Santana will release its latest album, titled Africa Speaks on June 7th. Then album, which was produced by Rick Rubin at his Shangri La Studios in Malibu, “goes deeper and further than ever before to create one of the most groundbreaking albums yet.” The album features lead vocals by Laura Mvula and Grammy-nominated singer Buika. In addition to their own dates and Las Vegas stands, Santana will be out on the road this summer with fellow Northern California legends, the Doobie Brothers.
Back in January, Carlos Santana shed light on how the collaboration with Rick Rubin worked for the new album, recalling to Rolling Stone a conversation in which he told the producer, “'I know you've worked with everybody, like, Johnny Cash and the (Red Hot) Chili Peppers and Metallica,' And he goes, 'Well, what are you interested in doing?' I said, 'Nothing but African music.' So can you believe it? We record 49 songs in 10 days. He was very gracious, because it was like a hurricane to record six, seven songs in a day. Rick said, 'With Clive Davis, you had a bunch of guest stars and singers. Who do you want in here?' I said, 'I only want two women: Laura Mvula and Buika.' And he said, 'OK.' So we called them and they said yes.”
Carlos Santana is by far rock's most iconic Mexican-born artist. He told us that creating music with different musicians is his way of not becoming a part of any one kind of genre. “It helps me not to allow anyone to define me: 'There's like another Mexican blues player or another Los Lobos guy.' And as much as I like Los Lobos, sometimes people put them into like, y'know, 'they're those nice Mexican guys who play this music.' And I'm like 'whoa, whoa.' I'd rather be a musician that could go to Japan or Africa or Jerusalem or the Apache Reservation and be able to complement whatever they put in front of me.”
Santana performs tonight (April 19th) in Hollywood, Florida at Hard Rock Live at the Event Center.