La Voz de Galicia – May 12, 2023 →

Cristina PatoWhen we got into our Uber at the New York airport, Julio, our driver, had a Julio Iglesias song playing on the radio. So we started to chat, beginning with a phrase that, lately, I hear myself saying with increased frequency (since Julio Iglesias plays in the most unexpected places in the world): «the family on his father’s side was from the same place in the world we are from.» And then, the driver noted that his father was a great fan of the singer, so much so that he named his son Julio Joseph, in honor of his idol. He knew all of his songs in French (up to this moment, I had not realized that what was on the radio was precisely in this language): «My father was the fan, but his passion was so great that he transmitted it to all of us at home.» Julio Joseph is Haitian, arrived in the US in his second year of his law school studies, and even though his intention was not to stay, the situation in his country of origin made it so that, in the end, he constructed his life in a city where we are all from somewhere but where we are also locals. During the hour or so we were stuck in traffic, we chatted a little bit about everything: about life in Haiti, about life in the US, about life in Spain; about what it means to not come to stay but spend twenty years here…And at each moment, there was a Julio Iglesias song accompanying our thoughts: Life Remains the Same («La vida sigue igual»), I Forgot to Live («Me olvidé de vivir»), Fly High («Vuela alto»)…And I suddenly thought about the role that music has in our lives, in its ability to connect us and make us remember our parents, whether from Haiti or Ourense. But I also thought about that curious cultural identity created by Julio Iglesias, about that inherited soundtrack that is already a part of our lives.

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