At the end of the ’90s, Argentine romantic pop singer/songwriter <a href=”/music/Axel”>Axel</a> Patricio Fernando Witteveen interviewed <a href=”/music/Julio-Iglesias”>Julio Iglesias</a>. He wasn’t trying to become a journalist. He was trying to find a window of opportunity to jump in and play guitar or piano in any possible stage. “It was harder before. I was very cheeky, and I was looking everywhere for a place to play,” he recalls.
Coming from a working class and immigrant background, he forged a rigid relationship with his father. Meanwhile, he’d play songs by Fito Paez and <a href=”/music/Alejandro-Lerner”>Alejandro Lerner</a> in bars near the coast, in discos and parties. He even busked in the subway and the street.
“The truth about how my father would treat me came up when [Argentinean radio DJ] Matias Martin showed me a picture of my childhood. As I don’t lie, not even ‘white lies,’ when that came up, I told the truth,” Axel shares. “I love my father. I took him to see the Davis Cup we won in Croatia and then we went off to Belgium, from where he came and shared 10 days where he hugged me like he’d never done. It was beautiful. No grudges.”
Axel channels success in a very easy manner. “I am in a very special moment in my life, in every single aspect,” he says. “I feel very well professionally, but also spiritually, emotionally, and friends and family. It is a great moment. That’s why the record is called Ser. It’s a very strong and powerful word. It’s short, but it holds a lot. It represents that alignment between what I say, what I do and what I think. With love, with the truth, and according to my conscience.”
His permanent search for a better version of himself is clearly influenced by Buddism and ontological coaching. “You get to see what you can. I am an ordinary guy who leaves everything for his children. We have to accept our imperfections,” he explains. “To the public, it’s ‘one of the good guys.’ I take the stage with utmost responsibility and social commitment. I think and rethink things. The -isms have done a lot of damage. I am free. I am not an illuminated guy. If I were, I wouldn’t be here. I just want a healthy life.”
Here, Axel talks to Billboard Argentina:
What is the thing that changed the most around you in the past 20 years?
You can do music wherever you want now and record it with great quality. Besides, you can show it through social media. That makes us eager to know what the guy beside us did, to gather feedback and learn. The way of recording has changed. No drums were played in this last record. They’re all programed. In that sense, it’s pretty modern, but of course I added a lot of sensitivity. I’ll never stop being a singer-songwriter. I can sit in the piano or with a guitar and play the entire record. With other arrangements or another twist, but I can still play the record without any machines.
On the other hand, I notice there is something different in these new generations: They don’t step on each other. They share and support each other. That’s amazing.
And the artists?
There are far more artists today. The more successful ones are the ones that are more prepared. Of course, there is a magic wand that determines if it is your turn or someone else’s. Look at what happened to <a href=”/music/Luis-Fonsi”>Luis Fonsi</a>, a global expansion that makes me very happy for him. I think there’s a lot in believing in oneself. Writing, writing and writing. Now you can use social media and capitalize on them by doing quality stuff.