On the road traveled until 2020, there has been much more than music for Pablo Ugarte, which has been mainly linked to exploration and development in the world of wine.
As restless as in its musical history, Ugarte has become one of the recurring faces when it comes to Chilean wine in the world, going from expert taster and jury in international competitions to director of Latin America’s longest-running competition, Catad’Or Wine Awards, and owner of its own wine bar.
It is a universe as artistic as the music for Ugarte: «When I discovered the wine I saw that its universe was very similar to music. They are two worlds that together walked very well, they are passions that lead you to explore and talk about territories to people; to tour and also enjoy.»
It was a life-changing encounter, when 18 years ago a friend proposed to him to make arrangements to promote wine, «which was otherwise always at the table of the family home,» he says.
Thus in 2002 they created an agency called idiomavino.cl, then studied a wine diploma at the Catholic University and now travels the world evaluating wines as a jury of international competitions, in addition to performing masterclasses on several continents.
«The musician was quickly abducted by wine, but now I have Stockholm syndrome,» he says. The music is still present with «Leave Me», the single with which the national musician premieres his solo side and returns to the stage.
Reinventing yourself in music
Although from a very young age Ugarte revealed himself as a singer-songwriter, his career exploded in the eighties, having been at the helm of Upa!, one of the emblematic bands of that decade. An intense career that led him frantically to also integrate other projects such as Los Ex, Barracos, Los Otros and even integrating for 10 years the band of «Uncle» Lalo Parra.
However, it was not until 2020 that Ugarte would return to collect his biggest slope: his solo debut. A bet away from nostalgia and history, it comes to offer the latest of its music and sound.
«Never in my life have I stopped creating music, music is a disease that gets worse over time. What I’ve paused is my desire to display it. After Upa!, 2016 we did Los Otros, a rather experimental project,» he recalls.
He then devoted himself to composing instrumental, more scenic things on the piano until he now returned with band and compositions close to rock.
«I felt that after Upa! I had been left with a debt to a lot of people who missed hearing me sing. For me there is no point in being in music if I can’t expose something new and now that these songs have arrived with a group of amazing musicians and people, I dare to put my name on and pitch. This is not to say that live does not give back to those hits of the eighties, but for me the essential thing is to put the new ahead», he tells about his new EP called «Memories of the Future» in which the first installment is the song «Leave Me».
The single with which Ugarte resumes the stage is a carefully worked production alongside names such as Barry Sage (Rolling Stones, David Bowie) and supported by a powerful live band composed of iconic names such as Cristián Opazo, Luciano Rojas ( The Law), Titus Troncoso and Marcos Cerda.
«Last year being a long way from home, I had a very strong desire to re-deliver my music and voice to people, I felt it like a debt, I felt that silence could not be perpetual, magically my stars were aligned, the songs came and most importantly a gr Human upo of musicians as talented as they are sensitive and here we are again without anxiety or complex, but with a lot of passion to give it all,» argues the musician.
How are these two worlds going to be combined from now on?
Well wine and music have always gotten along well (laughs). Seriously, I would like my activity as a musician to be tribute to the wine sector, I think it is very attractive that a reference of music is also in wine and you can also get on a stage to play. I think it speaks of a sophisticated sector that crosses borders and I hope to find the space and time to touch without neglecting my commitment to our Catad’Or platform, but especially with producers and especially with domestic farmers. In fact there is I am in Madrid catando and from here I leave to France and in April we will play live in Chile. Because, with everything if not what!