HAVANA, Dec. 24th (Oncuba) “Súbeme la radio”, the sounded musical theme of Descemer Bueno and Enrique Iglesias, was popularized in Cuba also in a melodious English version.
It sounded softer, without the rhythm of the original, but it was just as sticky and already has more than 32 views on YouTube. The Cuban band Sweet Lizzy Project was the one who played that success, translated as “Turn up the radio”.
Lisset Díaz (Lizzy), the singular voice of the band, was passionate about sciences and wanted to study Nuclear Physics, but finally opted for Biochemistry, a career she studied at the University of Havana.
His first steps in the world of music were a hobby without great pretensions, until the first of his productions was nominated for the 2013 Cubadisco Award, in the categories Pop Fusion and Opera Prima. And since then, Lizzy’s musical career keeps her busy all the time.
Sweet Lizzy Project focuses on indie music, pop rock and rock and roll, but recently they have composed less acoustic themes, with a more country touch that includes elements of trap.
After four years, Lizzy believes that she would reconsider her decision to launch music with rock as a cover letter, if the opportunity presented itself again.
“At that time I did not work for an audience and music was a hobby for me. Later I realized that I chose the most difficult path. Making rock in Cuba is not easy, although it has its audience.
Sometimes they think that rock and roll in this country works on the basis of covers and it’s not like that. There are very good works of their own. However, we do not have enough spaces. The name I chose for the group is not easy to pronounce, and to top it all we sing mainly in English. But I am very stubborn! “He says.
Despite their rhythm, they do not sound like a typical American or English band, and the tempo of their compositions has a very Cuban brand. Even so, Lizzy says that the Cuban record companies have not been interested in their music and tend to prioritize other genres, such as salsa or timba.
In Cuba, Lisset understands, there is not a label specialized in alternative music, although there is a lot of talent and people who are inclined towards this aspect.
“For example, we finished the Technicolor disc at the beginning of 2017 and the EGREM gave us a response very recently,” he explains.
As they delayed answering, they decided to produce another CD with Monomundo Recording – an American record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. Its president is Raúl Malo, singer of the band The Mavericks who recently filmed the documentary Havana Time Machine in Cuba.
This new production must be ready by the beginning of 2018. Its launch in the United States is expected for spring, and then it will be in Cuba.
“We want to present here with Frank Fernández, with whom we have shared the stage and we think he is an exquisite, pleasant person, with an arsenal of personal and professional stories,” says Lizzy.
The band currently powers the independent record label BandEra Studio, with the intention of specializing in Cuban rock and roll.
“We are negotiating with the Cuban Music Institute because we want to institutionalize it. Miguel Comas and Wilfredo Valdés are the musical producers; and Alejandro Menéndez, a filmmaker who makes great music is the executive director, “says Lizzy.
For the rocker, places to present themselves are limited, since nightclubs like El submarino amarillo defend rock and roll, but in this case the artists can not interpret their own songs, because it is part of the politics of the institution. And Sweet Lizzy Project composes its own songs.
“There are alternative places, such as the Art Factory, the Plaza Music House, the Bertold Brecht Theater, but they are places that are not dedicated exclusively to this genre. The Maxim Rock was getting ready, but I think the repair time has already been exceeded, “he says.
“We can like it or not, but we make our music with lots of energy, good taste and quality. We would like to make a national tour to get to know us more in the country. We had planned to attend the last Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana, in Holguin, but at the last minute there was not a bus, “says Lizzy.