Spanish gypsies are well-known nomads. Gitanos, as they're called in their native language, have also made a longlasting impression on the world of music, specifically with flamenco, a fiery style of folk music, dancing, and guitar playing. Latin Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Antonio Barullo, a gitano by birth, shoulders all that tradition as he transitions into an interesting and unexplored region of his musical career.
Having released several records as a duo under the Barullo namesake, Antonio Cortés returns in 2015 with a dynamic party single celebrating life to the fullest, “Disfruta la Vida,” featuring a pair of prominent reggaeton artists, J. Alvarez and Flex. It's a thumping, dance-club-ready track eager to both position itself as a summertime hit and as the vehicle to propel the Barullo name into the limelight.
Recently, Barullo spoke about this latest chapter in his life. His decision to go at it alone and split from his old partners was both easy and amicable. “I decided to go solo because even though I had done several things with others,” he said, “I felt that it was time to try new and different things... It was a mutual and amicable split. Each of us will keep making our own music, and we'll always keep that door open.”
That's not to say he'll work in isolation, as “Disfruta la Vida” shows. In fact, Barullo looks forward to crafting a more urban sound for his upcoming solo debut, an album he hopes will appear sometime in December. Several tracks have already been laid down, featuring collaborations with other artists. He couldn't say who those artists are due to legal wranglings, but suffice to say, he's excited about the entire endeavor.
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In the meantime, Barullo says the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the single, which was recorded here in Miami. Since its release, the track has peaked at number one on Billboard's Tropical Songs chart. “The truth is, 'Disfruta la Vida' has gotten the best response of anything I've done since I went solo. I didn't expect it, and it's been a great surprise.”
In form true to his culture, Barullo remains nomadic, physically and musically. In addition to living in Miami for several years, far from his family of eight siblings in Spain, the youngest of the Cortés clan traveled to Cuba to film the music video for “Disfruta la Vida.” He said of his time there, “It was a great experience. J. Alvarez, Flex, and I had a lot of fun.”
Last year, Barullo released a beautiful ballad, “Vivi.” It was a project created in conjunction with a full orchestra, another experiment to satisfy his need to expand his musical palette beyond flamenco. Unfortunately, “Vivi” is a one-off and won't appear on the forthcoming album; however, given this wandering maverick's desire to embrace differing genres, styles, and locales, whatever the LP ends up sounding like, it's sure to be another wonderful milestone in his journey well worth listening to.