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Without so much loneliness: our favorites by Santiago Feliú

Perhaps we already sensed it when your songs portrayed our souls and seemed to have the exact temperature of our anguish and sunsets. But only now, in the distance you have marked with that unexpected and timely death, we have realized that you were a philosopher, dedicated to doubt everything and to try to explain the meaning of life. And that, in the absence of other tools, you thought about existence alone, with a guitar and a voice. And in that attempt you found... and lost, to find again..., again and again Love's substance and mystery.

Every person we asked said it was an almost impossible exercise to choose a favorite song of yours. But little by little these shots of nervous, hesitant and tender memories were arriving from friends, colleagues, fans, anonymous listeners; these, Santiago... arrows from you... to you. (Darsi Fernandez).

This morning

If, like me, you work in the early hours of the morning, taking advantage of the fresh air, the silence and a better Internet connection, surely the dawn has caught you unawares. I have long since lost the habit of watching television, but if I still did I think that something that I could not miss to conclude while others start the day would be the cigar, my coffee and look for the right moment in which This morning sounds, accompanied by images of Havana that you don't quite recognize anymore, but there it is.

East carpe diem Cuban was the one who introduced me to Santiago, the one who brought him into my life more years ago than I can remember. It makes me think about if someday I would not be here... And I still try to dress myself with hugs and faith and think that I will continue to find meaning in this song anywhere in the world; but I can't stop the harmonica from making my skin crawl and I stop thinking so much. I finish my coffee, already cold, and fall asleep in the coolness of the morning. (Jennifer Ancizar).


When I think of Santiago, of what he has brought to my life without knowing it, I come by all the ways to Bolero. It was not the first and certainly not the last of his songs I heard, I dare not even say it is my favorite, there are too many. But in her verses so accurate - as beautiful as the very fortune of loving again and having the opportunity to be, or not, different - I always find the point "finding the age" in which her essence was discovered to me. I remember thinking, and to this day it never ceases to amaze me, how could he understand everything so well, how could he understand us so much? (Anabel L. Rabell).


You know that a poet is a poet when he summarizes life in a single verse and turns it into a sort of mantra. Santiago, troubadour, left-handed, in love with the guitar -and also with life-, connoisseur of more than one poet's artifice, knew this when he wrote this song. Already in the first four words he said it all: life, like the fish that escapes through the waters, is fleeting. Time is transitory. And beautiful. Above all, beautiful. Death sometimes arrives in silence; in its mystery lies its arbitrariness, its "just because". The day I discovered this theme that the poet wrote for Nadia Nicola, a great love, I stayed with the first verse. The metaphor of September -the month in which I was born-, as a memento moriPerhaps because of the paradox of birth and death, of reminiscence and transience that returns to me every time I hear the troubadour sing that terribly beautiful sound: "September is a fish". Like love. Like life. Like us, dancing on the wings of the sea. (Lorena Sanchez). 

The song and me

It is difficult to choose a song from Santiago. In each album there is more than one favorite and they change according to my moment. Sometimes the reasons are visceral, they don't go through the brain. The song and mefrom his latest album Ay, la vidaI remember that I was hooked by its rhythm, its harmony and melodic cadence that match perfectly... In 3:23 minutes you start on the ground and end up flying when Santiago, in open chest says "no pain remained without dying / turned me into songs the reason to live"... and Elmer's guitar enters to infinity and beyond. I think that theme defines the therapeutic bond we have with his songs. (Alejandro Suarez).

battles over me

It is very difficult, at least for me -and there are the wise- to select only one song by Santiago Feliú, because I know every open or closed wound in those lyrics. But without hesitation, I choose Battle over mebecause he composed it at the age of 16 and the agonies it expresses haunted him until his death. All his fragility and genius in a verse: "My beard's teeth are falling out, and I only give birth to committed songs". (Juan Pin Vilar).

Sin Julieta

How difficult it is to say just one favorite Santi's song... I don't think I can, but if I have to mention one that I had a lot of fun playing with him, I choose Sin Julieta. That mix of rhythms, the joy it transmitted to me, the playfulness and mischievousness of the arrangement, and the freedom Santi gave me to play rhythmically between the drums and Carcassés' piano...; without a doubt it was a song I really enjoyed playing. (Ruly Herrera).



El Santi asked me to tell the sixth man, the great Eduardo Ramos of the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del Icaic and of Don Pablo Milanés' initiation group, that he wanted to record his next album at Abdala (where Eduardo was the general producer), which would be called Sin Julieta. We took the opportunity and at the place where the Chilean singer-songwriter Alberto Plaza was being received in Havana, we shot him... El Feliú took out his guitar and hummed to him Dispossessionplayed the instrumental of Iceberg and sang Sin Julieta. Eduardo was delighted, but there were songs missing for a complete album... Santiago put on his bed five sheets of paper and we began to rave with types of kisses: Cynical Kisses, Beautiful Kisses, Anti-kisses, Treacherous Kisses, Glass Kisses... I went home and the next day, when I woke him up, he took the "abzurda" guitar and sang... "Dame un beso desmedido y saturado de cualquier intención de amor...". Great, my little brother; one day I danced to it and God knows it. (Enrique Carballea).

For you

When I heard it for the first time, one afternoon at his house, it made me shudder. Since then I never stopped feeling that sensation every time she sang it. The melody, the way the verses were constructed, the passion he put into singing it. In this case, I feel that there are verses that can survive independently, even to the point of seeming disjointed. But, together, they gave a very strong dimension to his poetry. It usually happens that we identify with a specific passage, a phrase that moves us or represents us. We take it as close to us as if it portrayed us. In a certain way, I think I saw (or imagined I saw) some moments of my life reflected in that theme of loss, the collapse of dreams (Cupid Puppets is another example), as if they were digging to the bone of the ruptures. A kind of x-ray of heartbreak. It also has that "downThe "very own" that overflies much of the best of his legacy, as well as some of the most hallucinatory metaphors he wrote.

I'm left, above all, with that crazy and visually powerful image: "you imagine the horizon, a sunset on Venus". The fabulous piano arrangement that integrates with the strings and fits with the atmosphere of the text, plus the concise, almost minimalist support of the band, give more forcefulness to the version that was recorded on the album. Nausea at the end of the century. Livealthough in later recitals Santi played it on guitar and did not lose any of its intensity.

With so much work that he left behind, and that is part of my vital soundtrack, For you is at the top. With this song, I confess, I cried once. (Humberto Manduley).

Gunila, Marisa, Monica and Ofelita

It's a song that ended up on the album Sin Julieta and that at the beginning, I think it was called Aniabut then he went on to include many of the women he loved in the name. I always liked it very much because its lyrics are unusual and natural, and its music is great. (Roberto Carcassés).

Longing for dawn 

It is very difficult to choose a favorite from Santiago. I wear it when I want to cry my eyes out. Today, when I am in the "household chores"; I woke up with Marisafrom there I moved on to Cravings of the Dawnthen to the disk Vida and then to Ay, la vida. His songs bring relief and solve so many problems. In each one, he sheds light on the human condition. But if there is one that lifts me off the floor, it's Cravings of the Dawn. It floats me from the universal as if I were an atom and then drops me on the ground, right where it made me part of the universe. To the film The snow society He would have needed that song... and then he would have won the Oscar... (Karla Zumbado).

Search for me (flying over a dream)

My favorite track of Santi's is all of his playlist from top to bottom. #búscamegeneraciónbolerodepojoicebergansiasdelalbasedanteparati. Santi is my trova. The one who kills me and resurrects me. My favorite subject. Me, a repeater. Since I was 12 I went to his concerts. All of them. But if I had to save only one subject it would be Search for me (flying over a dream). Because:

- my first love gave it to me. And I knew how to turn it into a tradition;

- whenever I listen to it "what I feel is the depth of the soul of this staircase at every moment";

- is the icing on the cake Santiago Feliú, "where memories are eternalized";

- Since he's gone, I'm still looking for Santi, flying over a dream. (Joanna Montero).

Too much love


The times when I have listened to Santiago the most have been times of pain, of having a broken heart and crying over so much unrequited love. Every time this song popped into my player it felt like listening to the advice of friends, only here it is the singer-songwriter who explains to the twenty-something girl that everything will pass; that sadness is okay, but don't overdo it; that life goes on; that you don't choose to blame while you grieve; that you are going to heal, alone or with everyone, but you are going to heal. "You gain what is lost with what is to come," says James, and boy, was he right. (Diana Ferreiro).

for Barbara

My favorite Santiago song? Ufff, that's a tough one. Well, I could say For BarbaraIt is also the song of many but, in my case, I prefer it since I was a little girl and I still didn't understand what it meant, and I knew its inspiration, Barbara. It turns out that I loved this song since I heard it for the first time, if I remember correctly, on the barbecue of my aunt Anabell. for Barbara I fell in love with it for a simple reason, it was that song who taught me that I was not unique, that is to say, that my pronunciation defect was not only mine, that there was someone else on earth who dragged, when speaking and especially when singing, the letter "erre". And that was Santiago! Santiago dragged the erre just like me every time he said: "se derramaaaaa...". Contra, how nice his frenulum sounded. Please, sing it to me again? And he would sing to me, laughing his head off, only that part, the chorus, but in exchange for me brushing his enviable hair with the brushes from my grandmother Algeria's hairdresser's shop. We also played in chorus "erre con erre cigarro"... But where I most appreciated his faulty pronunciation was singing that song. And one day he called me, many years later and laughing his head off, he told me: hey, I had my frenulum operated, I no longer drag the "erre"! I was not amused. Oh, mijo, what a pain in the ass, why did you do that? But even if he thought that for Barbara sounded better with the "R" well pronounced, even when he is no longer around so that I can ask him for it, and although it is undoubtedly the favorite of many, it will always be my favorite song of Santiago. Because even if a thousand years go by, he has his braces done, or even dies and I can no longer annoy him with my antics, in my brainless heart we will always be that girl and that boy who, with hairbrushes acting as microphones, sang together in front of a mirror and loudly: se dedlaamaaaa... (Violeta Rodríguez).

Immediate future

Because "we painted the world in a new color and, unintentionally, we realized that NO". (Luis Alberto García)

Listen to her playlist complete in Youtube

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