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Roger Mas: “20 years ago I would have sold my soul for a good song, but now all I want is to be happy”

Roger Mas is returning to the world of poets, which he is so familiar with, by adapting texts by Maragall, Miquel Martí i Pol, Eulàlia d'Anzizu, Toni Gol i Roca and Amadeu Vidal i Bonafont

Roger Mas is more a modern troubadour than a conventional singer-songwriter. Or more accurately, he is the singer-songwriter of Verdaguer, whose protesting spirit he vindicates, or of Maragall, whom his last record elevated to Mount Parnassus. The artist from Solsona encourages us to explore this Greek mountain with mythological connotations which is considered the home of the muses, where we can find wonderful lyrics about our land, nature, tradition and roots. It is his tenth record, twenty years after the first one, Les flors del somni (1997).

As its very title hints at, Mas is returning to the world of poets, which he is so familiar with, by adapting texts by Maragall, Miquel Martí i Pol, Eulàlia d’Anzizu, Toni Gol i Roca and Amadeu Vidal i Bonafont. One of his talents is his ability to revisit old texts and traditional songs, which sound absolutely contemporary after going through his filter. The record’s backdrop is the usual one: the country of Catalonia, its traditions and contradictions and its eternal conflict with Spain.

The Catalan artist’s songs have a longstanding tradition of setting poetry to music, and he does it with maturity and balance, without commotion. “It is hard to achieve this balance. When I began 20 years ago, I would have sold my soul for a good song, but now I know that all I want is to be happy doing what I do”. And for the time being, he has achieved this, since he is one of the few musicians from Catalonia who can make a living exclusively from his profession, plus he does so while enjoying small worldly pleasures and without sacrificing himself: “You have to know how to find a balance between acceptance, without resignation, and the impetus to do something new”. In his opinion, “you’ve got to keep living life and knowing your own limits in order to push them every now and then”. He enjoys this struggle from Solsona, his birthplace, a constant source of inspiration and a place that helps keep him grounded. We have spoken with him for The New Barcelona Post at “Cal Trepat”, a former farm machinery factory in Tàrrega, as a symbol of his rootedness in the land.