“Hey Felix, you got away with it.” When the writer, journalist, composer and cultural manager Félix Carrillo Hinojosa heard these words that April 2006 from a director of the EMI record company, he knew that the lighth6 years old had borne fruit.
It was that day when Vallenato folklore knew that it would dress in tails for the first time and have a special place at the annual gala of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences where only the cream of Latin American music has an entry ticket. .
Since that call 17 years have passed and today, to the delight of lovers of this genre – which conquered Colombia, but has its cradle in Valledupar – the category remains firm and will surely receive a gramophone again on November 16 at the Seville ceremony.
Also read: Ana del Castillo, Silvestre Dangond and Carlos Vives: the vallenato nominated for the Latin Grammys
The protagonist of that musical feat today proudly analyzes the new nomination of local artists, not only Best Cumbia/Vallenato Albumbut, as in the case of Ana del Castillo, for Best New Artist of the Year.
“Admirable is the way an artist like Ana del Castillo is growing, who is just beginning to bear the fruits of how great she is going to be. We are facing a musical phenomenon that, without wanting to compare it, but can become a phenomenon like Shakira or Karol G. For vallenato music it is important because it is part of the cultural sample,” said Félix Carrillo in dialogue with EL PILÓN.
The guajiro communicator also highlighted the nomination of artists such as Silvestre Dangond and Carlos Vives, of whom he said “they have all the requirements to have the vallenato party in Seville.”
Also read: Silvestre Dangond is going for his third gramophone: nominated twice at Latin Grammys 2023
THE CRUSADE FOR THE GRAMMY VALLENATO
Félix remembers that the conquest of the Vallenato Grammy began in 2000, when he undertook the crusade to convince The Academy that there was a large Vallenato market.
Thanks and exclusively to this man who is in the center of this image, it is due that today many artists, managers, musicians, producers, of our vallenato music, raise their victorious arms for the nomination or achievement of a @LatinGRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/F9qF6cA5F8
— Carlos Bloom (@carlosbloom) September 19, 2023
Carrillo collected letters and signatures to request the category. Among the illustrious signatories, Félix highlights, was the fingerprint of Leandro Díaz. He also attached a letter from Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez himself.
That special letter from Gabo said:
“Vallenato has made me happy all my life. What was once a música folklfromrich in composers and poets, enjoyed by a few, the natives and visitors of the Upar Valley, the Magdalena and the Sabanas de Bolinvar, has now become a gIt ismusical world that knows no borders, and that is enjoyed not only by Colombians, but also by Latin Americans from all over.
“That is why I give my support to the initiative to open a special category for vallenato in the awards granted to the creators and performers of popular music on our continent.
“Receive a hug from this vallenato of heart, Gabriel García Márquez”.
In 2004, he came close, but he lost the vote to create a vallenata category by 9 votes to three.
Until that call where that manager told him and confirmed that he had gotten away with it. “I am the ideologue of this, the manager of that. Although there were some boys who wanted to steal that credit, but they left through the back door,” emphasizes Félix.
THE FIGHT FOR PERMANENCE
However, during these 17 years that have passed since the Zuleta Brothers lifted the first vallenato gramophone, not everything has been rosy.
At some point the category was in danger of becoming extinct, due to the low participation of artists and musical works, since to keep it valid more than 25 albums must be registered; a situation that Félix himself finds absurd and incredible.
“The Vallenato artist and the Vallenato citizens need to be represented by a global achievement. Having a category in the Latin Grammy is a blessing that not all musicians have obtained. But here it seems that a minor situation is more important, so that is the claim, it is not for me to be exalted,” Carrillo said in an interview with EL PILÓN.
“We have to strengthen it, add people to it. Artists have to get more involved, I believe that, if something is achieved, why should we let it lose? ”She concluded.
BY JOSÉ ALEJANDRO MARTÍNEZ / EL PILÓN