavalintro,” which has gone double platinum due to its 41 million streams, and made Chano break his own record in Spotify’s Top 50, in nine months; “Naistumichiu,” which he wrote and recorded in Madrid with Coti Sorokin as producer; “Claramente,” recorded in the U.S. with Pepe Cespedes behind the glass; “Para vos,” produced by Cachorro López; and “La Noche.”
“I always notice that in order to write, I have to be far away from Buenos Aires,” he shares.
After Tan Bionica’s dissolution, the singer makes his greatest gamble: going solo and planning to fill Luna Park Stadium on May 3. “I want to be the greatest musician,” he says.
Here, Chano talks to Billboard Argentina about songwriting and his affinity for radio:
You went to the States to write, record and produce. What was it like?
The producers asked me to go back, but I don’t want to. I worked to my liking, but I find it rather depressing. It’s like a song supermarket. There are urban artists that are now No. 1 that worked there that seemed very lousy.
They want to do the lyrics in a single day. Maybe the guys have talent, but that is not something you do in a place and time arranged by a manager. Like, “At what time are the muses coming, management? 4?” You can’t build a message in a single shot. Nobody’s done it, not a single musician in history.
I don’t want to point at anyone, because you could say “Ella tiene un look” (by Tan Bionica), and it’s just as lousy as the rest. You can do it once, but an entire record like that? It isn’t honest. Like, “Felices Los 4″ (by <a href=”/music/Maluma”>Maluma</a>), which has like seven writers. There are some things that require intimacy, trying out words, and it’s not good to do it with more people. It’s like that face you do when you cry before people only you know.
Do you think reggaeton musicians are all day like that, partying with golden sneakers? That they don’t have obsessions or sorrows? It isn’t like that. Let them be heard at the discos. That’s the place for them, where you can get only 400 people inside. They don’t have a message to keep the audience hooked.
On the other hand, I am a fan of <a href=”/articles/news/international/8085434/argentina-fito-paez-new-album-interview”>Fito Paez</a>. He can do and say what he wants, and I’ll still buy his record. Because it’s years of building a message.
What would you like to happen with your songs?
That they get played on the radio. It makes me happier to hear my song on the radio than having great numbers on streaming. I’m a bit old-school. Tan Bionica’s relationship with the radio was really nice. In 2007, in Rosario, three guys from Radio Boing — Cachete, Franco Merlo and El Oso — began playing “Arruinarse,” and it became a hit instantly.
In those days, there was no streaming, so that was what got played. It was nicer that way; you could feel it more. I felt “Carnavalintro” was a hit, but not on the street. There are no single songs dominating everything. Radio creates hits.
Back then, in a show where we expected to sell 100 tickets, we ended up selling 700. Nobody could understand what had happened. “What happened, man?” The power of radio.
I remember after that show, everything kind of wound down a bit, which was terrible. Then we did the biggest concert in Rosario’s history: first 700 people, then one thousand, two thousand, more and more ’till we got 60 thousand at the free show near the Flag Monument. Cachete, and the rest couldn’t stop crying. They cried with pride.