Jose Feliciano Records New Single With ‘The Madonna or Lady Gaga of Serbia’
The legendary “Light My Fire” artist talks about working on new music: “I’m always trying to reinvent myself.”
It’s been 50 years since Jose Feliciano’s first album, but even at 68, the Puerto Rican-born artist of “Light My Fire” and “Feliz Navidad” fame is more interested in adding to his legacy than resting on his laurels.
To that end Feliciano has recorded a new single, “Don’t Go Away,” with Dragana Mirkovic, whom he refers to as “the Madonna or Lady Gaga of Serbia. We had recorded the song first, and then my manager thought it might be good as a duet. He was very good friends with Dragana, so he talked to her and the duet was born and we recorded it in English and Spanish, and the rest will hopefully be history.” Or, Feliciano really hopes, hits-story.
“I would like to get on the American charts again,” Feliciano tells Billboard. “I’m hoping this single will do it, but whatever happens, I’m ready for it. I’d like to win a couple more Grammys, those kinds of things. Maybe someday I’ll be able to write a song for an Academy Award-winning movie.” Feliciano is a nine-time Grammy winner — the last for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2008 — and he’s worked on theme songs and soundtracks for several films and TV shows, including “Chico and the Man,” “Aaron Loves Angela,” and “Mackenna’s Gold.
In addition to the “Don’t Go Away” single, Feliciano is also releasing a concert album in July, “Jose Feliciano with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra: LIVE IN TEL AVIV.’
“I’m happy that I’m not idle, that people still hold me in high regard because a lot of times artists fade away with the times,” Feliciano says. “I don’t know why or how — maybe by God’s providence, but also because I’m always trying to reinvent myself. I’ve kept up with the times.I’m not yet some artist that’s gone. People know who I am and like my music, so it keeps going. But it’s amazing to think that all of this started 50 years ago. I never could have expected (it would last).”
By Gary Graff, Detroit