I would not describe myself as an aficionado of flamenco but I certainly enjoy it and have a number of CDs in my music collection.
I firmly believe that to perform flamenco in music, dance or song you have to be Spanish and preferably of gypsy stock but equally the raw power and passion is accessible to all.
Hence several years ago when Falete was amongst the performers at the Jimena International Music Festival I made sure I was there.
Now I’d always presumed that Falete was a man but as he came on to the stage I embarrassed myself by shouting – that’s a woman, that’s a woman –to those about me.
Well Falete is a man and a mighty fine flamenco performer as well but it has to be said that he performs in the style of a female artist.
Falete appeared in the news recently to announce his wedding to his “novio”, 24-year-old José Isaac Roffe Silva. The same sex coupling was due to take place in his native Sevilla on December 12 and all were invited.
On Monday October 13 José Isaac was the alleged victim of a kidnapping attempt at knifepoint at 5.00 in Sevilla’s plaza de la Alfalfa. He claimed that two kidnappers had forced him into a car, demanded money and released him several hours later. The same day he reported what had supposedly happened to the police.
Falete reacted with anger to the suggestion that the kidnapping had been staged as a publicity stunt to promote his records.
Then a week after the kidnapping the police arrested José Isaac who is accused of making up the kidnap attempt. Officers say they were suspicious when he first gave evidence and that subsequent enquiries have shown the incident to be a sham.
The following day, Tuesday October 22, Falete announced that his “engagement” to José Isaac was off and there would be no wedding. He stated that what had happened was “distasteful” and “painful” but promised he would honour all his forthcoming performance commitments.
Falete is indeed a true talent but one can’t help suspect that in the hard world of flamenco he has been dealt more than his fair share of knocks. Whether the kidnapping was a publicity stunt that went wrong or an attempt to defraud Falete, who knows?
On his new disc "¿Quién te crees tú?" he sings of pain: in this instance it is real.