“The biggest thing: Merengue Day arrives here, and nothing happens”

“I had a very scarce childhood, but a beautiful one” When participating in the elCaribe-CDN breakfast, he regrets the little official support for merengue.
The orchestra leader, singer and composer participated in the
elCaribe-CDN Breakfast

Rafa Rosario prefers a frugal breakfast “at 9:00 in the morning”, when musicians who have been working at night normally sleep.

His work “is a brat because you are doing what you like, they pay you, they give you and even the girls go crazy, how nice, how good it is like that!”, affirms who in his youth was a bricklayer and was in the construction of Altos de Chavón and other works in Casa de Campo.

“I learned to read by reading elCaribe… I always had to bring elCaribe to my dad, whatever newspaper it was, it was always elCaribe, and whenever I hear about elCaribe it reminds me of my dad,” is his greeting when asked by the Director Nelson Rodriguez.

A question from Dalton Herrera about that existential emptiness that some famous artists feel, brings him this reflection: “one likes this a lot, I think that as long as one has life, one has to enjoy it because when you are on stage and you are enjoying, so is the public. You have to show the public the joy they are doing to also raise the spirits of the public. It is enjoyed over time, I think that is why the artist does not retire, because it is all life, a lot of life, while we are doing this, he has to have enjoyment and enjoyment”.

The Rosario Brothers in “High heels”, by Almodóvar
These days you can see on Netflix the movie “Tacones distant”, by Pedro Almodóvar, in one of whose scenes, in a prison yard, a choreography is developed with the merengue “Pecadora” by Los Hermanos Rosario, for which they did not receive a royalty peso. Once they asked their businessman Mateo San Martín and he told them that they didn’t get anything, “no no, what’s up, that was simple, you give that away, as long as you appear in the film, that’s so that you go out”. “But that film did do us a lot of good -he assures-, it brought us a show that we did in the Plaza de Toro in Madrid, against xenophobia when a Dominican woman was killed there. I met Pedro (Almodóvar) and we talked a lot and he told me how he got to know the subject, he told me how he got to know the country, he told me a lot about merengue, about merengueros, he told me about Johnny, about Kinito, about Toño, he told me ‘I I was looking for a merengue that I wanted to put on and when I heard that song by the Rosario Brothers -I was going from La Romana to Higuey- and when I heard that song I said ‘this is the song’ and I loved it and put it on. I congratulate you'”.

Dalton Herrera, Rafa Rosario, Patria Urbáez, Nelson Rodríguez and Alfonso Quiñones.

Alba Nelys Familia, director of CDN asks if they have recorded with some urban, to which Rafa Rosario explained: “We have done things with Mozart, with Mark B, but at the time that helps a little, it does not have a great punch, something of the moment sounds, I think that when you do that, many merengueros have done it and it hasn’t been a great success, you can hear it, it gets… But I think that with merengue you have to keep working and if you have to do something does, because music has no limits, in music you have to invent, make new experiments and I think it can be done and can continue to be done”.

The survival of the meringue

“In merengue, there is a lack of young people, because look at the example of Many Cruz, because nobody has filled three nights, and they are essentially singing merengue. There is no investment in merengue and we are not the ones who have to invest so that it flows”, defended the interpreter of El Pencil. However, he complained about the lack of support from the State for the national rhythm. “Making a meringue is expensive, making an arrangement of meringue is expensive, meringue made by masters, everyone who records there is a master and it is very expensive, with what you make a meringue cut, several productions of those are made… .”, he expressed referring to urban music.
His manager and composer René Solís believed that in contrast to the songs that stick by themselves, to push a new song you need a lot of money every month to stick it, according to the merengue player. “And hitting a song is a matter of at least six months playing”.

“It is not a question of what the merengueros are going to do so that there is that relief,” Solís assured. “I believe that the problem is a concern of the entire country. Manny is an example of perseverance, perseverance and work, which did not have all the machinery, because here there is no talent development industry like in other countries. The artists here have always, with rare exceptions, come from neighborhoods… obviously I don’t think it will be resolved that the artists with a career who have had merengue up to here work with a young boy, it is that much more is needed than that ”

For Rafa Rosario, nothing will be achieved “if the State does not make an effort. The greatest thing is that Merengue Day arrives here and nothing happens. Who should put on great shows and dedicate that day to a country brand such as merengue? … What has been done is because we have set ourselves to do it, without anyone’s support” she affirmed.

“In many countries of the world, one of the main economic sources is culture, music… The World Trade Organization says that 4% of what is produced in the world is music, from the music industry, but it is 4% in the world, but here, entertainment, how much does it produce? she wondered.

Rafael, father
Majadma Gandhi said when he was asked that question
“Look at me”, my example is my life and I tell you, work, study and respect”, he specified before a question about Rafa Rosario, father. “Respect yourself so that they respect you, I believe in that. And I study, I live studying, every day; I like to know, to know, to learn, I like to see how the economy is in the world, how the world is progressing, in all aspects. I also tell them, they have to be rich, without harming third parties.”

The Creator, the world

“The Creator, the greatest, the exalted lord above, we believe that every day one gets up now and at night asks him because in this world many thinking people with silence are needed. Silence is needed, meditate. I like to meditate, I like silence, because that is what lowers your windows in case any problem or confrontation appears; because people here want to kill each other for an “almost hit me” “almost hit me in the car”, but that’s because of the noise, because of the noise in the mind. If you are a person who has calm or patience and ask the Lord when you go out, to give you peace in the midst of the storm or whatever happens, direct me, and then you know how I get out. I believe in this because you have to know how to walk in peace and silence. They have given me my car and I say “leave that pod like that” and I go that way. One has insurance and life does not have insurance, there is no life insurance… ”, he reflected.

According to the interpreter of “Bonifacio”, “La dueña del swing” or “Nuevecita de caja”, brother Pepe was the “architect” of the sound of Los Hermanos Rosario. “I remember Pepe saying, when I hit the bass, “you can’t do that, take ‘güira’, and do it like that to the tambora, Pepe said how we were going to play, he was the architect of this, and that piano, and the güira , as we say ‘majao’”.

The importance of music

“I think we should continue working on music, music is part of the life of the human being, the human being is born with music, before the human being there was music, because if not man did it, there was the song of the birds; even the trees sing, the river, the sea, have their own song, the wind. In other words, man is born with music, we have to continue working on music and I thank God for having this profession, which is the noblest profession or one of the noblest, because it gives joy to hearts… people fall in love with music! How many people have come to me and told me ‘I fell in love with such a song and because of that song I got married’, ‘when I met my girlfriend I met her with that song and that’s why I fell in love, with her I got married and that’s why they are my children’. And something happens, I have played weddings, then the 15 to the girl and then the wedding (of the girl), -generations after generations-, music transcends generations, what is well done is passed on to generations and continues to be loved ” .

A childhood with a lot of scarcity, but beautiful

He remembers that at school they told him that there was a poor class, very poor and very poor, “we were below”. His family was extensive. The father was a shoemaker and he had a whip to straighten them. “We couldn’t even go one day to learn to swim.” He calls it “respect-fear”. They worked because there was a need in the house, “we had to take what we could and each one of us went out to look because we were 14 brothers and a shoemaker father, and my mother was a mother who had 20 pregnancies and it was not because there was no television, it was because they were rumberos”. He wrote a song after the death of his brother Pepe, which speaks of taking parents to travel the world and that is what they did, because they traveled to Europe, to the United States, to all the islands “because they were people that what they got was to share . One day I remember a Christmas that my dad collected and threw the money upstairs and said let’s enjoy, and he was with his children, rented a van and was with us. I had a very scarce childhood, but beautiful, the only thing that was not there was liquidity, but there was a union between the family. My parents taught us.” Remember that as a bricklayer, while building a nightclub he said “wow, me working in this nightclub where we will never enter”, even so they came home, took a guitar, and began to sing, and the whole neighborhood went for the house with a yagua roof. He remembers that at school they told him that there was a poor class, very poor and very poor, “we were below.” His family was extensive. The father was a shoemaker and had a riding crop to straighten them. “We couldn’t even go one day to learn to swim.” He calls it “respect-fear”. They worked because there was a need in the house, “we had to take what we could and each one of us went out to look because we were 14 brothers and a shoemaker father, and my mother was a mother who had 20 pregnancies and it was not because there was no television, it was because they were rumberos”. He wrote a song after the death of his brother Pepe, which speaks of taking parents to travel the world and that is what they did, because they traveled to Europe, to the United States, to all the islands “because they were people that what they got was to share . One day I remember a Christmas that my dad collected and threw the money upstairs and said let’s enjoy, and he was with his children, rented a van and was with us. I had a very scarce childhood, but beautiful, the only thing that was not there was liquidity, but there was a union between the family. My parents taught us.” Remember that as a bricklayer, while building a nightclub he said “wow, me working in this nightclub where we will never enter”, even so they came home, took a guitar, and began to sing, and the whole neighborhood went for the house with yagua roof.