Aleks Syntek: Musical Genius
We spoke with the Mexican musician about his latest disc Lección de vuelo, his musical beginnings and his upcoming efforts as a crossover star
For those who don't know how Aleks Syntek got his start in music, you'll be surprised to find out that the talented musican kicked off his career as a technician for music studios in the mid-80s. Fortunately, that gig didn't last too long for Syntek, who at 17-years-old was composing songs for artists like Paulina Rubio, Pandora and Tatiana, among others. The Mexican musician introduced himself to the world as a solo artist in 1999, and soon became a popular name in the business with the song “Duele el amor,” which he performed as a duet with Spanish singer Ana Torroja. The rest is history for the popular 38-year-old artist.
Now Syntek is taking radio waves by storm with the new material from Lección de vuelo, a work inspired by his new role as a father. At the most recent Latin GRAMMY Awards, the singer dazzled the audience and viewers with his performance of the disc's first single “Intocable,” which he sang with La Quinta Estación singer Natalia Jiménez at the event.
Read our exclusive interview with Syntek to get all the information on his latest projects.
Why did your friends used to call you “el sin teclado” (“the keyboard-less”)?
It was a funny student joke. Whenever I would go to a friend's house and I saw a piano, organ or any instrument in their house, I was all ‘let me play your piano for a little while,' and a friend started to say that I was the keyboard-less man because I always had to borrow them. They abbreviated ‘sin teclado' to ‘syntek,' and when I formed my first serious rock band I decided that it would be my artistic name.
What did Alek Syntek have that other singers didn't have?
Being a musician first and foremost gave me a huge advantage. While other people were great singers or good composers, I always did everything. People consider the work I do to be very credible and very musical. In my country, people are interested in rock stars, but with me, they see someone who's different, because it makes them proud to know that I'm a musician with diverse talents.
Do you prefer singing or producing?
I definitely prefer singing songs. If I had to put it on a scale, that would weigh more. But the thing is I couldn't push any of it aside. My producer and composer side is something I have to do to feel fresh and spontaneous, to influence other people.
Tell us about your latest project in English…
The truth is, I was really curious to see where the adventure of trying it would take me. In no way am I just trying to do something unusual. Artists who have done crossover work have been successful on a popular level in the United States. They're hugely famous singers …we're talking about Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Ricky Martin, but there hasn't been a crossover musician more dedicated to composition than I am. I tried to take the initiative and find a niche that doesn't necessarily have to do with being a Latin sex symbol or something like that, but rather a composer who sits at the piano and makes universal songs. I decided that it was worth it to try it, so I started taking daily English classes.
The disc's first single is called “Intocable” (“Untouchable”). Who's is the untouchable one?
(He laughs) The song is about indifference. That song's about the memory of a failed relationship that I had before marrying my wife. I really did it more for fun because people get very attached to songs with dramatic themes about indifference and disillusionment. I would like my place in music to be untouchable, and hope for my place as a composer in my country to be untouchable and unique.