There is no single way of writing a hit. It’s difficult to imagine Charly Garcia and Max Martin having the same approach to songwriting. Illya Kuryaki singer Emmanuel Horvilleur has his own MO, one that whether he was playing with the Kuryakis or flying solo got him on radios, dancefloors and cellphones.
“My biggest hits have come to me when I was fooling around,” he admits. “The same goes for the phrase itself, ‘Yo nunca perseguí el hit’ [I never chased for the hit],” Horvilleur explains while referring to his latest single, the aptly titled “El Hit.”
The song was born while on tour in Europe, when he got together with <a href=”/music/Brazilian-Girls”>Brazilian Girls</a> keyboardist Didi Gutman and <a href=”/music/Residente”>Residente</a> producer Rafa Arcaute in Madrid. “Didi put a loop on, and I came up with the phrase while I searched for a melody. We laughed and left it at that,” Horvilleur remembers.
The three of them resumed work when Gutman arrived in Buenos Aires a few months later. “We were recording another song. Dido then played the loop again, and I remembered the phrase,” he describes. “Three hours later, we had the song.”
Horvilleur tells Billboard Argentina whether artists unknowingly pursue the hit:
“Not unknowingly, but rather knowingly. There are formulas, and it looks as if you can’t move much from there it, precisely because of the musical ingredients that make you feel that way. To a certain extent, you are always looking for your own hit, that is, the song that represents you the most, in terms of the concept, the idea and the music.
“What happens with this song is that it came about while fooling around. In the end, the point is to be loved, everyone feels that way. Part of the violence and the bad things that happen come from, naïve as it may sound, lack of love. In that sense, the phrase ‘yo solamente buscaba gustarte a ti’ [I only wanted you to like me] becomes more meaningful. There are all sorts of things in music, but you really enjoy it when you connect with the other. I want to achieve that complicity.”
This is the first time the “Amor en Polvo [Powdered Love]” singer delivers a single without having the accompanying album finished. “It’s fun. I had been told it smooths the road. Not that I’ll try and make all the songs along that line, but naturally, you start discarding things,” he commented.
The opus is expected for the fall of 2018 and will sport 11 songs. “I used to do records occupying the most minutes possible,” he reminisced of the early days, rapping with Dante Spinetta, putting forth Horno Para Calentar Mares, with 17 songs, as an example.
The next year will have little Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas. While they’re not disbanding, both Horvilleur and Spinetta will focus on their own careers. The latter has recently released Puñal [Dagger], an album so personal that not even Horvilleur can see himself in it. In 2017, on tour together, each of them began work on their albums.
“We spent all year recording, but in no hurry,” he explained. “I chose to do it calmly to enjoy every minute intensely. We didn’t spend more than four days in the studio. What’s coming is great.”
In 2018, he will also curate the lineup of a festival of new artists. “I’m looking for bands and artists to assemble the lineup of a festival which for now will be called Calorama,” he said while he gets ready to play in this year’s Lollapalooza Argentina with Mariano Dominguez and Matias Rada on bass and guitar. “Playing with them makes it harder for me to miss playing with the Kuryaki.”