Rita Payes (Vilassar de Mar, Barcelona; 22 years old) appeared at the Goya 2022 gala concert with the song “I am in awe of you” with K. Tangana, and to the question “who is this girl?” it went viral. Now we know the answer: Pies is a young composer, trombonist and singer who loves bolero, fado, bossa and other old genres, who is currently combining the successful European tour of his album Como la piel (2021) with placement precisely in K. Tangan’s group. This Saturday, May 14, Payes performs at the Plaza Mayor in Madrid as part of the San Isidro program; and July 16 at the La Mar de Músicas festival in Cartagena.
Ask. You said that sometimes you feel like the songs are already written and you just have to find them.
Answer. Sometimes it happens that you want to write a song and you can’t. But in others, it’s melodies that seem to already exist from all of life. And you think: “It already happened.” Composing from nothing is a very rare occurrence.
P. His mother, Elisabeth Roma, is a classical guitarist and plays in her band. Was it inevitable that you would devote yourself to music?
R. I think so. My brother is a trumpet player, my father is also a classical guitarist and has devoted himself to teaching like my mother. We played at home all the time.
P. And, in the end, it happened.
All the culture that comes with you is waiting for you here.
R. Yes, I haven’t decided yet. He has always been there. I remember the feeling when I said: “If I’m not making music, what should I do.” I couldn’t think of anything else.
P. For those of us who met her in Goyas, she is a vocalist. That’s why it’s weird that you say you still feel weird when you sing.
R. Now I don’t know who I think I am. I have no idea. I used to consider myself a jazz trombonist because I did it in the morning. The voice was present, but it took me a while to realize that this is what feeds me. And that people know me from that.
Pies poses with his trombone.Vicens Jimenez
P. He went to Goya without a trombone …
R. Yes, it was really strange because he is always there. I think this was the first time I did it, and hopefully the last.
P. Did you know C. Tangana when he contacted you to be part of your band?
R. The truth is, no. A year and a half ago, he shared an Instagram story in which I played with my mom. Friends called me to tell me about it, as if it was something very important; and I thought, “Who is this man?” I didn’t listen to that kind of music. Now I know.
P. Fado, bossa, bolero… what you compose is not the usual thing for a 22 year old guy. In genres with such a rich history, how do you contribute something of your own?
R. This should be what I’m doing, but I don’t know. I always think that everything is done, I see myself composing and I think: “Why are you doing this? Take one of the existing ones, which are so beautiful.” Sometimes it doesn’t seem necessary. But it is born out of need. Humbly contribute.
P. What modern styles do you listen to?
R. The truth is that I usually listen to music from the past. Now these are children’s songs, because I have a little daughter. They tell me I’m a little old.
P. What do you think of reggaeton?
R. I don’t think I think. Because I don’t listen to her and I don’t go to clubs. I think it’s a great rhythm for dancing. I don’t know about the rest.
P. She was a very young mother by today’s standards. How are you doing?
R. Well, be careful. We take the girl everywhere and stretch the rope as far as possible. Make Tetris possible for her to be comfortable with.
P. I think this is the first time I know of someone going on tour with their mother, partner and daughter.
R. Already. It’s a little strange, isn’t it? We can’t leave the girl with her grandmother because she plays. My mother has been accompanying me everywhere lately; and about Paul, my partner, I say that he is a guest guitarist, but in fact he is at all concerts. So…
P. Do you see yourself as a star like Tangana?
R. Smart ass. Under no circumstances would I go looking for him. If this is a consequence of what I’m doing, we’ll see, but I’m not going to go for it.
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