Eleven years after being part of what was one of the most popular Spanish pop groups, El Canto del Loco, David Otero (Madrid, 40 years old) has reconciled with his past. Hardly time has passed for him. The composer and guitarist still keeps that fringe that, under a cap and with a mask that only reveals intense green eyes, hides a well-furnished head. To achieve this, he has required several years of psychologists who have helped him to get to know himself and, above all, to love himself. His latest achievement in this therapeutic learning comes in the form of an album, Otero y yo , where he reviews his extensive career and includes some of the successes of the extinct group that have formed the soundtrack of several generations . “It is a retrospective of all my history. I didn't see much point in making a solo album by El Canto , because my life is not only that. It is a look backwards but also forward ”, justifies Otero to EL PAÍS about the decision to include only three songs by the youth band – A black and white photo , Just as you are and Peter pan -, in addition to other themes of his solo albums and some unpublished.
Inevitably, this revision of old melodies has stirred past sensations and feelings in the artist, but he acknowledges that he has never moved away from that time. "These songs have been distanced from my stage and it took me years to include them again, but they have always accompanied me in my privacy," admits who has never stopped playing songs from El Canto del Loco at home or in the studio. He is the author of a large part of the band's discography and time, reflection and, above all, the years of therapy have served to give him the power to make them his own. He says that he discussed the idea of his project with some former members of the group, "not all", but did not ask anyone for permission. "The songs belong to everyone and enough time had passed to reconnect with them on stage."
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The last stage of El Canto del Loco was tough , culminating in front of a judge when the group denounced its manager for misappropriation. An ending that put the finishing touch on a decade of madness for a success that once surpassed Otero, despite the fact that he was never part of the excesses. "My passion was to change the strings of the guitar or buy the last microphone on the market, my world did not revolve around a booth or a life at full throttle," says who took advantage of his months of rest to tour Peru as a backpacker or travel in car to Morocco: "I was looking for realities where no one knew me and told me: 'You are the host."
That management of success, both at 20 and 40, has also worked with psychologists. Although he has never finished believing his fame, facing a stage alone has caused him a headache. That was one of the main reasons why in his early years he sang under the pseudonym El Pescao . “It was a shield, out of fear. If it fails, let it be him, not me ”. Despite publishing two studio albums and touring Spain and part of Latin America, he still didn't believe it. So much so that about three years ago he was about to leave. “I came to think of quitting music. I went through a period of internal conflicts, with the industry, with things that I did not understand … For comparing myself and not giving value to what I was getting privately. ”
His personal recognition came in 2017 with his first self-titled album, David Otero , and a year later, he released 1989 . Now with Otero and I he has managed to make the public participate in his personal advances. "This has been what I have worked most with the therapist, the private success, not the public," he explains sincerely while looking for the complicity of his wife, the Argentine Marina Roveta, sitting next to him as his representative and also mother of her two children, Luna and Gael, ages 14 and 7, respectively. "I call her my back to reality (back to reality, in English)," he says about the one who is the greatest of his anchors to the earth. A psychologist by profession, although she does not practice, Roveta has supported the artist in all his projects and in all his stages, including that of a writer, since in 2019 he published Precipicio al mar , a book of stories about fatherhood.
If something defines David Otero, it is perseverance. He does not give up in the face of rejection and that there have been many times that the door has been closed in his face. First, when he wanted to be a cartoonist, no publisher was interested in it. Later when they discarded many of the songs that he took to the recording studio of El Canto del Loco and that later became hits. And now, when a record company was not convinced by his recently released album, which he has ended up producing himself. “After 20 years in the industry that a great company tells you no … Luckily I was well advised mentally and instead of sinking I decided to work twice as hard and boom! The best year of my career ”, says smiling who in 2020 became the most listened to Spanish artist on the radio.
In his new adventure, Otero sings accompanied by Taburete , Ana Guerra, Bely Basarte and Funambulista, among others. In the duets there is no trace of Dani Martín . "Would it have been politically correct or would it have pleased some fans? It may be, but things have to be done from the heart ”, he acknowledges. In his words there is no resentment towards his cousin and former bandmate, and he respects that when Martín has sung those songs on stage he has never called him. "He was true to his heart and if I asked him to do it with other people, with another approach, it seems perfect to me." There is hardly any relationship with him but he is very happy for his successes. “Between us there is a lot of respect and affection. From time to time we exchange a message to see how our families are doing, but there is no close relationship ", he assures while discarding any reunion of El Canto del Loco:" In a world like this where everything is marketing and we have chosen reality and emotion would be worthless. We would have just blown it, although I think it would have been shit because we don't feel it in our hearts. ”
One month after his 41st birthday, David Otero has things clear. He would not change anything about his past and he asks the future to continue learning. By now you know that it is wise to put a lawyer in your professional life and a therapist in your personal life. Everything new that arrives, he awaits with open arms.