MIAMI – Argentina’s Leo Dan, a true singing legend in Latin American with more than 70 albums to his credit and millions of records sold, wants any prospective film of his life to be made by Alfonso Cuaron, who prominently featured one of Dan’s biggest hits – “Te he prometido” (I promised you) – in his award-winning film “Roma.”
In an interview with EFE at his home in Miami, Dan – who is preparing for the “Caravan of Love” concert in California, at which he will be joined by Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Jeanette, King Clave, Los Yonic’s and Los Caminantes – said that what has happened with “Te he prometido” is a “divine blessing.”
The singer, born 76 years ago in Villa Atamisqui, a small town in Argentina’s Santiago del Estero province, is accustomed to success, but recently it seems that he’s been touched by the hand of God, who he credits with being the mover behind everything and thanks with countless prayers as the devoted “Christian” that he is.
“Te he prometido” – a key part of the “Roma” soundtrack – has been playing on radio and elsewhere quite a bit since Mexican director Cuaron began receiving the numerous awards raining down on him prior to the Oscars, in which the film has been nominated in 10 categories.
In one of those award ceremonies, US actor Harrison Ford, upon hearing the song, asked who sang it and said that he wanted to have that artist’s records, which have already been sent to him, according to what Sony told Dan.
The song, sung by Yalitza Aparicio in the film, who plays the maid who is the main character and has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, moved into ninth place on iTunes among the top 40 Latino hits in the US as soon as “Roma” was released.
Dan has already told Cuaron that if it ever occurs to anyone to make a film about his life, he would like him to do it. There is plenty of material.
The singer, who has not only traveled the world recording numbers such as “Mary es mi amor,” “Como te extraño mi amor” and “Esa pared,” also tried to get into politics – albeit without success, “Thank God,” he now says – just as his friend Palito Ortega, who became governor of Tucuman province, did.
His latest album – “Celebrando a una leyenda. Leo Dan” (Sony) – which contains 15 big hits sung as duets with other Latin American and Spanish artists, was the best-selling record in Mexico in 2018.
Dan is also preparing a second album, due out in May or June, but he said he doesn’t yet know with whom he will sing while showing EFE his many awards displayed in the room at his home where he composes and watches television and movies.
On “Celebrando a una leyenda,” Dan teams up with Vicente Fernandez, Ricardo Montaner, La Original Banda El Limon with Salvador Lizarraga, Ruben Albarran, Palito Ortega, Karina, Armando Avila, Los Autenticos Decadentes & Los Caligaris, Jesus “Tuti” Martinez, Andres Cepeda, Pedro Fernandez, Kinky, Matisse, Luis Humberto Navejas and Humberto Pabon’s Grupo Cañaveral.
He said he still writes songs, adding that he’s tried singing the songs of other artists, but it never went as well as when he has sung his own, in which the themes of love and faith in God are omnipresent.
A lover of Argentine folklore and the “cante jondo” Flamenco vocal style from Spain, where he lived in the late 1960s, Dan said that sometimes he thought about ending his singing of ballads and other light songs to devote himself to Christian music.
But he said that when he was in Ecuador he received a “message from Jesus Christ” via a woman who had suffered from cancer and had been miraculously cured, who told him that Jesus wanted him to continue singing his songs to “win souls for the Lord” and so he continued giving concerts for 20,000 and 30,000 people at a time, as he will soon do with the “Caravan of Love” first on Feb. 9 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, and then in other cities.
There, Dan will be the sponsor of a night on which the Tucanes de Tijuana will get concertgoers dancing to their rhythms along with Los Yonic’s and Jeanette.