Interview with Angel Rumba
Angel Manuel Ramos Sanchez, better known as Angel Rumba, is a New York singer of Puerto Rican descent with whom we had the great opportunity to talk about several issues of importance such as the beginning of his career with Pancho Bongó Y Su Orquesta, his debut as a soloist, the meaning behind his lyrics, among other things. It is a pleasure for us to have talked with this Latin talent and to bring the story to all our readers of International Salsa Magazine.
Ramos Sanchez was born in New York City in the 1980s, when there was a well-established salsa movement in New York City and the United States in general. Evidently, little Angel could not be left out of this trend, especially if we take into account that through his veins ran Latin blood.
In addition, his father was a singer, musician and guitarist, so he always listened to salsa, merengue, bolero and other genres at home. It was at the age of seven when he started playing güiro, bongo and conga due to the curiosity generated by his father’s work, who spent a lot of time teaching his son to play as many instruments as possible.
In 1992 when Angel was 12 years old, he started playing with an orchestra called Projecto 3 in the city of Allentown, which represented his first opportunity to be on stage and show his face to an audience waiting to see what he could offer. It could be said that this was the beginning of what would become his life’s work.
Moving to California and Pennsylvania
Given that Angel’s father was a truck driver, the family had to move around a lot until 2003, the year in which he moved to Puerto Rico and lived there for three years. In 2006, he moved permanently to Pennsylvania, where he has been living until today.
Release as a solo artist
When asked about his release as a solo artist, Angel stated that ”my beginnings were with merengue, but salsa always fascinated me because I really liked soneros such as Ismael Rivera, Gilberto Santa Rosa, El Canario and many more. I saw them improvising on stage and I always wanted to do the same.”
In 2014, he was given the chance to belong to the group Pancho Bongó Y Su Orquesta, which he was a member of for more than seven years until he wanted to make his own project in 2020. He felt he had the experience and took all the necessary stages to get to that point. In addition to that, being subject to command of a musical director greatly limits the creativity of the artists and the New Yorker singer no longer felt comfortable with what he was doing at that time.
The singer is also a composer and was not allowed to play his own music with the orchestra, which also led him to seek new horizons and, in turn, record his first solo track.
While acknowledging that this was no easy decision, he says that he has no regrets about it and all that he has been given from then until now has been a blessing for him and his family.
Obstacles during his solo career
On this subject, he confessed that many of his orchestra fellows were not happy with his decision to leave the group and he even felt that certain figures tried to put obstacles in his way so that he would not succeed in the way he wanted to. This is one of the reasons why he prefers not to show so much about his work and future projects to the public to avoid problems.
”Mi sentimiento En Rumba”
The process of making this album was not easy, since the artist had to knock on many doors until making contact with Rafael Lozano, who arranged the first song ”Sin Un Amor”. This was a cover of a song by Los Panchos, so we can say that it is a tribute to the group in a totally different genre.
We went looking for musicians from several countries to work with u among whom was Angel Guzman, who plays trombone, baritone, saxophone, trumpet and many more. He also told us about sound engineer José Guerrero, who makes the mixing and mastering of the songs.
The album includes six songs composed by Angel himself and three that were adapted such as ”Perfidia” in a bolero version as a gift for fans of musical trios.
In total, the whole project has two merengues, two boleros and the rest are salsa songs.
Salsa in a market dominated by trap and reggaeton
”Every genre has its audience and every artist has his fans” was what the singer answered when asked about the challenges facing a salsa singer in these times. With this, he shows that it does not bother him in the least that there are more popular genres than salsa and that every artist could have a strong fan base without this meaning involving damage to another one. He says that he will continue to create music with his favorite rhythms in spite of passing trends.
One thing he did emphasize is that there should be more artists who focus on writing and creating original music instead of doing so many covers. A lot of creativity is needed.
The importance of continuing to promote romantic love in the lyrics
The salsa exponent says that it is very important that music continues to promote romantic love and bring positive messages because unfortunately there are many genres focused on negative stuff such as disrespect for women, drugs, violence and much more. The salsa singer seeks to make his contribution to creating a better society in these hard times.
”The lyrics of the songs have always influenced society because their meanings anchor in the minds and the message endures” said Angel about this issue.
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