Born in Pinar Del Rio - renowned for the quality
of both its tobacco and its musicians (Maria Teresa Vera, Rubalcaba, Anga Diaz &
Polo Montanez) Raul Paz comes from a musical family. His great-uncle is Changuito,
who is the grand master of Cuban percussions, and still lives in Havana.
Ra?l Paz spent 15 years of his life in various music schools
and academies, where he learned the violin as well as singing, harmony and
He also made a name for himself as an actor in Havana, and played a few lead
roles in films (among others, Hello Hemingway by Fernando Perez). Though
the United States beckoned, Raul decided to move to France in 1997, a country
which he felt would prove a more appropriate place for cultural intermingling.
Soon, at clubs like the New Morning, Hot Brass, Bataclan, Elysse Montmartre, he
was sharing the spot with every Latin musician stopping over in Paris:
among others. A member of the Latino and
African musical community based in France, he became one of the leaders of the
'Cuban wave' in this country.
During the legendary 1999 Fania All Stars concert at the Zenith, Cheo Feliciano
(the voice of bolero) invited Raul to join him on stage. When Ralph Mercado -
the owner of RMM, the man who invented the very word "Salsa" - heard the voice
of Raul Paz among the well-established salsa stars, he immediately decided to
promote the "French Cubano." That same year, Raul Paz recorded his first album
for RMM, Cuba Libre. Far from sticking to salsa standards, he pushed back
the limits of the genre and explored new trends with his inimitable energy. The
album was a hit in the US (selling more than 100 000 units) and Raul Paz was
awarded the Best New Male Singer Award by the New York music press.
A follow-up tour through the American continent gave Raul the opportunity to
meet his public and reveal himself as a true live performer.
But in 2001, Ralph Mercado Music shut down and Raul's New York experience
stopped temporarily. He went back to France where he still owns a house and has many
friends. He also went back on the road with his fellow musicians, playing major festivals: Womad, Arezzo, Roskilde. Open to new sounds and techniques, interested in the
fusion of genres, he moved towards electronic music.
"Contigo," written and
recorded with DJ Arian & Pipi, became a cult 12? in clubs all around the
Mediterranean. In the wake of this success, Raul met producer Mousse T and
decided to mix his new album, previously recorded in Cuba, with his team Danya
Vodovoz & Ferry Ultra, at the Hanover Pepermint studios. Danya (from Russia) and
Ferry (from Iran) were two rising stars of the electro scene (Strictly Rhythm). They became known to a larger public through their remix of Tom Jones? "Sex
The collaboration proved significant for Raul. The DJs' efficient groove added a
lot to the richness and quality of his melodies. And the voice mix allows the
listener to enjoy all the charm and humor of Raul Paz' lyrics.
thrives on the subtle mix of Cuban instruments and samples from Hanover.
Imaginate (RMM, 1998)
Cuba Libre (Rue Bleu, 1999)
Blanco y Negro (RMM, 2000)
Contigo (Kontor Records, 2000)
Mulata (Naïve, 2003)
Revolución (Naïve, 2005)
En Casa (Naïve, 2006)
En Vivo (Naïve, 2007)
Havanization (Naïve, 2010)