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Tribute to Antonio Romera ‘Chipi’ to be Held in San Isidro, Algeciras

Rosario Pérez · Photos: Sourced / Fran Montes

Tribute to Antonio Romera ‘Chipi’ to be Held in San Isidro, Algeciras

This September, multifaceted singer-songwriter from Algeciras and La Canalla’s lead singer will be receiving a literary tribute in his beloved San Isidro Square

It will form part of a poetry recital with which Izquierda Unida starts each political term, which will take place in the charming Square of San Isidro. “It is flattering to be honoured like this, it’s making me blush” says the artist, who understands that the homage is “made with love, but also with a sense of fun.”

Antonio Romera Chipi La Canalla

What Antonio Romera Chipi likes about this event, an event which he has performed in previous years with his ‘urban poetry’ style songs, is that “it’s a poetry recital … the tribute is a bit of an excuse, and I’m happy to be that excuse.”

He also appreciates that it continues to be celebrated in the San Isidro neighbourhood, an emblematic area of Algeciras that he knows intimately, “between strolling around, hanging up posters and doing those other things you do at night.”

Although he has been living in Sevilla for a while, Antonio Romera ‘Chipi’ still finds himself walking streets of San Isidro, as well as the other streets of Algeciras that he identifies himself with; the downtown streets, the bars, the squares and the lively, tight-knit neighbourhoods.

Antonio Romera Chipi La Canalla

“There are other areas, such as La Aldea, that are like an unknown universe to me… like those new suburban districts that lack heart, designed so that people socialize, not in the streets, but in the commercial areas and shopping malls.”

For the lyricist and lead singer of the group La Canalla:

“We Andalusians have something which is typical of us, and that’s going out on the street… If someone asks us, “where?”, well, where else but the streets…To do what? To be on the streets. To others, the street is a mere formality, it is something that serves to go from one place to another but, for us southerners, the street is a destination and the reason to be out, it’s a place to be in, just for the simple pleasure of being there; a tradition we should never lose.”

In terms of his working life, Chipi still feels like a waiter on permanent leave (“those of us who bartend end up meeting more people than the artists”), who has not worked on anything other than writing for the last 10 years, both for La Canalla and for other colleagues.

“More than an artist, I consider myself an art operative,” says this prolific writer, who has also written plays and scripts for television, but who confesses that, without a doubt, music is what he enjoys the most. “Beyond all the pretentions, music is, and always will be, necessary. Music travels and reaches broad audiences and layers of society that other literary disciplines can’t… And we all need music, in the same way we need elements of identity with which to build our truth.”

La Canalla Chipi

Since 2009, La Canalla has been proclaiming a new way of understanding Spain’s most popular folklore, fusing copla with jazz and other rhythms, such as swing, tango or bolero… La Canalla’s debut feature, “Flores y malas hierbas” (“Flowers and weeds”), was released in 2010, and the album “El bar nuestro de cada día” (“Our daily bar”) was the confirmation that they were on the right track.

A self-taught student of Andalusian folklore, Chipi, who studied screenwriting at the Madrid Metrópolis film school, says that “now, romanticism is emerging in the cities, and the copla has to be reformed, to become more cosmopolitan in order to survive, and not stay in the past, stuck in the rural areas and countrysides where this music originated. In general, both copla and folklore speak of impossible loves, of peculiar characters… and so do we. Only now we do it in a different way.”

Tribute to Antonio Romera ‘Chipi’ to be Held in San Isidro, Algeciras

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