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“Pupy” Pedroso: The Song Dedicated to 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games

“Pupy” Pedroso: The Song Dedicated to 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on February 12, 2015

Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso confesses in an exclusive interview with Panamerican World that he got enthusiastic when he was asked to write a song for 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games. The outstanding Cuban artist, founder of famous orchestra Los Van Van, along with Juan Formell, and director of his own group Los Que Son Son, explains that the theme is conceived with a change of rhythm, so all publics can enjoy it. The song was initially going to be the official theme of the sports event; nevertheless, the organizers later changed their mind and decided to work with Canadian musicians. However, Pedroso’s song will be accompanying the Panamerican Games. “Pupy” is going to give two concerts in Toronto. 

What’s the origin of the idea of writing a song dedicated to 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games?

It all came to me through Raul Cusa, a friend of mine and cultural promoter in Canada that has worked with the orchestra in that country, especially in Toronto. The organizers of the event, in this case the artistic and creative director, Don Shipley, asked him to take care of part of the music. Then he traveled to Cuba and told me about his idea of writing the Panamerican Games’ song. I was astonished because never before a Cuban orchestra of popular danceable music had made a song for this kind of event. It was very important and I was quiet excited.

Had Cesar Pedroso ever worked on songs for events?

This is my first time. I’ve written songs for ads, radio and TV shows, but never for sports events, so I totally focused my mind on this project.

What sound did you use in the song, so it could attract an international public?

Since these are America’s Sports Games I always thought about something with Caribbean taste. Not salsa or timba bailadora, but featuring a change of rhythm so as to be enjoyed by all publics. The beginning with a piano gave the sound for the theme to have an international character, and the lyric is made up of three verses: English, French and Spanish respectively. It’s inspired by all the countries of the region.

Who participated in the song?

When the song was finished, I began summoning artists. I didn’t want it to be only about my orchestra, so I invited some talented musicians. I was joined by Tania Pantoja, Mailu Hernandez, Yaima Saez, Cuban-Angolan Orland Max and Lazaro Dagoberto with his violin.

Why won’t it be the official theme of the Panamerican Games? Did the song have to be taken to a sort of qualifying competition?

It didn’t have to participate in any contest. I was in Serbia with the orchestra when my friend Raul sent me a message saying that, unfortunately, the organizing commission had decided to make the theme with Canadian musicians. I found it very frustrating. The president wants to meet me, apologize and share his reasons. Nonetheless, the theme will be accompanying the Panamerican Games and we have been invited to give two concerts in Toronto.

Had Cesar Pedroso ever worked on songs for events?

This is my first time. I’ve written songs for ads, radio and TV shows, but never for sports events, so I totally focused my mind on this project.

What sound did you use in the song, so it could attract an international public?

Since these are America’s Sports Games I always thought about something with Caribbean taste. Not salsa or timba bailadora, but featuring a change of rhythm so as to be enjoyed by all publics. The beginning with a piano gave the sound for the theme to have an international character, and the lyric is made up of three verses: English, French and Spanish respectively. It’s inspired by all the countries of the region.

Who participated in the song?

When the song was finished, I began summoning artists. I didn’t want it to be only about my orchestra, so I invited some talented musicians. I was joined by Tania Pantoja, Mailu Hernandez, Yaima Saez, Cuban-Angolan Orland Max and Lazaro Dagoberto with his violin.

Why won’t it be the official theme of the Panamerican Games? Did the song have to be taken to a sort of qualifying competition?

It didn’t have to participate in any contest. I was in Serbia with the orchestra when my friend Raul sent me a message saying that, unfortunately, the organizing commission had decided to make the theme with Canadian musicians. I found it very frustrating. The president wants to meet me, apologize and share his reasons. Nonetheless, the theme will be accompanying the Panamerican Games and we have been invited to give two concerts in Toronto.

Are you satisfied with the song?

The orchestra, the artists I invited and the people that have listened to the song are very happy with the work done, and the video clip puts together significant moments of national and international sports events, as well as images of the venue. Since it was supposed to be the official theme, I was keeping it, but now they decided to play it during the Games, so I’ve wanted to show it to the public. 

Is Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso a sports enthusiast?

I love sports, especially baseball. I always say that I would’ve loved being a baseball player, but there was a height issue. When I was a kid, I used to go to the stadium and watch games between teams of the Cuban Professional League, such as Havana, Almendares, Cienfuegos and Marianao. I also like boxing and soccer, but baseball is the passion of the Cuban people.  

What’s the next project of Pupy and “Los que Son Son” orchestra?

I’m committed, with EGREM and the Cuban minister of culture, to producing a homage album with unpublished songs written by my friend Juan Formell. That’s the main project in 2015, although there is a future project with songs created by such prestigious musicians as Joseito Fernandez, Ruben Gonzales, Lily Martinez and Felo Vergaza.

Written by Y. Masó  /  M. Gómez

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