SPAIN – If in 1968 everything changed for Massiel (Madrid, 74 years old) with his triumph in Eurovision, in 2020 she did it for Paula Ribó (Barcelona, 31 years old), the young multidisciplinary artist who is after the name of Rigoberta Bandini and who has been become a musical phenomenon in Spain.
“When Tierno Galván was mayor of Madrid, I turned on the Christmas lights on Calle de Preciados on his arm,” recalls Massiel, now retired. Bandini, on the other hand, will give their concert in Madrid All I want for Christmas is Rigoberta next December 19.
Last year the Catalan artist went viral with her song In Spain We Call It Soledad and since then his popularity has only grown as she has released songs.
“When I meet people that I haven’t seen for a long time and they tell me how strong everything that has happened to me is, I answer that I feel the same way,” says the also a writer —Ribó published her self-fiction novel Vertigo at the Círculo Barcelona publishing house and in 2022 it will be reissued by Penguin Random House—. “It has been a big change and very fast.” Massiel also experienced early fame.
“Since I became famous when I was very young, I could not go to any New Year’s Eve party because people get very heavy when they drink,” she acknowledges.
“That is why I have always celebrated it in my house or in that of friends, where we can be at our own pace. Although if I have received a good job offer for that night, I have. It happened in the eighties when she was hired to say goodbye to the year at the Ritz hotel in Madrid. It was a dinner for a few privileged super millionaires. I remember the Baroness and Baron Thyssen were there. I asked to perform before twelve and to be given a suite where to celebrate it later with my friends. I had a caviar camel, which I imported from Iran, and I offered it with vodka, champagne and dressed as a character from the Great Gatsby. It was the best end of the year I can remember ”.
Bandini, on the other hand, has always had “an illusion for Christmas”. And more so now that she is a mother.
“This year I really want the parade of the Kings to see his face, but I am also setting strict rules for gifts. I want only one per grandfather so I don’t have a hundred. The excess embarrasses me a lot ”, she admits.
The two singers coincide in the melancholy that on many occasions these dates are printed.
In the old San Ginés bookstore, Rigoberta, with a printed silk collar and skirt, all by Paco Rabanne.
In the old San Ginés bookstore, Rigoberta, with a printed silk collar and skirt, all by Paco Rabanne.Pablo Zamora
Massiel’s father was a music promoter and at home, since she was a child, vinyl records by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had been heard starting in mid-December. She continued the tradition, although she admits that now she puts what her grandchildren want.
“And if I turn on the television, Raphael comes out,” he says. “The drummer It’s one of my favourite Christmas carols! ”exclaims Ribó. “At my house, my cousin Juanito picks up the guitar and we start singing all the Christmas songs and making them very flamenco. I also give a lot to Sinatra, and from November to April, every morning, my partner puts at home It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé ”, she laughs. “The truth is that I would love to put out a Christmas carol,” she admits.
Massiel remembers that she never recorded one of her own.
“But in the archive of Televisión Española, you can see me singing Can’t Help Falling In Loves with pigtails like the Lady of Elche”.
Massiel has anecdotes for everything, and when in the middle of a photo session Rigoberta tries on a miniskirt, the Madrilenian tells him the day she was almost arrested for wearing a similar one.
“It was right on this street,” she notes. “I was 16 years old, it was summer, I was buying my bible from that time, the magazine Marie Claire French when the grays told me to circulate because it was causing a public scandal. I replied that the scandalous were they because of the eyes with which they looked at me. And I went home ”.
Rigoberta began her artistic career doing dubbing. At age seven she voiced Spinelli in the series The backyard band; also to Caillou, the protagonist of Spirited Away, and the girl of the Christmas The Polar Express. This December 22 will premiere the animated film Sing 2, where he dubs Porsha, one of the characters.
“At this time I love to watch movies like Love Actually. Has aged well, not like Notting HillI saw her the other day and was amazed at how macho she was,” she says.
She says she likes to gather her family around the table and this year for the first time it will be at home.
“I enjoy the ritual of setting the beautiful table and buying Christmas little things, but I don’t cook because I do it awfully. I will buy some good prawns, sausage and things that do not have to pass through my hands. For people to enjoy,” she laughs. “Ugh, I’ve prepared a lot of dinners. My father was a manager and, since I was a child, all the artists who were in Madrid and had no family came to our house. That is why now I like to go to eat from the menu at the bar below my house ”.
Bandini stands in front of the historic old-fashioned bookstore on the corner of Calle del Arenal and Massiel orders chocolate in San Ginés to warm up. She comments that the last time she was there was a night when he left the Joy Eslava nightclub.
One of the photos of celebrities that decorate the place attests to it. Perhaps the one in this report will become part of the collection. The artists did not know each other personally, but they had listened to each other. “I like the one of Bitch!”, says Massiel to Rigoberta.
They hug in front of the camera, rushing in the last rays of the sun, before the only light on the street is from the Christmas decorations.
special thanks to Victor for the contribution