“I can’t live without the sea.” — Since the same also applies to music, the title of Alvaro Soler’s new album was virtually a sure-fire success.
“Mar De Colores” (“sea of colours”) confirms his knack for songs, which the whole world has been dancing to since the #1 hits “El Mismo Sol” and “Sofia”. At the same time, it enables you to appreciate his entire brand of music: Spanish pop with folk, hip hop and world music elements and big orchestra sound. “Mar De Colores” shows all his various facets: intimate stories about a yearning for faraway places and being at home in Barcelona, Tokyo and Berlin – told with charm and humour by a versatile singer-songwriter.
“My awards are under the bed.” — Even though Alvaro Soler has only released one album, his results are impressive: Hit singles like “Sofia” and “El Mismo Sol” attracted a total of more than 30 gold, platinum and diamond awards, three Latin American Music Award nominations and over one billion clicks as well as 1.7 million fans on his YouTube channel every day. In 2015, “Eterno Agosto” (“Eternal August”) entered the top 5 of the German album charts, and #1 in Italy, Poland and Switzerland and secured top positions throughout Europe. This was followed by shows with J-Lo and Phil Collins, TV appearances as a judge on Italian X Factor and “Yo Contigo, Tú Conmigo” (“I with you, you with me”), a song for the Minions blockbuster “Despicable Me 3”, which gathered one million Spotify streams and three million clicks in one week.
“I am more of the quiet type.” — Alvaro and his siblings grew up in Barcelona with a Spanish mother and a German father. When he was ten, they moved to Tokyo, where the children went to a German school where almost everyone does music. “I used to think that singing is like walking. It was only later in Spain that I understood that not everyone can do it.” Because his father knows how important it is to be able to call something your home, the family return to Barcelona in 2009. “We all feel very Spanish, even though I now speak six languages. I have friends everywhere – but the sun, the sea and the Spanish attitude to life are what I call home.” But still, his early years in Japan did of course influence him – it has given him a certain prudence, a Japanese soul, so to speak. “I learnt at a young age that you have to work hard to be successful. I am sure that my time in Tokyo, when I learnt values like perseverance and respect, played a role.”
After graduating in industrial design, Alvaro founded a band, which he also writes songs for. His talent does not remain undetected, and when he is invited to join a collaboration in Berlin, things start to gather speed. Alvaro meets the songwriters and producers Simon Triebel and Ali Zuckowski, and their unique chemistry resulted in “Eterno Agosto”. “Of course I celebrated when it went through the roof – but I know that for me privately this means nothing. I want people to find out about the world of Alvaro Soler, and that’s not a carefully styled Instagram profile. I want to show that nobody is perfect.” In addition to good vibes and exuberance, this is exactly what “Mar De Colores” is all about: Even though or precisely because Alvaro Soler embodies the other side, he urges people to take a deep breath, enjoy life and show weakness if necessary.
“I simply translated new ideas into my world.” — While his debut was marked by frenzied experimenting, “Mar De Colores” shows a clear line: “The songs were made with a lot of attention to detail, but they also radiate laid-back coolness. The arrangements are super organic – I want people to have fun listening to the songs.” The lead single “La Cintura“ (“The hip”) is also fun with its refreshing self-irony referring to his lack of dance skills. “When I wrote the lyrics I thought that I have to get rid of the word ‘cintura’ in the chorus, because I am absolutely not a dancer. But then I thought to myself: Why don’t I write about this weakness, the fact that I really do look silly when I dance? What’s even more cool is that I now get videos sent to me from all over the world where people are dancing to the song.“ It’s almost logical that the track went straight to #5 in the world iTunes charts, stirred up the Airplay Top 10 all over Europe and scooped gold and platinum in Spain, Italy, Finland and Switzerland.
“I wasn’t sure if it’s too cheesy.” — Alvaros is just as disarming when it comes to big emotions, which the wonderful “Te Quiero Lento” (“I love you slowly”) shows. It is dedicated to a special person – people nowadays are scared of compromise and quickly throw away a relationship. This is my tribute to the opposite.”
“Sometimes we are drawn to the person who breaks our heart.” — The theme does not stay one-dimensional: In “Ella” (“She”) Alvaro talks about a friend’s unhappy love story with sensitivity, with delicate percussions and an irresistible picking groove. “Sometimes you are ‘poisoned’ by someone who does not return your love. While this is of course only human, it does hurt a lot.” He does not shy away from opening up abysses – songs like “Niño Perdido” (“Lost boy”) come from the heart. “This is one of my favourite songs. Not just because I play the piano again, and lyrics and music are as if cast from one mould. I have a great life, but there are moments when I feel jaded and lonely. For me, the railway station stands for the confusing number of paths that are offered to us, and the often overwhelming pace of our life.” The enthralling big-orchestra sounds and passionate vocals of this song let out all the sadness that is as much a part of life as love.
“Three chords can be enough.” — Despite the great depth, dancing and positive vibes have a firm place in the universe of Alvaro Soler – and on “Mar De Colores”, “Puebla” stands for this essence. The song, one line of which is the album title, radiates pure and infectious joie de vivre with ukulele, wind instruments, African sounds and euphoric choruses. “I like that very much. The song consists of three chords, all in major; there is no thinking, it’s just happy. I am sure this will be great at the upcoming concerts!”
Alvaro Soler is more than just his summer hits: The 27-year-old musician, who currently commutes between Spain and Germany, has created an album that combines touching ballads, emotional groovers and fiery hits homogeneously and without vanity. He is a sensitive songwriter who has everything you need for the big stage. He has a big heart, a great sense of humour – and he has things to say which we should all listen to.