Yasek Manzano : Jazz trompetist Havana-Cultura - Cubanito 20.02: cuban reggaeton music

DANAY

Singer

Videoclip
Videoclip "Yo aprendí" - Danay Suarez
00:03:31
Danay’s interview
Danay’s interview
00:08:03
Music
0:00 / 0:00
Individual
DANAY
209
Espinita
DANAY
238
Libre
DANAY
249

Danay Suarez Fernandez is more rapper than r&b singer, even if she has a lot less in common with Lil’ Kim than she does with, say, Erykah Badu or Jill Scott. She can rap convincingly about the plight of sisters and the shortcomings of brothers without striking a gangsta pose, and her singing is invariably lovely. Commenting on “Espinita,” one of her songs available on YouTube, a Danay fan describes her as “the representative of conscious female Cuban hip-hop with the most exquisite voice and the most intelligent lyrics,” and anyone who has been lucky enough to watch her perform in Havana is likely to agree.

“I never said I was a rapper,” Danay points out. “I can rap and sing, but my real desire is to be a jazz singer, to develop that style. I haven’t done it because I don’t have the musical skills, but I’ll get there some day. I’ve got it inside of me.”

Danay, 24, was born in Havana’s Cerro district. When her parents separated she moved with her mother to Santa Fe on the outskirts of the city. “In our building in Cerro we had to run up the stairs before bits of the roof would fall on us,” she recalls. “Birds would make their nests in the holes in the roof. It was a very shabby place but I was very happy there because my whole family was together. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to stay close to civilisation.” But not only did she adapt to Santa Fe, she thrives here. “I have a lot of love for this neighbourhood,” she says. “Now when I see all the noise and dirt in [central Havana], I can’t wait to come back here, for the peace and quiet. And I’m close to the sea here, which is important to me.”

Danay lives with a younger brother and their mother, whose ceramic art decorates the patio outside. Her aunt Isabelle is responsible for the sculpture that sits on top of the house — an enormous toilet bowl gaily painted with a floral motif, which can be seen from miles around.

Danay spends long hours in her room, writing songs on an old PC with a music-composing program and a MIDI keyboard. “I’ve always been a singer but I never had the opportunity to study music,” she says. “I studied computer programming, which I suppose has come in handy for me. In my family nobody is a musician. I don’t think they can even dance.”


She says she started rapping “by accident,” writing about things that matter to her, making up rhymes. “I was sure of myself, sure I had something to say and I wanted people to hear me. A rapper needs to have that kind of confidence. I said a lot of shit and now I’m trying to be more quiet.”

When she was 15 she was invited to take part in a concert in Havana’s Teatro Nacional. “I had to sing with my back to the audience, I was so nervous,” Danay says. She continued to play concerts organised by the Cuban Rap Agency, the government-funded entity that promotes hip hop in Cuba. Then she started working with Aldo, one half of Cuba’s most celebrated underground rap duo, Los Aldeanos. Aldo helped Danay record and produce her own songs (“Libre,” “Individual”), and she sang with him on some of his songs (“La La La”).

One day, back in 2007, Danay gathered together a lot of her demo recordings and went to see Cuban fusion superstar X Alfonso. “He was the only person In Cuba who I thought would understand what I wanted to do,” she explains. “I didn’t think twice. I just went to his house and said, ‘You don’t know me, here’s my music, listen to it. If you need a backup singer, give me a call.’ A few days later he asked me to work with him, and I haven’t stopped.”

What lies ahead for her? “Of course I’d love to have a jazz group,” she says. “I’d love to have a studio with professional engineers behind the mixing board. But until that happens, I’ll continue making my music in the street, rapping, even if I’m not signed by a big record company. The most important thing is for people to hear my music, which is not only about my life but also maybe about the lives of millions of Cubans. That’s what I’m doing.”

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Comments
Alice
What a great voice!!! what a great singer... I love it!!!
Freddie Diaz Davila
Great Music. I will purchase CD from Europe.....
lopez
exelente cantante sanay un ejemplo tus letras me encantan tus canciones son hermozas hermoza voz :)
rog
super song!
William K Wallace
This lady is an exceptional talent, who is going to go on and do amazing things.....
Boris
Danay is great! Can't stop listening to the three tracks that are here on the website. But does anyone know whether it's possible to buy here CD comewhere -- in Cuba or in Canada perhaps? Thank you. Boris, U.K.
AKira
this video made me cry. i stayed in santa fe cuba where it appears danay is walking through. i miss cuba and the spirit Danay transcends...carries in her voice and heart - its beauitiful beyond words. More americans should visit cuba by any means necessary. LOVE!
yedack gonzalez
oh! hermozisima...!!! una mujer muy bella no conocia de su musica pero puedo decir que quede fascinado que aspero off re wasa .. felicidades a la nenita y a havana cultura - muy buena web :o re wasa la entrevistas (Y) saludos desde Bogota Colombia...!! las mejores exitos chaoo.. XD
van Hattem
The world needs more Danay! My Lord, i love this lady.
Inaujuel
Danay Suarez, Danay Suarez... Gran inspiración... Hola me llamo Jahaira soy de Perú y una fan hace 2 años de ti... tus canciones son mi vida, no se si me pareceré a ti, pero cada canción que escucho de ti es una parte de mi vida . Hablas en tus canciones de mi, gracias me has ayudado miles de veces. Tambien escribo pero no compongo, o derrepente es mi comienzo. Viajaré a cuba algun día y quiero conocerte sea como sea. Mi gran Insperación Danay Suarez... Una del monton, una fan de Perú...
Boza
Eres la persona que tiene un estilo único en el mundo, y una voz inexplicable. Sigue adelante. Muchas Bendiciones, te convertistes en una nueva admiradora. Tuve el gusto de conocerte oyendote cantar con Roberto Fonseca, quien es también mi pianista favorito, y tienen algún en común que pueden interpretar cualquier género. MUCHAS BENDICIONES, hazle llegar mis saludos. FELICITACIONES. Si tienes FACEBOOK agreguenme me ubicas como Janny Boza Quintana. No me cansaré jamás de escucharlos.
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