They are the three girls of the moment: the Galician Olaia Maneiro and the sisters Sabela and Olaia Maneiro. Tanxugueiras. His name - the plural of a place name - has become the Galician Word of the year 2021 by the Royal Galician Academy and one of the main musical trends in Spain this Christmas thanks to 'Terra', the song with which at the end of the month they will compete at the Benidorm Fest to reach Eurovision. Sabela Maneiro talks to us about how they are in the moment and clarifies that they are still dreaming freely: "A cataclysm would have to come for us to sleep badly."
"For now, he explains, we are very calm. We have a very good team that works so that we have more mental time to rest but this maelstrom comes suddenly and we have to manage it little by little and with a lot of patience."
Are you receiving help from a coach, psychologist?
What we do is be with our friends within what COVID allows. We have no outside help other than what we may need from our people.
Are you afraid of losing your feet on the ground?
No, because we are very aware of where we come from, at least for the moment. Today we have our feet on the ground, we know that this is very ephemeral and that we must take 100% of everything that is happening to us. We are aware of how this world is going.
But doesn't it make you shiver?
We are very cautious, and I am not saying this because I am banal, in the face of what is happening. It's dizzying because we come from where we come: we are tambourines, we come from the foliated. This project was never made to be where we are now. Today we can say that we live from music, from Galician and traditional music. Everything goes so fast that the human mind does not manage it. We do realize that this is wonderful and very strong.
What is a normal day like?
We attend to the press, we continue making the new album, rehearsals, we talk with our team to see how the week is, we put washing machines, we serve cats and dogs, our people and we eat: what a normal person does.
Do the three of you live together?
Aida and I live together in Teo (A Coruña) and Olaia in A Estrada (Pontevedra) with her partner, but we are very in touch. The truth is that life hasn't changed much. It changed that we have more work and more expectations carrying on our shoulders. We have a very normal life, without the problem of having the paparazzi at the door.
In the appearances, except for the last interview that TVE posted, Olaia was missing.
Yes, he had a contact with a positive and we decided to have him stay home. It was perfectly.
Since December 21 'Terra' had more than 1.6 million views on YouTube.
We hoped that the subject would have acceptance but as with everything you never know how it will go. The truth is that we did not expect this at the Galicia level. I think it is the first time that in such a short time a song in Galician has reached so many reproductions and likes. We are very grateful but we also know for what it is, for a job very well done by us and our team but also because we go to the Benidorm Fest, which gives us more visibility at the state and European level.
But 'Figa' and 'Midas', who already had many visits before, brought an important boost.
Yes, the truth is that the turn we are taking and that we had in mind for a long time is working and reaching people. We could not be happier. This time it is exceeding expectations.
How was the preparation work for the song?
We do field work with song collections. In this case, however, the theme couldn't be traditional music or with existing lyrics but we wanted it to have that sound. As we drank and grew up with that sound, it was easy to create our own melody that didn't exist but that sounded traditional, that had the same meter, but with new lyrics. We have achieved this thanks to Iago Pico who always understood our way of working. In a few days, we prepared the piece but it was very easy.
The youtubers emphasize that the subject is very epic.
From the beginning, we were looking for an epic sound that would connect not only at the Spanish but also at the European level. Knowing that helps when creating and the truth is that Galician music is very epic and ethnic.
They also say that it is less commercial than 'Figa'. Do you run from that?
We are not trying to run away from anything. We also didn't make 'Figa' wanting to do something commercial. We let ourselves be guided by the feeling of what we want to deal with in the song and that is the empowerment of the Galician, of our mothers and grandmothers. We were clear that it had to be a very strong sound, that it arrived like the pulses of the heart.
"The pandeireta has nothing to do with the Celtic"
Can your example help to normalize and expand the Galician language and culture?
We are one more link in the chain as there are many. We can reach a lot of people, a lot of young people. But we are not the fundamental pillar, but one more link so that our language and culture are respected. It is everyone's job.
Two decades ago, the traditional music of Galicia or Asturias took the leap commanded by the bagpipes, will justice now be done with the tambourine?
Yes and it is not without time. Tambourines have been around since time immemorial. Everyone has to know that in Galicia there is a tambourine and traditional song and that it has nothing to do with the Celtic but with the Iberian, Arab or African form of root music.
There is a comment on YouTube that I liked: “You have united more Spaniards than any politician in years”.
In the end, music is universal and can calm the beasts, make you think ... It is not a banal speech but something very profound and we are happy that there is that union that is so much needed.
Would you like to go to Benidorm surrounded by Galicians supporting you?
We would love, if COVID allowed it, to fill the airport of Santiago, Vigo or A Coruña, from which we leave, and that there are many Galicians supporting us in Benidorm because in the end this belongs to everyone.