Pitingo?? is in no laughing mood this April Fools’ Day. The 34-year-old flamenco soul artist is firing back at Spanish satirical online newspaper El Mundo Today after it published an article containing fake quotes about Bjork attributed to him.
The article was originally published on March 26 with the headline “Bjork Retires Out of Fear That Pitingo will Cover Her Music.” In it, the artist known for covering classic tunes by everyone from Bob Marley to The Police is quoted as saying, “Well, I don’t know the girl [Bjork], but I am interested in that sound of a weeping whale. I think that the whale’s lament is very much my thing, it’s very flamenco and very Spanish.”
In the same article, Bjork’s label reps are quoted as saying, “We don’t know if he follows the alphabet because he went from [covering] the Beatles to Nirvana…in any case, if he realizes that Bjork exists, he will inevitably come back to the letter ‘B’ without his pulse flickering.”
Going one step further, the article asks “music experts” to theorize about what would happen if Pitingo covered himself. “If Pitingo decides to make a version of him covering himself, it could result in a sound incapable of being assimilated by the human brain in its current developmental state.”
Truly hilarious to some and utterly offensive to others — namely Pitingo’s Twitter followers — the piece swiftly turned the singer into a trending topic in Spain.
Via an official statement, Pitingo is threatening legal action against the site and condemns it for causing “confusion” among his followers. In an interview with Spanish show La Ventana, he expressed frustration at the fact that El Mundo Today hadn’t yet “clarified the situation.”
“I am the first person to laugh at those kinds of jokes,” he said, “but when it goes from jokes to insults being thrown my way, that starts to affect my family and my work.”
In an attempt to fire back with humor, Pitingo added: “If Bjork pays me, I will cover her music.”
In typical satirical fashion (and in a nod to French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo), El Mundo Today responded to the controversy with the following tweet on Wednesday (April 1):
“We would like to clarify that all of our news is alleged, uncertain, supposed.”
Pitingo isn’t ready to bury the hatchet just yet. On Wednesday, he posted the following message on his Instagram:
“Today I have received hundreds of insults and threats from a lot of people, I’ve also received a lot of heartfelt messages. It’s incredible how mean so many people can be. It’s obvious that freedom of expression has lost its virtue and they don’t know that freedom of expression ends when the disrespect starts. I just want to say to all the people who have hurled all those awful things at me, that, without knowing me, without ever attending a concert of mine, without owning an album of mine, I don’t even want to imagine how you treat the people that you do know and hate. I am a believer that all the hate and bad things that you wish someone, sooner or later it will come back to you, that’s why I believe in not causing harm to anyone and simply ignoring what is done to me. I will never fight with you because your worst enemy is your own heart. Kisses to everyone and I hope not to offend anyone with this message.”
Nobody can fault him for firing back at his so-called haters, but wouldn’t it have been great if he tweeted that he’s covering Nicki Minaj next?
Queremos aclarar que nuestras noticias son dichas, supuestas, inciertas. #JeSuisPitingo
— El Mundo Today (@elmundotoday) April 1, 2015