Conversations with Fans of Julio Iglesias
Author: Guillermo Nicolas
Farzad Farahmand (Iran)
The following is the English translation of an interview with Farzad Farahmand, by the Spanish author Guillermo Nicolas, in his book, Conversaciones Con Fans De Julio Iglesias (Conversations with Fans of Julio Iglesias), published in Spain in 2016:
Farzad has been a fan of Julio Iglesias since the age of 12, back in his Birth country of Iran. At the age of 14, Farzad left Iran and immigrated to the United States without his parents, to live with his aunt and her family in Atlanta, Georgia. Listening to Julio’s voice and his music tremendously helped ease the loneliness that he felt while being away from his family, and gave him a great sense of security while transitioning into a whole new culture. He has collected over 80 of Julio’s albums over the years, and since 1986, he has seen Julio”18” times in concert. He has also had the pleasure of fulfilling one of his childhood dreams of meeting and talking to Julio in person, taking pictures with him, and getting his autograph. For the past 33 years, Farzad has constantly been listening to Julio’s divine voice, and to this day, Julio’s music continues giving hope and strength to live, to this practicing doctor of Chiropractic and Natural Medicine in California. He considers Julio to be his daily source of inspiration, admiring him for having maintained his style and integrity for close to 5 decades in the course of his international career, and for being an enduring artist while reaching out to and continuously satisfying the thirst of fans of all ages from every corner of the world.
Guillermo Nicolas: - Thank you so much Farzad (Daniel) for accepting my invitation to share your thoughts as a Julio Iglesias fan for this book called, Conversations with Fans of Julio Iglesias from around the world.
Farzad Farahmand: - You are very welcome Guillermo. I feel honored to have been selected to participate in your book and to share my experience as a longtime fan of Julio Iglesias.
GN: - Can you remember the very first song you heard from Julio as a 12 year old when you first started to listen to his music?
FF: - Yes I can exactly remember the song. I remember that one night my dad came back home from work. He had a cassette tape in his hand which later I found that he had borrowed from his friend. He held up the tape and repeated, "French music, wonderful French music!". I immediately took the tape and played it. The song was Pauvre Diables (A Vous Les Femme), which is the French version of the song, Pobre Diablo. That was the first song I ever heard by Julio and I was immediately drawn to it.
GN: - Can you tell us what kind of impact Julio has in your country?
FF:- Well, the fact is that I left the country 31 years ago at the age of 14. But what I can tell you is that as I remember, the type of people who listened to Julio's music were often educated professionals with good taste, style and class. They often listened to Julio's tapes and the high class restaurants used to play his music in the background. Many people had Video Cassette players which was a very rare thing back then and had Julio TV shows. It was always amazing to watch Julio on tape. As a 12 year old living in Iran I remember that when I listened or watched Julio, I felt that I am in Europe and that meant a lot to me. It gave me an amazing feeling.
GN: - What song would you say is your favorite from his repertoire?
FF:- It is extremely difficult for me or any other fan I would say, to have one favorite song out of the hundreds of songs that Julio has recorded. I love each and every one of his songs and every version of the same song in a different language is a whole new listening experience for me. Julio is very creative every time he sings a song live. Every time I hear a live version of a song it seems as if I am hearing it for the first time. And I never get tired of listening to the recording of the songs.
GN: - If you had the chance after all these years to meet Julio, what would you say to him in your language of Farsi?
FF: - I would thank him for all his hard work in constantly striving to satisfy his fans from all over the world and for giving color to a significant portion of my own life.
GN:- After listening to Julio throughout the years, what song would you say you like least about him?
FF: I can say with great certainty that I don't have a least favorite song of Julio. I love each and every song in any language and what is so amazing is that after 33 years of constantly listening to him, I still can't get enough of his voice. I can listen to him straight for hours and hours as I often do at home and while driving in my car. I often crave for his voice!
GN:- Has there been any particular words or statements said by Julio in any interview or press conference that has touched and impacted you the most?
FF:- His love for people and his audience and his ongoing passion to sing.
GN: - Have you ever been criticized by others for being a fan of Julio?
FF: - Yes, many times! Before YouTube, Facebook and the internet I felt like I was one of the very few people that was a fan of Julio among my family and friends. I felt extremely left out, alone and didn't feel a sense of belonging. I even at times was ridiculed for liking Julio Iglesias. But that never stopped me from always talking about Julio everywhere I went and I was always proud to be his fan.
GN:- What style of music that Julio sings you like the most to listen to?
FF: - I love every style of music that he sings. He is very creative and makes every listening experience seem like the first no matter how many times I've heard the song. Listening to Julio is analogous to looking at the work of Michelangelo. Every time you hear it, you hear something new and you stand in awe for the perfection and the new colors in his voice and his singing in his many performances throughout the years....
GN:- Is there a particular question that you like to ask Julio?
FF:- One of the questions that I would ask Julio is that besides his accident and being paralyzed for 2 years, has there been any other traumatic event that happened to him or was there anything concerning his family or friends or love relationships that may be responsible for him challenging his life to the degree that he has been.
GN:- Is there a dream you would like to fulfill as fans of Julio Iglesias?
FF: - My dream as a fan actually came true as I had the chance to meet Julio and take pictures with him on 2 different occasions. I was impressed by Julio's patience, politeness and his show of respect as he greeted and gave equal attention to each and every fan that approached him.
GN: - Is there a singer from your country that you’d like to see Julio sing a duet with?
FF: - Googoosh was one of the most popular female singers in the country during the 70's before the revolution. Her popularity grew even stronger at an international level outside of the country after the revolution. I think that her style is a perfect match for a duet with Julio, as she often sings and records in different languages.
GN: - Can you give me 3 words that describe Julio?
FF: - 1. Humble 2. Passionate 3. Perfectionist and may I add a fourth word and say, 4. Grateful.
GN:- Any other last questions or things you would like to know about or ask Julio?
FF:- Well, I always loved and admired the fact that Julio has kept his style, his standards and his integrity the same throughout the years, without changing his basic personality and without forgetting his past, his accident, his traumas and his roots. And I love how this has reflected in his appearance and the way he's been dressed throughout the years. I would like to ask Julio if there is any other special reason besides just style and class, for him dressing conservatively and always wearing the same color suit and tie while performing.
GN:- Thank you so much Farzad for your time, and for sharing your thoughts as a fan of Julio Iglesias.
FF: You are very welcome Guillermo! The pleasure has all been mine. And best of luck to you on your book.