Salsa is like bread, everyone likes it. In Peru, recognized as a country that loves this genre, there are international orchestras that are leaving their mark. In 1997 The Cuban arrived in Lima Robert Arms, decided to impose his own: Timba. He fought, persevered and believe’The Conquerors of Salsa‘ and 25 years later, they continue with their art. This is the path followed by a musical entrepreneur and he can say with certainty that he is on the right path.
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Robert, how much did it cost to install Cuban salsa in Peru?
It was difficult, because the Peruvian dancer was not used to this rhythm, but to the traditional one that comes from Puerto Rico.
When you stepped on this ground, what was playing on the radio?
Sensual sauce ruled and we came up with our own, which seemed alien.
What was the first step?
The first thing was to send a popular message. Our choirs began to be captured by people from the neighborhoods.
Was that the key?
Our successes were everyday stories, from the daily experience of any person.
Is that difficult to narrate in a song?
It is more difficult to count.
What else did they innovate?
We broke with the traditional clothing of salsa groups.
They all wore suits and ties.
We mix the neighborhood with elegance.
We began to dress according to the place where we presented ourselves, and that was liked in the neighborhoods.
And how did the name ‘Conquerors’ come about?
The name is to try to conquer the hearts of salseros.
In addition, it embodies your feeling when you left your country
I went out to conquer the world.
It wasn’t so bad for you
For the third time we have the degree of ‘Marca Peru’
It’s quite an achievement
It is an enormous distinction and a great responsibility. For me it is a tremendous award.
You know, a lot of people confuse ‘Timba’ with ‘Casino’
Timba is the music, that very Cuban salsa.
And the second?
Casino is the dance, with a lot of choreography between the couple.
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What a way to make music in your country!
If we Cubans have something, it is that we are incredibly creative.
A difference with other countries?
No orchestra looks like the other, while in Puerto Rico, they all have the same style.
I heard that the song ‘Quimbombó que slips’ is yours
For a long time, my homeland was blocked and groups appeared to visit us, listen to a song and put it on as their own. The song you refer to is Cuban, but the ‘Hermanos Moreno’ took it as their own.
Are there many cases?
Of course, and the only honest one was Óscar D’ León, who paid tribute to Benny Moré and said so.
You have the authority to affirm or deny it. Is Peru the capital of salsa?
It is the country that loves the most ‘timba’ Cuban.
Yahaira Plasencia or Daniela Darcourt?
The first has the Cuban concept of putting on a show on stage, apart from singing.
It has the style of my country.
Do you still have your countrymen in your group?
Always, in order to continue maintaining the DNA.
In what instruments is the Cuban maintained?
We have a wind, percussion.
What is coming for 25 years?
We are going on tour to the United States and Europe. In November we will give a concert, a new album will also be released with guest salseros.
Are you empirical or qualified?
I studied for group and orchestra director. Because it is not only knowing how to play the piano, but also the winds, harmonizing one with another.
Creating a song and releasing it is an amazing story?
Almost every time I compose one, they understand it in a different way than the intention with which I made it.
A big hug for these confessions
To you and know that ‘Los Conquistadores de la salsa’ continue creating and enjoying.