Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
Like Madonna or Cher there is only one name needed for the iconic Charo. The spicy Spanish-speaking entertainer is bringing her act around town. The outspoken performer talked cuchi-cuchi and guitars with GoPride.com's Jerry Nunn.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hola, Charo! You have been performing your whole life?
C: (Charo) I did it for fun and if at the same time you can make a lot of money, wonderful! It took me a long time to introduce who really I am. The majority of producers want excitement and energy.
JN: I am sure it takes lots of training.
C: I was trained as a musician in Murcia, Spain by Andres Segovia for seven years. All I wanted was to be as good as he was, which is impossible, but I came close.
JN: The music business has changed a lot.
C: When I came to America it was not the same place that it is now with the internet. There is not longer a private place. It is global. There has been such a change in the past twenty years that it is beyond belief. All you have to do is push a little button on your laptop and you are everywhere and anywhere. It helps you find out what is in and what is happening.
JN: You have a new song called "Sexy! Sexy!"
C: I practically stole it from my son that wrote it for Britney Spears. I sent the single to international DJs and they remix it with their own style. It is very heavy. I have five incredible remixes and they don't know which one is going to be selected to be the number one. I suggested the one where I play guitar. You will hear a beautiful guitar under the techno. That is me playing. It is part of my signature sound. With my single "Espana Cani"I played guitar and it was one of the best international remixes a year ago. Espana means Spain and Cani has a little line over the top of the n I call cool so like Cool Spain.
JN: You should come to the gay bars with "Sexy! Sexy!"
C: Are you kidding me? It is going to be a theme song for having a good hair day. All the percussion is live. It is different sounding and perfect for a white party. It will go to your soul. There is going to be a huge opening for it in Ibiza. If you are good looking then you can go naked they allow that. If you don't think you look good then keep dressed! When I went back with my son to Spain recently I said,
"What the hell happened here?" a little too much freedom but its Europe.
JN: When does "Sexy! Sexy!" come out?
C: By the middle of April it will be out everywhere. If you feel like going out to dance then you will be dancing with that song. Every time I see Rihanna or Britney Spears then I am going to go "na ni na ni!"
JN: I heard you sang the Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" at a fundraiser.
C: They asked me to do this Jerry Lewis event and I said that I would have to do it my way. I did a Spanish version with a touch of techno and salsa. People wrote me by e-mail and said it was better than the original with Rihanna.
I added a lot of "baila baila" to it.
JN: Where did cuchi-cuchi come from?
C: I used to act like my dog named "Cuchillo" (knife) but I shortened the name. When I saw people laugh it gave me attention. It got me out of trouble when I would explain, "Cuchi!" I never got punished when they were laughing. I made it into a business. When I got to America I didn't speak English and wanted to stay in this country. I am going to Spain in May, to promote the new song and will stay only ten days. After that (sings) "I want to live in America."
JN: Do you feel like America is your home now?
C: If you interview a thousand immigrants they will tell you the same thing. I have great love and memories for my original country but America is in my veins and in my heart. After a while I want to go back.
JN: Would you ever do another reality show?
C: I have an offer. I told the producer that obscenity and out of control direction that they are taking it in is not my style. I go for comedy. It needs to be global and not for a certain type of people. I want people to feel safe watching my reality show. This summer it might be ready for television. I go for the laugh not for the drama. I want fun and a touch of class.
JN: Speaking of fun, tell me about this upcoming show.
C: I am opening a show that is brand new. We have been guaranteed a standing ovation. There is great energy and a beautiful costume. When I play the guitar I don't have to bother with a big show. Now people can hear me just play. All of this is from my CD Guitar Passion and Charo and Guitar. They are both huge. I won an award for Album of the Year.
JN: So this will be an acoustic performance.
C: You better be there and see what I am talking about! After I am going to take my time and talk with the children. Because unfortunately and this goes for the whole world finances are a problem so education in music is only an alternative. It is important to teach kids culture and career but don't forget art.
JN: (In Spanish) Well we will see you there soon!
C: Nos vemos pronto y viva la revolucion!
Long live Charo on Saturday night on May 14 at 7:30 at the Dorothy Menker Theater, 9000 W College Parkway, Palos Hills, Illinois. Tickets for a taste of Spanish rice are available at www.morainevalley.edu y mucho mas Charo a www.charo.com.