Songwriter Omar Alfanno launches hits project

Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:41pm EDT
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By Leila Cobo

MIAMI (Billboard) - With more than 300 songs recorded by 170-plus performers, Omar Alfanno is one of Latin music's premiere songwriters and the man behind countless hits, including "A Puro Dolor" (Purest of Pain), Billboard's Latin song of the decade.

In February, he released the album "Omar Alfanno Presenta: Angel Lopez, Historias de Amor," on which Angel Lopez, former singer of Son by Four (the group that originally recorded "A Puro Dolor"), performs some of Alfanno's greatest hits. The set, which features warm, acoustic arrangements, will be the first of five albums featuring covers of his hits through the decades.

In a recent interview, he talked about his new recording project.

Billboard: What motivated the release of "Omar Alfanno Presenta?"

Omar Alfanno: The word "grateful" is very important to me. I have to be grateful to fans, and what better way to say "thank you" than to launch a collection of five albums, each one with 12 tracks, each of which has been a hit.

The first singer I sought out was Angel Lopez. I'd worked with him as a producer, and when I saw him again, we had the same magic between us. And he has, in my opinion, one of the best voices in Latin music.

Billboard: Why are they all ballads?

Alfanno: I wanted to take the listener to the very essence of how my songs are born. I don't know how to do salsa. I always write ballads, and these ballads have been taken to a salsa format. It's a little like dressing a bride in white again. This is an album that will take you back to certain moments in your life. It's a kind of romantic deja vu. Each song takes you to 12 different moments in your life.   Continued...

<p>Omar Alfanno smiles as he is photographed with his Song Writer of the Year awards backstage at the eighth annual Billboard Latin Music Awards show in Miami Beach, Florida, April 26, 2001. REUTERS/Colin Braley</p>