Interview: Carlos Santana Likens Pitbull Collab to Nelson Mandela, Talks Original Lineup Reunion

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Carlos Santana (Fred Tanneau/Getty Images)

Carlos Santana (Fred Tanneau/Getty Images)

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By Brian Ives 

It’s easy to be cynical about the things that Carlos Santana says in an interview. His earnestness may not quite translate when reading a transcription of his comments. However, if you are fortunate enough to meet the man, and hear him speak, he makes a bit more sense. At the very least, if you disagree with Santana on a point, you can at least accept that he really means what he says, whether that point is that a Santana/Pitbull collab could have an impact equal to Nelson Mandela’s many achievements, or that the right music can encourage soccer hooligans to behave themselves.

In a brief interview, he spoke about Corazon, his new collaboration-heavy album, as well as “Dar um Jeito (We Will Find A Way)”, a collaboration with Wyclef JeanAvicii and Alexandre Pires, which is the official theme song of 2014 FIFA World Cup.

And, if you’re more of an old-school fan, you’ll be glad to know that he’s also working on a reunion of the original Santana.

~ Is your new album Corazon a Supernatural  for a new generation? 
Carlos Santana: I think Lauryn Hill said that Supernatural was a conscious decision to invite people to create a masterpiece of joy in their own lives. This one is conscious decision to invite people to claim something that they’d never lost. There’s a lot of people who walk around not being happy unless they’re miserable. And they wear it like a badge of honor. So this album is a great opportunity for us to invite people to “update your software.”


On “Oye 2014″, Pitbull raps, “It’s Carlos Santana and Pit/ We makin’ history baby/ like Nelson Mandela did.” Is that recording really comparable to the legacy of Nelson Mandela? 
I absolutely identify with what he said! Nelson Mandela freed a country, a nation. We free minds from being twisted. Most people are not happy unless they’re miserable and they wear it like a badge of honor. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery!” He’s not bragging! Nelson Mandela, Pancho Villa, the Pope, all these people that we love: they’re not the only people who can make a difference in the world! There’s a lot of people who don’t have a name in history, but they’re making history right now. “One positive thought creates millions of positive vibrations,” John Coltrane.

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