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Pedro Suárez-Vértiz died at the age of 54: the details of “When you think about returning”, his iconic song

The death of Pedro Suárez-Vértiz At 54 years old he surprised the entire Peru. With a life dedicated to music, the artist left multiple songs to remember. Among his most emblematic songs is “When you think about returning”, about which the singer spoke with El Comercio in 2020, within the framework of the economic reactivation during the Covid-19 era. Here we share the text again.

When you think about coming back It was launched in 2004 and became an emblem for many people who began a life outside their place of origin, especially for Peruvian emigrants. The song of Pedro Suarez-Vertiz It remains an anthem with an encouraging message for many Peruvians, and now with the pandemic crisis, the lyrics of the song have been adapted to convey a new meaning. What is the origin of the song?

I think national identity took hold of me and acted without me realizing it. I can affirm that Peru as a homeland was the muse. (…) The lyrics gave an epic touch to the instrumentation. It was an involuntary symbiosis of nationalist sound with patriotic lyrics. I never calculated it. The “ahuaynado” rhythm—but sung in counterrhythm to be able to internationalize—was perfect.”, the artist told El Comercio for the preparation of this article (you can read it in its entirety below).

In the mid-eighties, Peru was in the midst of an economic crisis, as well as terrorism, which forced many Peruvians to leave the country in search of a better future. to places like the United States, Europe and some South American countries. However, it was not until 2004 that it was known that the number of Peruvian emigrants was approximately 2 million 400 thousand Peruvians.

Under this context, the singer, realizing the number of Peruvians outside the country and in the middle of his career abroad, He was inspired to write the song that would become a hit on several massive networks such as MTV, HTV and Ritmoson (Telehit Urbano)..

The song whose video clip was released on the same day as the release of his album “Play”, September 1, 2004, sought to be a universal message. Just as Pedro wanted, the video recording included models of various ethnic origins “so that the message reaches everyone”he mentioned in a promotional note for his new album at that time.

In an interview with El Comercio that same year, the singer spoke of the song as the most important thing on his album when they asked him What would you highlight most about “that book?” (his album “Play”)

These lines dedicated to Peruvians who are outside. ‘When you think about coming back, here are your friends, your place and your wife; and they will hug you, they will say that time has not passed and they will love you with all their hearts. When you are here, work until you cry like you did there, only then will you see that your country did not fail, but that so much love for you relaxed you. ‘(…) When I finished it I asked myself ‘What are you doing, bastard? You who talk about asses, about tits.’ I can’t just sing and take the loot anymore. Now I have to provide some more entertainment.”Peter said.

A new meaning

After The song has been adapted by different musicians at the beginning of the quarantine Due to the large number of Peruvians who were left without work and in order to continue giving encouragement to Peruvians stranded abroad, “When you think about returning” demonstrated once again that it does not belong to a specific context.

The theme of the beloved Pedro Suárez-Vertiz presents a new reading in the face of the coronavirus health crisis with the aim of promoting the reactivation of tourism in Peru, especially with the reopening of our national monument Machu Picchu.

This new version is performed by Daniela Darcourt, Ezio Oliva, among other Peruvian artists and is characterized by having a variation in the lyrics such as the famous verse “When you think about coming back, here are your friends and a country to visit.”

Now, the message that is raised is to raise awareness among Peruvian society about the global situation of Covid-19 and encourage people to be part of the national tourism reopening in a responsible manner and following safety measures.

Pedro Suárez-Vértiz: “The national identity took hold of me”

Note: El Comercio sought to learn more about the genesis of this song, so we contacted Pedro Suárez-Vértiz; who sent us an explanation. Below is the full message:

“When you think about Volver” is a song that touches the fibers of nostalgia for your land and your past. Even living in your own land, and not necessarily outside of it. It is also a kind of fusion of conventional rock instruments foreigner with typical instruments of Andean music. How did this idea come about? Well, I think that the national identity took hold of me and acted without me realizing it. I can affirm that Peru as a homeland was the muse.

Obviously the musical purpose for which it was created was achieved. However, alone she went further in the social aspect, without anyone expecting it. The verse was composed for a film that never came out. The opportunity to work in film gave me the freedom to step outside my genre without fear and experiment with different sounds.

When you make a record, even if you’re Bjork, you have responsibilities to sound attractive. But in the cinema you are only a complement to the images and a separate story that is the script. You don’t have the leading pressure to charm. That sent me to a new world.

The chorus was done as a separate song. It was originally a melody inspired by the song “desperate” by The Eagles and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon & Garfunkel. That’s how it was, super romantic and with many chords. That’s why when it accelerated to be able to rhythmically tie in with the verse that previously existed It was very difficult for the fans to play.

There are many “passing” chords that make it very interesting. The quenas solo, which gradually transforms into Gregorian choirs, is one of the most accomplished things in my career.

The lyrics gave an epic touch to the instrumentation. It was an involuntary symbiosis of nationalist sound with patriotic lyrics. I never calculated it. The “ahuaynado” rhythm but sung in counter-rhythm to be able to internationalize It was perfect for the charango. the legüero bass drum, the band cymbals and the Ayacucho saxophones played by Jean Piere Magnet. Everything tied up perfectly.

In the end there were so many instruments that I felt like I had recorded a festival. I didn’t understand what I had done. That’s why we had to master the album at The Hit Factory in New York. the same studio where John Lennon recorded so that the sounds do not clump together and everything is heard as a ball.

When you take risks like that (because the song was ignored in all the focus groups we did) you are one millimeter away from everything being ruined, but it didn’t happen. It was quite the opposite.

Source: Elcomercio

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