By: Deyanira Martinez
Cucu Diamantes, the famous interpreter of urban musical fusions and Grammy-nominated artist for her album “Cuculand” in 2009, announces the November 4th launch of her film, “Amor Crónico” on iTunes, Amorcronico.com, DVD and On Demand. “Amor Crónico,” rather than a movie is a musical documentary, which follows the singer to her native Cuba, while showing a side of this beautiful island rarely seen by foreigners.
Cucu visits the most important Cuban cities in buses, trucks and bicycles loading at all times a gigantic shoe that serves as a prop at the various shows across the island. Tall, slim, exuberant and with an imposing personality, this unique artist who has achieved success merging rhythms as rock, salsa and afro Latin music was once was called Ileana Padrón.
One day she realized that she was bored with having a normal life and a traditional name so she left the island and changed her name. “I love diamonds and I’m a bit Cuckoo,” explains the singer. Cucu possesses a tremendous blend of races—Chinese, Spanish and Afro-Cuban— and this blend of cultures has been the key to the development of her talent. “I grew up in a humble Afro-Cuban neighborhood and listened to the playing of drums from my window every morning.” She says that the exposure to jazz and rock as an art student strengthened her passion for urban fusions.
With a Cuban accent and a strong and confident voice, Cucu speaks of the satisfaction of filming “Amor Crónico.”
This film represents many feelings of my generation in and out of Cuba as well as a unique homage to the music and classic films of the island.
Ms. Diamantes left Cuba at age 17 to study arts in Rome and later her love and passion for music brought her to New York City. “I don’t believe in frontiers defining our provenance. I feel at home and I’m a local in many cities at the same time—Havana, Rome and New York.” This explains the origins of Cucu Diamantes’ amazing performances in several languages.
This documentary/movie/comedy is the first tour by a Cuban American living in the U.S. in more than 50 years. Viewers see aspects of the island’s daily life, the countryside and the spontaneity and beauty of the Cuban people despite poverty, the U.S. embargo and the financial challenges the islanders face.
For many, Cucu is a combination of the talent and style of Celia Cruz, La Lupe and Amy Winehouse, but she reiterates that she has always had her own style and that the 8 years as lead singer in the famous group Yerba Buena is the influence that has marked her as a professional.
Cucu—rebel, philanthropist and advocate for social justice—still says that there is a long road ahead. She’s currently working on a new album, acting in several films to be released in 2015, and continues to be one of the few artists who travels and frequently performs in Cuba. This talented woman continues to offer the most amazing mixture of rhythms and a beautiful bit of Cuba in each presentation.