Gustavo Cerati passed away five years ago today — on Sept. 4, 2014 — at the age of 55. His death seemed sudden, although it came after Cerati had spent the previous years in a Buenos Aires hospital in a coma, following the stroke he suffered after a concert in Caracas in 2010.
Best known as the frontman of the Argentine pop-rock band Soda Stereo, Cerati was, and will remain, one of Latin America’s most unique voices and most influential artists.
Of the many milestones Cerati left for us to mark in perpetuity was the release of his final solo studio album, Fuerza Natural, which came out ten years ago this week, on Sept. 1, 2009.
In a conversation with this writer for Billboard on the eve of what, so sadly, would be his last tour, Cerati called it simply “my best album.”
He described himself at the top of his game, after having consecrated his solo career with his previous album, Ahí Vamos, and making a magistral return with Soda Stereo on the group’s international “Me Verás Volver” tour in 2007.
“I have the sensation that there was not pressure to do this album beyond me just wanting to do it,” said Cerati, who acknowledged the album’s folk and psychedelic influences. “It is truly a product of desire. I feel really free of a lot of things. Maybe that fact of having done the tour for Ahí Vamos, which for me was very successful, and also of course the Soda tour, which was enormous, put me in a place, at least musically, where I really feel that I can do anything within my own capabilities.
“The songs came out quickly, and then it was a process undertaken with a lot of enthusiasm; at the same time it was relaxing to not have to answer to anyone, just to make the best music that came out of me.”
An authentic “Force of Nature,” Cerati’s legend and impact have continued to grow since his death, kept alive by his music, which many will be streaming today.