“How long will this take, do you think?” the press rep asked before I called his client.
“15 minutes or less,” I said, and that was totally true. Although I am close to being a jazz neophyte, I know the popular songs and big names (and knew of his prior to our chat). Of course, I read about the artist and listened to his work during my pre-interview research. My goal, though, was to delve into the who more than the what, when, how, or why (most of which were answered in the press materials anyway). I knew what I needed and that it wouldn’t take me long to get it. How long we talked depended on how much Omar Sosa felt like speaking.
I dialed the hotel, asked for his room number, and confirmed the name of the person I was asking for. The receptionist put me through.
“Hello,” he said, in his Cuban accent. “I’ve been expecting your call.”
“Yes, Mr. Sosa,” I said. “It’s a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you for doing this.”
“It’s a beautiful day here — bright blue, no clouds, sunny,” he said, as if he was looking out the hotel window at the Phoenix sky as we spoke.
After a few more pleasantries, our conversation began.
“I thought we could start with… … …” the line going dead apparently. My pink princess or his beige banal phone cut us off. So much for landlines. I quickly dialed again and asked to be reconnected. He barely had the phone near his head when he said, “Technology isn’t so wonderful sometimes, is it?” I laughed.
Then, with my pre-determined clock ticking, our interview began. We talked about his latest CD, “Eggūn: the Afri-Lectric Experience,” which came out earlier this year. He spoke about his process, his influences, and the other things you might expect would come up when discussing how an artist does his or her work.
After 15 minutes of him talking, with a few interjections from me to change gears or expound on something he said, I asked my last question.
“What do you like most about being a musician?”
He paused, then chuckled. “This is a nice question,” he said. “I like this.”
He told me what it was (you have to read the article (the link is below) to find out!). It’s something that I understood and, as a writer, have experienced. He thanked me for asking something no one else has (that he could remember). And then it was time to go.
“Thank you so much for your time and your thoughts,” I said. “I really appreciate it. Good luck with the tour.”
“Thank you,” he said. “Peace and love, peace and love to you.”
“And to you.”
We both hung up our dinosaur phones and I finished the article quickly. He was off to lunch while I mulled our discussion and the food for thought he had provided.
It’s been days since we spoke and yet somehow, I still don’t feel disconnected.