Fernando Milagros is a Chilean singer-songwriter who blends indigenous Latin-American sounds with modern western music instrumentalization, world rhythms, oneiric digital sound design, and a layered theatricality transferred from his days spent as a theater designer and art director before his musical debut back in ’07.
Fernando is 7 albums deep into his career, with each release spaced out almost evenly, giving us insight into his work ethic and the depths of his creative wellspring. His latest album is called “Obsydiana” and it is named so after the iconic dark volcanic glass so often found across the geology of his Andean homeland. The name isn’t just a nice geological reference, it is also an apt description of Fernando’s own sharp lyrics and dark moody ambiances. Starting with his third album, Fernando’s notoriety launched him beyond the borders of chile, and into stages all over the world.
Widely and accurately known as the ‘Country Of Poets’, Chile’s artistic reputation will ever be held up high as long as folk like Fernando Milagros keep doing what they do best. Today, he joins us for an interview looking into his fascinating work.
Though we’re all our own persons and we may or may not align with the public at large, the cultural mark of our country runs deep. What part of the Chilean Character do you think speaks most through your music?
It is difficult to be objective, especially if you live in an island country like Chile. But I think that there is a special energy that makes me contemplate the landscape I live in, the mountains, the sea; and in contrast to that, there is another more explosive, intense, telluric and volcanic energy that I cannot avoid.
Music from one place can resonate deeply with others far away. How has your reception in other countries been?
It’s funny how music travels without any planning. It takes on a life of its own and flies. There are some folk songs of mine that have been played in the US on tv shows like Mayans Mc, and others more linked to rhythm and even world music have reached more remote places like Bali…
Outside of music, what do you feel has influenced your work the most so far?
I’ve realized that in every record I make there are certain experiences that influence me when composing. At first it was theater (I worked for a long time before being a musician in that world as a theater designer), after that, I discovered some Native American traditions that had an impact on another of my albums. a. And so it goes. This latest album has been influenced by the pandemic lockdown and all the questions and self-discovery I encountered during that period.
Is there a particular song in this album that stands out to you? One that you’re particularly fond or proud of?
I will give you the same answer that a father can give when asked which of all his children is their favorite. I have the same amount of love for all of them for different reasons. I love CENIZAS for its density and darkness, I love UN NUEVO RITMO for its optimism and tenderness, and I love AGUASANTA because it speaks of the emotion that makes our waters overflow outward. They are all beautiful daughters, all very different, and I love them all.
I’ve read that the creation of Obsydiana took almost four years. This makes it sound like you’re always working on your next album shortly after you release one. is that really the case?
The truth is that for some time I have had the feeling that the current work is the last album I will ever make… and when I am sure of that, more new ideas arrive and I start producing them and then a new one is born. So it’s never something very planned, but it just happens while I live this life experience.
From What’s changed and what has been learned from “Vacaciones en el patio de mi casa” up to “Obsydiana”?
A lot of things!! I have had a lot of experiences, I have become a musician, a musical producer, a man, a father, a partner. And I’ve also walked through a lot of places and met a lot of people thanks to the music that I make. . I became aware of beautiful rituals, I visited the desert and the Antarctic continent. I’m a totally different person from my first album. But what doesn’t change is my passion for creating and communicating something new to people.
What’s on the near Horizon for Fernando Milagros? Are you planning to take this album on a tour?
We are preparing that with my team. We are going to start playing songs off the new record starting in November in different cities in Chile. During the next year we have plans to return to Mexico, Spain and Portugal.
Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Nicolás-Contreras
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