Macaco (band)

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Macaco (band)

Daniel Carbonell, aka Macaco, is a Spanish artist born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1972. In his early days as a street musician around the 'Ramblas' in Barcelona, he recruited musicians from different countries like Brazil, Cameroon, Venezuela or Spain, and launched his own multi-cultural project, which he named 'Macaco', just like his own moniker. His music is a blend of rumba, reggae and funk with an electronic accent on Latin American music and rumba. He sings in several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Catalan and Italian.


Dani Macaco started his career as a musician playing at the Plaza de Cataluña and the Ramblas in Barcelona. When he was a child, his mother used to call him affectionately “Mico”. Later he became known as 'Mono Loco' and finally as 'Macaco'. He decided to start a musical project based on cosmopolitanism and dialogue through the communion of words ans sounds. For him, who grew up in a multicultural Barcelona, the 'mix' was a natural thing. His first album called El Mono en el Ojo del Tigre (Edel, 1999) was released in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, The Neterlands; David Byrne remixed “Delaveraveraboom” and invited Macaco to produce and mix albums by Los de Abajo and King Changó.

Counting on the collaboration of Ojos de Brujo, Chico Ocaña, (Mártires del Compás) the Italian musician Roy Paci, (Mau Mau, Radio Bemba), the Brasilian Lenine and Senegalese musicians Touré Kunda, he released Rumbo Submarino (Edel,2001), which was hailed by the critics, and which he presented in the most important European festivals: Womad, Grec, Popkomm, La Mar de Músicas, Couleur Café and Etnosur, among others. After playing more than seventy shows in 2002, Macaco El Mono Loco still found time to work on Ojos de Brujo's album Barí, on Back To The Earth by Carlos Jean and Amparanoia's Enchilao; he also took part in the film Amnesia original soundtrack in 2002, by Gabriele Salvatore (Best Foreign Film Oscar Winner for Mediterraneo) Darkness (2002) by director Jaume Balagueró (Mélies d'or prize winner at the Sitges Festival for the film Los Sin Nombre) and Xavi Rivera's A Más (2002), on which he played a small role accompanying the actress Najwa Nimri.

Macaco launched his own publishing company (El Murmullo) and record label, Mundo Zurdo, in order to record the album Entre Raíces y Antenas (2004), his first work with EMI. The first single off this album was “Giratutto.”

In 2006, he released a new album, Ingravitto, boasting collaborations by La Mari (Chambao), Naçao Zumbi, Bnegao, Muchachito Bombo Infierno and Caparezza, among others; The singles off this album were “Sideral,” “Con La Mano Levantá,” and “Mama Tierra.”

Macaco's popularity took off with Puerto Presente (2009), hitting #1 on the sales chart also obtaining the platinum certification in Spain, and winning multiple awards including the Premio Ondas as Best Album, Premio de la Música, a 40 Principales Award and the Rolling Stone Award. The first single, “Moving,” broke all records in Spain and was nominated for a Latin Grammy and an MTV Europe Music Award. The song was also the official tune in a series of Earth Day commemorative acts, organized by National Geographic on April 22nd, 2009. The music video for “Moving” features collaborations by worldwide renown artists like Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes, and Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Javier Cámara. The song was also included as part of the FIFA 09 videogame soundtrack. In this videogame's later editions soundtracks, two other Macaco songs were also included: “Hacen Falta Dos” in FIFA 10 and “Una Sola Voz”, from his 2012 latest album El Murmullo del Fuego, in FIFA 12.

The song “Moving” was subject to controversy when the Spanish extreme right-wing party Falange Española used it in their election campaign video in 2009 for the European Parliament Elections. As a result, Dani Macaco, through his label EMI, published a statement explaining that he refused this use of his song, suing the political party and eventually winning the case.

In 2012 he published Amor a lo Diminuto (Random House), a book gathering a selection of aphorisms, rhymes, thoughts, stories, poems and snapshots collected by the artist from Barcelona during his trips. He also released El Murmullo del Fuego, a bright album with deep etno-musical roots and boasting an introduction by the famous writer José Saramago; Macaco's main source of inspiration for this album was reggae.

Macaco is not only renown for his music, but also for his commitment with several projects in the social and environmental areas. In 2012, Macaco ceded his song “Seguiremos” to collaborate with a video created by the “Hospital Sant Joan de Déu” from Barcelona to increase the public awareness on childhood cancer.

In his latest and extensive tour he visited several European countries, played at the Rock in Rio Festival both in Madrid and Rio de Janeiro in front of an audience of 80,000, and played sold out shows in Argentina.

By the end of the year 2014, the animation film directed by Javier Fesser Mortadelo y Filemón contra Jimmy “El Cachondo” - based on the famous Spanish comic characters created by Ibañez- will be premiered. Macaco was commissioned by Fesser himself to produce and interpret the movie's central song, a dancehall-Jamaican version of “Me Olvidé de Vivir” originally by Julio Iglesias.

Nowadays, Macaco is working on his new album, to be released through Sony Music, the recording company he has associated with after EMI's dissolution.

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