Portrait Of: Jorge Drexler (A Latino USA Podcast)

Feb 17, 2023
12:22 PM
Originally published at Latino USA

Award-winning Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler


Shortly before his huge success at the Latin Grammy last November, Jorge Drexler stopped by Latino USA’s studios in Harlem to talk about some key moments in his life and career—and the unexpected turns that have come along with it: from growing up as the son of a Holocaust survivor, becoming an ENT doctor and dropping medicine to pursue music, to the making of his latest album, Tinta y tiempo, and why it almost didn’t come to life.

The Uruguayan singer-songwriter won seven awards —more than reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny— and in diverse categories, from Best Singer-Songwriter Album with Tinta y tiempo, to Best Alternative Song with the hit “Tocarte,” Jorge’s collaboration with Spanish rapper C. Tangana.

Jorge is living one of the sweetest moments of his music career, which spans over 30 years. But he first caught the world’s attention in 2005, when his song “Al otro lado del río,” featured in the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, became the first Spanish-language song to ever win an Academy Award. And he became the first Uruguayan to ever win an Oscar.

After that exhilarating night, Jorge says, everybody told him that every door would open for him and that he could break big into the global music scene if he moved to Los Angeles or Miami. At the same time, he was going through a divorce.

“And I said, okay, but you know what? I’m going to make a record about what I’m actually feeling, which is sadness. If I have to follow my instinct and my truth, or if I have to follow the circumstances, I’m going to follow my truth.”

And from that pain, one of his most acclaimed records came to life: 12 segundos de oscuridad, released in 2006. From then on, Jorge has released five more albums that have established him as one of the most prominent Latin American singer-songwriters of our time.

The Jorge Drexler songs you’ll hear in this episode:

Part 1

Tocarte – Jorge Drexler ft. C Tangana

Al otro lado del río – Jorge Drexler

Amor al arte – Jorge Drexler

El pianista del gueto de Varsovia – Jorge Drexler

Milonga del moro judío – Jorge Drexler

Bolivia – Jorge Drexler

Duermevela – Jorge Drexler

Bailar en la cueva – Jorge Drexler

Movimiento – Jorge Drexler

La aparecida – Jorge Drexler

Part 2

12 segundos de oscuridad – Jorge Drexler

Dove Sei – Jorge Drexler, Leonor Watling

Amar la trama más que el desenlace – Jorge Drexler

Noctiluca – Jorge Drexler

Mundos paralelos – Jorge Drexler

Sea – Jorge Drexler ft. Mercedes Sosa

Cinturón blanco – Jorge Drexler

El plan maestro – Jorge Drexler

Algoritmo – Jorge Drexler

Tocarte – Jorge Drexler ft. C Tangana

Tinta y tiempo – Jorge Drexler


Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa, produced by Futuro Media, is the longest-running Latino-focused program on U.S. public media.