Angel and Gabriel form the most popular band in Cuenca, Dolly Rose. They have a lot of followers, mainly thanks to their outstanding live performances. This interview takes place near the river Huécar, a fascinating sight near the centre of Cuenca.
Author: Elena Gascón
Good morning, guys, please tell us about yourselves a little more!
Gabriel: Good morning! I am Gabriel. I am a musician. I am 18 years old. Currently, I am a singer in a band, among many other disciplines.
Angel: Hello! I am Angel Sáiz. I am 17 years old. I am a musician. I was born in Cuenca. Currently, I am a guitar player.
Does Cuenca inspire you in your artwork? If so, how?
Gabriel: Cuenca is a very bohemian city, as I have always said. I must admit that the old part, the upper part of the city, due to its wonderful views and landscapes, and thanks to its quiety and the pure air that you breathe, helps us a lot. It is not only a source of inspiration but also a boost for your focus, required to create, to feel at ease. Personally, in order to compose music, I need to feel relaxed and at ease. I have to just concentrate on it. I believe the city helps me a lot to do so.
What is the leisure time offer in Cuenca like?
Angel: Well, It is true that Cuenca, regarding the music industry, has a commercial asset. There are many pubs and nightclubs… I must say, in favour of Cuenca, that, every weekend, it has alternatives for those who enjoy live music. You can go to any local pub around the Main Square and you will find a live concert for free or for a low fee. At the end of the day, this fosters culture and allows everyone to attend a live concert.
What is your favourite place in Cuenca?
Gabriel: For example, one of my favourite places in Cuenca is this! (The National Theatre-Auditorium).
My first concerts, where I performed with the music school orchestra, were here. This area here instils calmness. It is not very noisy, and it has a very pleasant atmosphere. It is close to St. Peter’s bridge. You can always go for a nice walk. There are some benches where you can sit on and enjoy the natural landscape. This serenity can help you find your inner self. Being near the river will clearly help you to increase your self-awareness a lot.
Angel: Well, my favourite place is St. Michael’s Belvedere. It is up the hill, near the Main square. You can spend there countless hours enjoying the view over Cuenca. It is such a wonderful place! Utterly quiet. Nobody can disturb you. You can even take a pen and a notebook and write anything that comes to your mind. It is a truly inspiring location.
When you decide to live in Cuenca, in a rural area, what does wellness mean for you here?
Gabriel: For me, Cuenca’s best asset is its peacefulness. It may seem as though big cities have a lot of advantages for young people but, at the end of the day, when you are going to live off creating music, art or anything that requires high concentration levels, you need to be in a calm place, where street noise is not a problem. In Madrid, it is impossible to think of such a quiet place unless you go far far far away in the outskirts. In Cuenca, you have all the peace and quietness of the world in the city centre.
Have you worked with any local artists or entrepreneurs locally?
Angel: I must say that people here are willing to take part in cultural events! It is easy to contact anyone. As it is a small town, we all know each other. It is very convenient to work with other bands and to put on concerts. For instance, there are always summer festivals where you can collaborate with other artists.
Gabriel: It is true that, as Cuenca is a small place, you have more visibility and better chances to show what you do. There are opportunities for everybody: dancers, poets, musicians… There is always someone who knows someone else who is working in the town hall or in an event organising company. In this sense, the city makes it easy for you to thrive! In my view, that is a great advantage.