| Pablito Lescano, the father of cumbia villera

Friday arrived and another Filo.música arrived. And this one combines both very well. Pablito Lescano is the protagonist of this week, the father of cumbia villera, leader of Damas Gratis, representative of the most beloved Argentine popular group. Do we give it play or what?

Pablo Sebastián Lescano was born on December 8, 1977 in San Isidro but grew up all his life in the La Esperanza neighborhood of San Fernando. Music caught him since he was a child: at age 5 he was already listening to polka and chamamé with his grandfather and cumbia with his uncles. It didn’t take long for him to put his hands on an instrument: he started at 11 with the piano that a friend from the neighborhood had; he even exchanged a microwave for a keyboard and even sacrificed his graduate trip to pay for a new one. At 12 he already had his own instrument and at 14 he began to work as a keyboardist in cumbia groups in the neighborhood. The first were “Sueños de Amar” and “Caprichos de Luna”, and they used to play on birthdays, weddings and even cabarets. Those first dates were for coca and empanada, but when Amar Azul came to look for him in 1996 things changed a little.

At the age of 17 he joined miguel Ángel D’Annibale’s group and participated in two discazos: “Dime Tú” and “Cumbia Nena”. He got to put about 3,000 shows with the band, but 3 years after entering his artistic concerns began to become stronger and stronger. For Paul, something was missing from the scene. This, added to the fact that in Amar Azul he felt that he had no voice or vote, led Pablo to assemble his own group to do things his way. Thus, in August 1999 Flor de Piedra was born, the first cumbia villera band. The term “cumbia villera” was given by Roberto “Kuky” Pumar, producer of the Leader Music label, as a clickbait of the time. Pablito’s classic keyboard and the lyrics dedicated to the neighborhood, the lazy, the tranzas, the policemen and the thieves created the formula of the cumbia villera that later many were going to replicate.” Sos un Botón” was his first hit with which Pablito begins to sound in the neighborhoods and the dancers. But in February 2000 something happened that was going to slow down his life. He was between 6 and 8 months bedridden. He had fractures in both legs, an 8-channel studio carrier and a lot of free time. Thus came the second album of Flor de Piedra, “Harder than ever”, and of those songs that did not remain on the album, a demo of Damas Gratis. De Amar Azul decided to open up when none of the members spoke to him after the accident. When a pirated version of that first demo came out, Damas Gratis was already popular and there was no choice but to go out and play. Without even having a record outside and with Pablo on crutches, the first shows arrived.

In 2002, under the order of then-President Eduardo Duhalde, the Federal Broadcasting Committee, abbreviated as COMFER, censored most of the songs in Damas Gratis and banned them from national television for alluding to drug trafficking and consumption. For his fourth album, “100% Negro Cumbiero” -which was tied to the slogan “censored on TV”- Pablo was in charge of taking the CDs to DJs cumbieros to spend it in the bowling alleys. That same method first took them to Mexico in 2004 after Fidel Nadal took his records there, planting the seed of cumbia villera in the northern country. After traveling thanks to music, he spent some time locked up. His addiction to cocaine had made him hit rock bottom and in December 2004 his family admitted him to a psychiatric hospital on Paraguay Street from which he wanted to escape and could not. He spent a month and then continued to rehabilitate himself outside, but that did not stop him from continuing to release music: “Sin Remedio” came out in 2005 and “Solo Para Entendnos” in 2006, which included Laura’s hit.  
In 2006, in addition to returning to Mexico, Damas Gratis starred in EL DUELO DEL SIGLO. This versus went down in history not only for being the first and only time that bands played on the same stage but also for this moment. At this point, Damas Gratis gave 15 shows per weekend and reached about 20,000 people in total. Time passed and Pablito continued to add milestones to his career: he celebrated his 10 years at Luna Park, played at the Alvear Hotel and the Bicentennial Celebrations, and released an album that united cumbia with national rock.” Dodging success” was called this album released in 2011 that among its 15 songs included a collaboration with Andrés Calamaro and another with Vicentico.A sample of the arrival of Damas Gratis to the mainstream was his participation in the Lollapalooza of 2018, where, by the hand of the band of Pablito, cumbia arrived for the first time at the festival. By the end of 2018 Damas Gratis had put one of the most played Songs on YouTube in the country, a show in which Diego Maradona was as a spectacleHe added the eighth Luna Park of his career. 2019 was not far behind: he toured the United States and two Luna Parks, and at the beginning of 2020, a massive show in México.La quarantine forced him to put the brakes on his vertiginous pace of life, but only for a while: already in September he was giving shows in drive-in cinemas and getting together with all the pibada of the local urban movement.
In 2021, in addition to crossing several times with Messi, he arrived with Damas Gratis in Las Vegas for the first time and, in his homeland, achieved a strong alliance with the phenomenon of cumbia 420, L-Ghent.First came the “Pistola remix” and the next day, “Perrito Malvado” a song that had originally written Marita, Pablo’s daughter, in 2018.La union was an instant success and, fortunately, it was not the only time it happened: the duo reunited for the soundtrack of the fourth season of El Marginal, adding another player from the local scene. From the beginning, Pablo was conquering fields: his neighborhood, the bowling alleys of Zona Norte, the country and now the outside.  It doesn’t matter what ages or where you come from, even if you don’t understand their language. The essence of Pablito transcends any barrier.

Original source in Spanish

Related Posts

Add Comment