Last October he suffered a stroke, and this summer, while promoting his return to the music scene, he had to undergo a catheterization due to a heart problem. “For the second time I have been born again,” admits the son of Isabel Pantoja. Famous from the cradle, he now claims to be an artist beyond his last name.
Of all his health mishaps, the most serious has been the stroke. Has your life changed?Although what I am going to say seems harsh, the stroke has been good for me. It has been the biggest scare of my life, I thought I was going to the other neighborhood, but it was the slap on the wrist that I needed to realize that I was not going in the right direction. It took me 37 years to realize that this was not the way, but better late than never. I have changed my lifestyle and I can say that I am happier. Much happier.
Do you move better in personal or professional interviews?Throughout my life I have had all kinds of interviews. It is very difficult to carry them, because sometimes you can lose control, make a mistake or not have a good day, but obviously I prefer musical interviews. For me they are less painful.
“The stroke has been the slap on the wrist that I needed to realize that I was not going in the right direction. It took me 37 years”
The consequences of fame, I suppose.I always say that I have not sought fame. I had the luck or the misfortune, that each one thinks what he wants, to be known before being born. My mother is Isabel Pantoja and my father is Paquirri, so before I was born I was already on everyone’s lips. And in the end I have ended up dedicating myself to the same thing as my mother, but in another genre, although, if my father had lived, it might have been something else, you never know. Comments on all sides, criticism… Although also wonderful things, people and moments; also hard… I think I have a good gazpacho of everything (laughs).
What is still missing in interviews?It could be that they focus more on my profession, music, than on my personal life. Although in that I could have been very guilty, eh? But it is that life is as it is and it comes as it comes. Today I can say that mentally I am much better, my mental health has improved a lot since I haven’t been on television or done interviews, but you don’t know what life has in store for you. Right now I am one hundred percent in my profession, but tomorrow we don’t know. So for now I’m going to enjoy what I have, because it is true that I am much happier without the world of television than with it.
“I have not sought fame. I was lucky or unfortunate, let each one think what they want, to be known before birth”
In your profession, have you encountered more open or closed doors?They close more than the ones that open, because, because of the last name I have, people think that everything is easier for you, and it is totally the opposite. It’s like you have to prove more. It has cost me a lot, both my father and my father have set the bar very high, and comparisons are never good. I have always had to fight with that, and I will continue to do so, but I know very well where I come from and where I want to go, and for that I have to work a lot.
What is Kiko Rivera doing in the Kings League?It all started with my son, who is 10 years old and a Kings League fan. As a result of that, I began not to follow the competition, because I am more into traditional football, but to see summaries. The little lightbulb went on and I wrote to Spursito – the youtuber tied to the tournament – to pass a demo for his team, Rayo de Barcelona. He was pick and shovel. The play went well and, the most important thing for me, is that the music spoke there. Furthermore, as a result of this I have created a very special bond with my son who, to this day, makes me the happiest man in the world.
“My mental health has improved a lot since I haven’t been on TV or doing interviews, but you don’t know what life has in store for you”
And, incidentally, a thorn has been removed.Yes (laughs). I haven’t been able to be a soccer player, but, in the end, musically speaking, I’ve been able to contribute my bit to a soccer team. Wish granted.
Have you noticed a generational leap?I have noticed it. I consider myself a young guy, I am almost 40 years old, but it is true that there is a gap between people my age and the new generations. For a while, those young people stopped listening to my music. Until the Kings League has arrived and my hymn for Rayo de Barcelona. There I have noticed younger people stopping me in the street, asking me for a photo or listening to my song. You have to adapt to what is new and update yourself, there is no other option. Now I’m trying to get together with very young people, kids of 20 or 21 years old, also a DJ, because otherwise I won’t make it.
“The Kings League has created a very special bond with my son who, to this day, makes me the happiest man in the world”
And, in parallel, it has returned to similar music, because it has been renewed.For me it is the return, yes, in the sense that I had a stroke and that of the single It was the first project we were going to put out, but the Kings League got in the way. Here I am, with a new company, a new team behind me and with a renewed Kiko, both mentally and physically. I am looking forward to it and I am very happy for all the good things that await me.
the mambo sounds very summery Do you think there are songs only for the summer season?The song has a catchy chorus and very, very easy lyrics, with very up-to-date electronic sounds, which is very fashionable: Rosalía, Quevedo… Everyone has their share of things in a lot of their songs, and that makes the kids really like that sound. In the end we have succeeded with the name, because for me it represents what it is to party. ‘Let’s go to the mambo!’ What the song brings is joy, the desire to dance and enjoy this wonderful time that is summer.
“I consider myself a young guy, I’m 40 years old, but it is true that there is a gap between people my age and the new generations”
Is there machismo in urban music?I have always tried not to use that kind of language in my songs. I have my children and I don’t like them to listen to it, although in the end they do it for other artists who do use a stronger message. It’s hard for me to update myself to that music, but I have no other choice, because it’s what it takes. Now romanticism is less fashionable, although there are still some out there like Beret or Sebastián Yatra.
And you? Because deep down he looks romantic. Will we see that Kiko again?I’m never going to leave it, and I talk about it a lot with the record company. I am aware that right now we need a party, an atmosphere and that the youth wants that, but I cannot get that part of me out of it. Now we have things, and maybe the next song will be moved too, and the next one too, but at some point there will come something where you have to sit down and just listen, not just dance. That is to say, something that has lyrics, sentiment and then each one takes it wherever they want to take it, because they say that there is always a song for each moment.
“I have always tried not to use macho language in my songs. I have my children and I don’t like them to listen to it”
Where does Kiko Rivera compose from?When it comes to composing, and when I meet with my team, where a young man from Seville is barely 20 years old, I try to capture and soak up his wisdom. I think it depends on the mood you’re in. Now, for example, I’m working on a song, which has already been composed although I don’t know when it will be released, which I think each person who listens to it will take it to a different terrain. The beauty of music is that, that each one takes it to himself and wherever he wants.
- singer and dj
Beyond being known for his appearances in the tabloids and television programs for being the son of the famous tonadillera Isabel Pantoja and the bullfighter Francisco Rivera, Paquirri, the singer, producer and DJ (Seville, 39 years old) has made a career as a music, having released several musical hits such as ‘Take off your top’, ‘That’s me’ or ‘Chica loca’.