Music in Catalan is experiencing a sweet moment driven by a new pop scene that draws on urbanism starring young artists. The Mataró duo The Tyets (Xavier Coca and Oriol de Ramon) stands out there, a fashionable group this summer after managing to convince an intergenerational audience with their latest album ‘Èpic solete’. And, above all, seduce an unexpected crowd with that great song called ‘Coti x coti’, an exotic song that fuses reggaeton and sardana. The Tyets, who are facing the final stretch of their hyperactive tour, are one of the attractions of the La Mercè programming (the night of Saturday the 23rd to Sunday the 24th at 01:00 a.m. on Menéndez i Pelayo Street).
Has that happened to you, saying hello to one town and being in another?
Xavier Coca: It has happened… It’s been a little while, but it’s happened. When you start summer you know what day you live on but there comes a point when you don’t anymore. For us now Mondays are Fridays. We try to manage it the best we can.
Of everything that is happening to you, is there anything that has surprised you?
Oriol de Ramon: More than not expecting it, we didn’t realize the reception of the album and everything that came after it. We hoped it would be a turning point, but you never know where it will come. Everything that has come is very strong. We go to play anywhere and it’s always rocking. It’s a project we’ve been working on for five years and before there were 15 people looking at us and, now, seeing 20,000 who have come just to see you is very crazy.
It often happens that with cultural and musical phenomena, they are squeezed to the maximum. Do you have the feeling that it has happened to you?
OR: We have a lot of war left to fight. There are many things coming out there and we will take advantage of the wave. In Catalonia this thing happens where we try to squeeze all the juice out of everything that emerges, but our job is to try not to burn out, contemplate tempos, have strategies…
How do you face a moment like this, when you are so clear that it is your moment?
XC: You must try not to lose your freshness. We always compose the same, the ideas, the routines, how to produce the songs… Not losing the same dynamics even though the project has exploded is what keeps the group fresh.
They always give off a good vibe, they look like good kids… When things get serious and they have to make decisions, and I imagine that now is the time, do they continue like this?
OR: We have a team that we have always tried to be as good as possible and we want to continue doing so. But it is that balance of professionalizing and taking care of your people. The entire team is very aware that it is a very big project and that everyone must do their best just like us.
x. In the end when you work with 12-15 people you have to make decisions that are for the good of the project.
OR: The human part always prevails over the business part. We could make a team of machines and fucking crashes but we would have no essence. The essence is that we have a good vibe, we go on a 70-gig tour that we endure because we are friends. Losing that would be losing the essence of the project, which is having fun.
One of the great successes of ‘Èpic Solete’ is intergenerationality. How and why do you think it happened?
X. C: We make music that is suitable for all audiences. Yes, we talk about our daily lives and that of our generation, but the sounds are pleasant… It may seem like it is for young people, but older people who want to be connected understand it and like it. And ‘Coti x coti’ has struck a chord and brought many people closer to everything else we do.
OR: We have taken the essence of Catalan pop music, we have updated it and brought it to current sounds and melodies that work. We have renovated it and given it a fresh air and people have seen themselves reflected.
Will they continue to play with traditional music?
X: No, that is a resource. We were right, but it is anecdotal. Now it wouldn’t make sense for us to make a cobla. We will not do that: the formula has worked, we will repeat it infinite times.
Many people have met them now, but the project has been going on for five years. How has the road been?
OR: Evolution is very heavy. At first we made very strange music, which at that time was alternative, it had nothing ‘mainstream’ about it. We had no idea about making music, we learned to make it during the project. At first we sounded like ass, we made more ‘trappy’, more ‘undergorund’ music, and as we’ve grown we’ve seen what works for us. One day ‘RRHH’ came out copying a reggaeton song of the moment and we saw that we were more comfortable there than pretending that we were ragpickers.
Their success, being young, singing in Catalan, has placed them in a place of reference in terms of the language. How do they take that responsibility and the criticism for how they use Catalan?
We always say the same thing: the language is alive. We would not be ourselves if we did not sing using the expressions and vocabulary that we use in our daily lives. We are aware that there are things that are Spanish or Anglicized, but it is our way of speaking.
It is evident that it is time for this new Catalan pop. What future do you think the scene may have?
XC: He will reign for a few years. It is a cyclical thing in Catalonia, it goes on for generations. There is music of this genre for a while and in a few years other people will come out, another movement. The important thing is that there has been music in Catalan for many years, whether it be reggaeton, rap or death metal.
OR: I think it is important that, in this new scene, there is something that I think we had not had in the Catalan ‘mainstream’, which is that there are two women sharing it: Julieta and Mushkaa. It is very interesting and can generate many references.
And how far does your ambition go?
OR: You always have to break patterns. There is always this ceiling that we impose on ourselves that in Catalan you can only play in Catalonia and that’s it.
XC: But there are many things to do.
OR: Catalan music can go much further than Catalan listeners. As long as the concept and the music can cross borders, the language is not a problem.
They are on their way to selling out the second concert at the Sant Jordi Club. Was the jump to the Palau too big?
X: We could do it. But it’s about burning stages… We are 25 years old. We are happy to make two Sant Jordi Clubs. Maybe now is not the time to do it. Maybe the moment is when we close the tour for the new album.
They come from a great concert in Tarragona, last year they played for La Mercè on a packed stage and this year they repeat.
XC: La Mercè is always crazy. Let’s see how many people are really crazy about The Tyets and how we perceive the feedback. The other day in Tarragona it was crazy how the 15-20 thousand people there were shouting.
OR: Last year at Mercè there were a lot of people, a lot of them knew the songs, but not everyone came for us. There will be more people than we all expect…