Interview: Carlos Santana Likens Pitbull Collab to Nelson Mandela, Talks Original Lineup Reunion
By Brian Ives
It’s easy to be cynical about the things that Carlos Santana says in an interview. His earnestness may not quite translate when reading a transcription of his comments. However, if you are fortunate enough to meet the man, and hear him speak, he makes a bit more sense. At the very least, if you disagree with Santana on a point, you can at least accept that he really means what he says, whether that point is that a Santana/Pitbull collab could have an impact equal to Nelson Mandela’s many achievements, or that the right music can encourage soccer hooligans to behave themselves.
In a brief interview, he spoke about Corazon, his new collaboration-heavy album, as well as “Dar um Jeito (We Will Find A Way)”, a collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Avicii and Alexandre Pires, which is the official theme song of 2014 FIFA World Cup.
And, if you’re more of an old-school fan, you’ll be glad to know that he’s also working on a reunion of the original Santana.
Radio.com: Is your new album Corazon a Supernatural for a new generation?
Carlos Santana: I think Lauryn Hill said that Supernatural was a conscious decision to invite people to create a masterpiece of joy in their own lives. This one is conscious decision to invite people to claim something that they’d never lost. There’s a lot of people who walk around not being happy unless they’re miserable. And they wear it like a badge of honor. So this album is a great opportunity for us to invite people to “update your software.”
On “Oye 2014”, Pitbull raps, “It’s Carlos Santana and Pit/ We makin’ history baby/ like Nelson Mandela did.” Is that recording really comparable to the legacy of Nelson Mandela?
I absolutely identify with what he said! Nelson Mandela freed a country, a nation. We free minds from being twisted. Most people are not happy unless they’re miserable and they wear it like a badge of honor. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery!” He’s not bragging! Nelson Mandela, Pancho Villa, the Pope, all these people that we love: they’re not the only people who can make a difference in the world! There’s a lot of people who don’t have a name in history, but they’re making history right now. “One positive thought creates millions of positive vibrations,” John Coltrane.