Museum It is a project that was born with a certain halo of mystery. The singer, and also actress, Berta Vázquez, did not want to use the popularity that her projects in film and television have given her to warm up at a promotional level for the launch of the imminent first album by Museum, which she signs with the alias Birtukan together with Afkar.
Both Vázquez and his duo partner, producer Bastián Iglesias – who sometimes uses Afkarte as his artistic surname and Afkar as aliases – have opted to progressively give clues about what Museum is. If at the beginning of summer they released the first sneak peek, Schizo, now that the season is over, his video is out. Reflection of the ambitions of the duo, which was born as an interdisciplinary musical group, and who have shaped a concept album, A Year Without You, in which they bet on electronics downtempo fused with synthpop and alternative r’n’b.
“We have been working on this album for a long time”, reveals Berta, “so we are very happy that the time has come to share things about it”. They did not want to give hints of what was to come until they had their debut finished. “You never know if things are going to be half done,” says Vázquez. And Bastián / Afkar continues: “When we saw that we had everything well tied up, it was time to start sharing. Better to go step by step ”.
“This first album has been therapeutic for both of us”
Berta and Bastián met ten years ago, collaborating on a project by another artist that makes them laugh when they remember it, and that they prefer to ignore. “We became friends immediately,” says the producer. “Berta was very clear that she wanted to dedicate herself to music. AND it was four years ago when we started to collaborate“. Now, they already have an album ready that they finished off in Ibiza, where they both settled after confinement. “The island has hooked us, it has something special,” says Berta. “And the good is easy to get used to.”
He was born in Madrid, she in Ukraine, although she grew up in Elche, and had spent the last ten years in Madrid. In Ibiza they have finished a conceptual work on which they have been working for three years. “It’s not really that long,” Bastian says. “We started playing with sounds, synths, voice …, experimenting. We didn’t know what was going to come of it. When we came up with a song that convinced us completely, we already went upstairs and went for an album, which we have self-produced ”.
“When Berta starts singing, the rest of the world falls silent”
They assure that they have made every effort to find a “personal, authentic and unique” sound, fusing the influences of both, and at the narrative level a story was put together through the lyrics of the songs “in a natural way”. And what is that story? “It tells the existential crisis of a person, which leads him to lock himself in his room, and in himself, for a year and disconnect from the world”Berta explains.
Without a doubt, an experience that resonates when we are still in the midst of a pandemic and we have lived through a harsh confinement. “Each song deals with a theme: love, heartbreak, sex, family …”. And Bastián adds: “We are both very intense”, and they burst out laughing. “We stick some badges to each other very heavies; sometimes we think of ourselves as Ortega y Gasset. And this album has been therapeutic for both of us. “
They assure that they lived moments of complicated creative blockage, and in them they took the opportunity to listen to artists who inspired them: “Kanye West, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Michael Kiwanuka, London Grammar, James Blake, Daft Punk, Paco de Lucía…”. Referents as eclectic as the music they have created. “They have in common that they do not follow the traditional pop structures that sound on the radio,” they continue.
All the songs have a common link, the voice of Berta, which Bastián never tires of praising. “In my career as a musician I have worked with many singers, and Berta has something that very few have. When he begins to perform, the rest of the world falls silent. Connect with a very personal essence and vibration that excites and engages“.
Berta Vázquez spent many years focused on acting. The movie Palm trees in the snow (2015) put her on the scene in a big way, and then series like Vis a vis O The accident. “I kept singing at home, with my guitar”, bill. “I always had a project open on the computer. There were times when I didn’t have a minute to go back to them, but as soon as I had some free time, I did it, because it’s something that I always feel like ”.
“We like to create shields in characters”
The actress wanted to avoid the pull of her name in the face of this project. That is why they sign him as Birtukan (Vázquez) and Afkar. “The important thing is the work we present,” Bastián says for the two of them. “We like to create shields in characters, that attention is focused on what is important, which is the record“. Berta assures that if her popularity contributes to the Museum being listened to more, happy, but she is not going to use it as her main weapon. “The important thing for us is to make more music and keep growing. We hope to get a run and have more means to be able to materialize all the ideas that we have in mind“.