His first official presentation took place at the National Theater, in the Covarrubias Hall, in 1996. Then there would come three personal albums and other 10 as producer, tours in Spain and around the world.
Athanai has collaborated with great musicians such as Pablo Milanés, Luis Eduardo Aute, the band DoverO ‘funk’illo, Def con Dos and many more.
Athanai, name that comes from the Greek and means “immortal”, is the white rapper of Cuba and a genius of fusion music.
The first steps of Athanai
The generation of what Athanai belongs was born in the mythical 70s and although they wear the 80s under their skin, the 90s brand, and its repercussions in Cuban music, are its most characteristic hallmark.
The young musician was a boy who ran around the Havana Vedado and between 1987 and 1990 he began to write songs and perform at clubs or small concerts.
He is famous for his passage through the “13 y 8” trova space, although he also acted in the Museum of the Revolution and the Napoleonic. Thanks to a contract, he gets the money to pay for the instruments with which his first group formed in 1993.
Discography and work as a producer
“White rapper” is the nickname given to himself in one of his first songs and becomes so recognized by the population, that no one on the island calls it any other way. That song, “Séptimo Cielo”, gives title to his first album produced in 1997 by Miguel Bosé‘s label, No More Discos. They are followed by “A Castro le gusta el Rock” and “Creando Milicia”, both controversial and very popular with critics.
However, few know that Athanai was the producer of the first Cuban Hip Hop record, which worked with José Luis Cortes “El Tosco” and Rosario Flores in the production of these performers’ albums. His influence in fusion music has taken him through the ways of rock, rap, pop but also guaguancó and timba. He has also collaborated as a record producer for Lynn Milanés, one of the daughters of Pablo Milanés, and Telmary Díaz.
Athanai and his return to Cuba
The news that the “white rapper” returned to concerts in the country spread quickly and in 2015, after several years working and living in Spain, returned to the circuit of Cuban music halls. He then appeared in “El Sauce”, the “FAC” and the “Café-Teatro Bertolt Brecht”, among others. Very important was his presentation at the Casa de las Americas, where the space could not contain the great affluence of the public fond of fusion music.
Athanai consider himself more than rapper or rocker, just a musician, an artist able to interpret and perform any musical genre without stylistic discrimination. Among his plans for the last year is to record a song with Frank Delgado about the “Romerías de Mayo”, continue producing singles of what will be his next personal record and stay active in the culture and music scene of Cuba. Some luxurious examples are “Falté” Ft. Haydée Milanés, “Madre y Tierra” with Pablo Milanés or “Todo”, with Kelvis Ochoa.
In 2017, he acts at the “International Festival of the Poor Cinema”, in Gibara, Holguín, while his audience waits for new presentations that will surely fill his wishes.
So, if you want to know more about Cuban music, do not forget to subscribe. And, please, help us promote good music by sharing this article on your social networks.