“And how is he”, “Let the children sing” or “And you go”, famous songs by José Luis Perales that treasure phrases that are part of the popular imagination such as what does he dedicate his free time to? singer-songwriter, before his farewell to the stage answers: “I want to be with my children, my grandchildren, my garden. “
At 76 years of age, José Luis Perales (Castejón, Cuenca-center of Spain) has decided to get off the stage, “to stop doing those very long tours that end up with one”, he told this Monday in an interview at the WiZink Center, where on Tuesday and Wednesday he will offer his last two concerts in Madrid, before completing his farewell in Latin America, already in 2022.
Perales has a history of more than 50 years, in which it has had sweet and sour moments. Among the kind, he takes the memory of the people he has sung to and who has seen how he loves them, says the singer, who assures: “sometimes I would get off the stage and hug each one of them. “
He has also had bad days, “I have not enjoyed a concert as much as other artists, I have suffered many until I get the applause,” says the singer-songwriter, who says that his shyness overwhelmed him and he has “suffered from having to appear on stage”.
But Perales does not retire, he only steps off the stage. “This will be a return to the past,” says Perales, who never wanted to be a singer; “I wanted to be a composer, although someone insisted that I sing and it turned out well, thanks to that I have had great satisfaction as a singer,” he says.
Now, he longs for his town, his country house in the middle of nowhere, in La Alcarria forgotten, where he wrote practically all his songs. “I remember my coffee, my fireplace, the dogs by my side, the rain, the autumn, and the happiness of the muses who fought to tell me things. “
And those sweet, quiet moments are what you want to keep writing songs and novels. “I’m still in music and I’ll keep making records as long as my head and heart work,” he says with a laugh.
After his concerts in Madrid, this week, and in Bilbao, on December 27 and 29, Perales will head to Latin America, specifically to Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia, where he will say goodbye to his audience.
With those concerts he closes his tours, he wants to enjoy his children, “when they were little they spent long periods without seeing them, now it is true that they are older, but I have grandchildren and I do not want those moments together to escape me”.
He will also continue to cultivate his garden, taking care of his garden, “I want to be close to my land, alone with nature. “
“My intention is to recover all that time that I lost, now that I am doing great,” says this singer with humor, who faces life with the calm and curious gaze of that boy who at the age of seven and eight began to study music theory with the tuna from his town.
“That child still lives in me, the things that excited me then continue to move me more like the smell of thyme or rosemary,” he confesses.
When he looks back, he regrets things, “but this is not the time to talk about them,” adds this musician with more than 55 million records who has kept his feet on the ground without losing his mind.
“I have not gotten into the world of artistes”, says Perales, who assures: “music has been my life, the way to express my feelings, my stories and, of course, the way to rob people of their experiences to write them and put them to music “.
He acknowledges that one of the most “exciting and fun” things in his career has been getting into the shoes of artists like Isabel Pantoja, Raphael, Rocío Jurado, or Miguel Bosé to write songs for them.
“I liked portraying people, the Jury said, ‘but this one from Cuenca why does he know so much about me if I don’t know him at all”, details the singer, who is not closed to writing songs to new music stars like Rosalía, C. Tangana or Maluma.
“The Puerto Rican Marc Anthony or the Elefantes group have made a version of one of my songs and they ask me when the next one is by,” says Perales, who points out that “young artists have been incorporated into my life. “
“I would not feel strange writing for them, being with young people contributes a lot”, says this Cuenca who continues to be “proud” of his song “Let the children sing. “
He has sung of love and freedom, but considers that the secret of his success has been “to tell everyday stories with which people have identified”.