Here are some excerpts (in translation) of an interview with Mayra Montero published recently in the Puerto Rican newspaper Claridad. The article (in Spanish) can be accessed through the link below.
The first time Mayra Montero heard a song by René Pérez, she felt there was something in those lyrics. She was at the gym and asked who was the guy singing in the background. “Residente Calle 13,” she was told. Obviously, Mayra did not understand. And it was strange. Why, if I asked for a name, they answered with an address?
“But I do understand that the guy had something to say and was saying,” Montero said in a brief cybertelephonic interview with “En Rojo” about her forthcoming participation as moderator of the fifth fundraising Claridad Gala Dinner, “We are eight millions,” to be held Thursday Dec. 3 at the Hotel La Concha. The guests speakers that night will be Residente from Calle 13 and Lin Manuel Miranda, the young Puerto Rican author of In the Heights, a highly successful Broadway musical.
When Mayra saw In the Heights she was fascinated by Lin Manuel’s work, though she failed to see him playing the sweet and memorable character Usnavy, as Lin Manueal had just been replaced in the part by another actor. In the Heights is a very intelligent and hopeful work, said the author and journalist, who looks forward to working with the two young men at the Gala. “Each in his own way is among the most interesting and promising voices in our country right now. They are two artists whose work resonates because they can address universal topics through the local, which is the key to success for most artists.”