“I didn’t realize that these songs were like a diary of her life," her grandson said.
Angela Lvarez never imagined that the public would enjoy her songs. The 95-year-old artist has been singing all of his life and has written hundreds of songs in the previous several decades, frequently performing them for friends and family. But up to this point, she has never released them to the public. Alvarez's self-titled first album was ultimately published last year with the aid of her grandson, and she is currently nominated for Best New Artist at the upcoming Latin Grammy Awards. "It was a very big but very beautiful surprise, and I thought afterward that all my dreams came true," she told Billboard Español. "At 95, but that doesn't matter."
When Alvarez was 14 years old, she had already mastered the piano and guitar. She enjoyed singing as well. Alvarez claimed that she relied on music to help her deal with the agony during all of the difficulties she encountered. She wrote over 50 songs during her life, each one capturing the great grief and love she experienced. “Music is the language of the soul,” she said, according to The Washington Post. Alvarez told her father she wanted nothing more than to be a professional musician when she finished from high school. He turned the notion down. “You sing for the family, but not for the world,” she remembers him saying. But as her father had told her, she only let her family and friends listen to her music. When Carlos José Alvarez, her grandson, decided to record her songs, that all changed approximately eight years ago. Composer Carlos grew up hearing his grandma sing at family gatherings. He said that she had a significant impact on his career.
Carlos, 42, who calls Alvarez "Nana," said that whenever he visited his grandmother as a youngster, "she would grab a guitar and she would sing." Carlos was recording his grandmother's songs as she grew older because he wanted his great-grandchildren to be able to hear how "angelic and soulful" her voice was. He asked her to choose songs from her own collection and brought a microphone to her home. “I just did it for my family,” said Carlos. But along the way, he unintentionally discovered a great deal about his grandmother's past, including her unwavering dream of becoming a singer. “I didn’t realize that these songs were like a diary of her life. It all made sense,” he said. “You can hear the life she has lived in her singing.”
“I got so inspired in that moment,” he continued, vowing to one day take his grandma to a studio to capture her music and create a professional album of it. He knew what it would mean to her.
He made travel arrangements for his grandmother to record her music in a professional studio in Los Angeles, where he currently resides. “She was getting super lit up by it,” Carlos said. As she celebrated her 91st birthday by giving her first public concert, Alvarez stated, "I feel very delighted and extremely proud. The audience was riveted. Nevertheless, Alvarez's nomination for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys, which was made public in September, is his greatest success to date. She said, "I thought it wasn't true. Alvarez will sing at the 2022 Latin Grammy Awards on November 17 in Las Vegas while there with her grandchild. “The idea that at 95 years old, you can still be recognized for what you’ve done,” he continued, “that is the gold. We have won. We have won on every level.”
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Angela Alvarez