Pianist Arthur Hanlon On Launching New Single With Iconic Cuban Group, Orishas

Arthur HanlonPhoto Credit: Lourival Rodriguez (Sony Music Mexico)

Famed pianist Arthur Hanlon has joined forces with beloved Cuban band, Orishas, to debut his latest track, “Como Suena el Piano.” In partnership with Sony Music Latin, the “three Cubans and a gringo” released the new single on August 23rd. With Hanlon’s impeccable precision on the piano and Orishas belting the lyrics, the result is truly magical and one that they deem is, “the irresistible mix of friendship, cultures and sounds that know no borders: American blues and Cuban raps and melodies.”

In light of the exciting new release, Haute Living sits down to chat with Arthur Hanlon to discuss “Como Suena el Piano,” what it was like working with the crew and filming the music video, what he has coming up next and more.

HL: Tell us how “Como Suena el piano” embodies friendship.

AH: Imagine four great friends: Three Cubans and an Irish American getting together for an amazing dinner and drinks to catch up. One friend says something, a second answers, a third laughs and adds a comment as does the forth—and back and forth, the evening goes. “Como Suena El Piano” is the musical embodiment of “that dinner.” It starts with a “comment” from my piano, which Yotuel answers, Roldan builds on and Ruzzo further expounds upon—and on it goes. And we actually had “that dinner” (the food and drinks version) in my house before we went to the studio and wrote the song!

HL: What was it like creating and filming the music video for the track? 

AH: Creating and filming the video consisted of literally 48 nonstop sleepless hours in Cuba. It was exhausting and completely exhilarating at the same time and was an experience I will never forget. While we had a template of where we wanted the script to go, we decided for the sake of spontaneity and organic originality to do a lot of improvising and to let the music and energy of the lyrics take us in the direction that the song wanted to go. 

HL: Was there a particular inspiration behind it?

AH: To me the inspiration lies in retrospect after hearing the music and watching the video and I sincerely hope that the public perceives that as such as well—that four people, three Cubans and an Irish-American—which many people in this country, unfortunately, may think have absolutely nothing in common, can forge an enduring friendship. They can go into a recording studio and not only find common ground but emerge with an original and organic song which reveals actually the multitudes of things they have in common and is a reflection of their relationship.

Arthur HanlonPhoto Credit: Lourival Rodriguez (Sony Music Mexico)

HL: What do you want your audience to feel when listening to “Como Suena el piano”?

AH: We “test marketed” the song pre-release at concerts in Miami and New York to see how people would react despite never having heard it before. In both cases, the entire crowd was on their feet and shouting the hook, “COMO SUENA EL PIANO”! throughout the song. That’s what we’d like to continue seeing. 

HL: How does it feel to be able to bring your music to such large crowds of people?

AH: As a pianist, I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to bring my musical message to large crowds of people. To me, it’s all about looking for fresh, looking for different and looking for the magic. And when you work and work and somehow all of that transpires, the people let you know, which is truly an amazing feeling.

HL: What else do you have coming up this year? 

AH: I’m currently on a promotional tour in support of “Como Suena El Piano” and my fall tour starts in October with stops in Miami, New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

HL: What Can people expect from your tour “Un Gringo en la Havana.” 

AH: People can expect the unexpected with a lot of surprises and guest artists. I will be traveling with my full six-piece band and “Gringo en La Havana” tour will take people on a cross-cultural musical journey through Cuba, Latin America and my native Detroit all at that same time. 

Arthur HanlonPhoto Credit: Lourival Rodriguez (Sony Music Mexico)