Paco Renteria, the Mexican virtuoso, progressive, flamenco guitar player was in Kuwait last month displaying his amazing guitar skills before a packed auditorium.
As one of the most accomplished guitarists in the world, Renteria has composed over 300 pieces and performed with the likes of Carlos Santana and the late Luciano Pavarotti. His music has appeared in films such as Desperado and Legend of Zorro.
During his short visit to Kuwait, he took some time off from his busy schedule to speak to The Times Kuwait, detailing his career and his passion for music.
“Right from the age of seven, I wanted a guitar,” he said, adding that from the first moment he played the instrument he knew this was the career he wanted to pursue and other professions held little interest to him. Though his father insisted music was not a career, Renteria continued to pursue his passion even while studying to become a lawyer and doing a course in business administration.
At the young age of 18, he started composing and he was invited to do the soundtrack of Mariachi for the movie Desperado. This took his career to another level and there has been no looking back since. Soon the famous Hollywood director Steven Spielberg invited him to play the soundtrack for his movies; this gave a huge boost to his career and he started getting invited to do concerts.
Paco Renteria has performed in more than 2,000 concerts around the world and in 2017 he is scheduled to perform in a record-breaking 180 concerts in 80 countries, taking Mexican music to the world.
“I feel like a music ambassador of Mexico and I am extremely proud to represent my country around the world,” he says, adding that Mexican music is not only Mariachi but world class as well. Full of passion and energy, he says his music is inspired by feelings, sensation, flavors, experiences and emotions. He loves experimenting and plays in a lot of music festivals. Having performed before crowds of more than 10,000 he has a rock star persona, but is quick to add, “I am very normal.”
He describes his unique style of music as free play style, which is a mix between Arabic, Jazz and Latin, making it world fusion music. The enchanting music that comes out of his guitar is both soulful and melodious. Improvising as he plays and taking audiences on a musical journey, one has to experience a Renteria concert to know the beauty of his music.
On his exceptional talent, Renteria says that to be happy in life you need to find your passion. “When work is your passion, you don’t look at the clock and the only thing that makes you stop is because you are tired.”
“When you listen to my music it has no boundaries; you have to be honest when you play in whichever place you are playing; the point is, the world is small,” he says before adding, “a smile is the same in all countries, emotions are the same.”
The great fame that he has achieved has not come without hard work and training, and he stresses that a balance in life, food, health and exercise are all very important ingredients to his success. “Finding the perfect balance is the key to accomplishment,” he adds.
By Reaven D’Souza