Carlos Santana Reflects on His 50-Year Music Career: Woodstock, Self-Fulfilment and More
Legendary Latin Rockstar Carlos Santana reflects on his 50-Year Music Career in the August/September Issue of AARP The Magazine (ATM).
Born in July 20th of 1947 in Jalisco, Mexico, Carlos Santana, is one of the most internationally recognized guitarists of our time. In this exclusive interview with ATM, the hall of fame rock guitarist opens up about his artistic journey, philosophy on life and self-fulfilment, and exploring African rhythms on his new album “Africa Speaks”.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Santana’s extraordinary performance in Woodstock. “Woodstock was the first thing that I ever saw that had humans capable to live with unity and harmony,” he said. The Grammy-winning artist recalled performing in the same stage as Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone in August 1969 at the age of 22. “Woodstock was a door to walk into another dimension of our lives…people are thirsty to live, exist outside religion and politics” he added.
Santana discovered his sound at a young age. “I wanted to sound like B. B. King and Otis Rush and all the people I loved. Go inside a closet, turn the lights off, and play, and try to sound like them. And then I didn’t sound like them. I sounded like me. I didn’t realize that it was a blessing, instead of a curse. But when I stopped trying to sound like somebody else and really paid attention to me, I heard that sound that goes through all people’s hearts.”
Juanes, the Colombian rock star says that Santana sings with his guitar. “His melodies and solos are as catchy as a singer’s. Somehow his fingers are an extension of his soul. They have his stamp, and that’s everything when you’re an artist,” the “Camisa Negra” singer added. Santana’s career peaked with the realease of “Oye Como Va,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Smooth”. Decades later, the Mexican rock star continues to perform in sold out shows and create new music.
In his latest album “Africa Speaks”, Santana dives deep to express his messages of love and healing along with the Spanish singer Buika. The Latin rock star hopes to bring new African music to the mainstream because “people need this ingredient, to learn how to dance differently. There is too much synthesized music,” Santana added.
Throughout his life, the 72-year-old guitarist has been open about his professional and personal path to happiness. He lives by the mantra to “reinvent yourself everyday.”
When asked what advice he would give to his younger self, Santana said “Strip yourself naked from anything that anyone taught you about anything. And only listen to the voice of your heart, the voice of your light.”