It's been a big few months for Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Cuba.
In November, he picked up a Latin Grammy for Best Singer-Songwriter Album for his record, Healer; then, just three weeks later, he received the second Grammy nomination of his career for Best Latin Pop Album.
This week, Cuba was nominated for another Juno, having won two previously.
Cuba, who now calls Smithers, B.C. home, took the stage in Kelowna at the Rotary Centre for the Arts Wednesday night. But before he hit the stage, he stopped by CBC Kelowna for a chat with Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.
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Did you know Healer was going to be a big record for you?
No. I had been saying this was the album I had managed to contain my expectations the best. I made the album, loved the album, but I just let it go. [Healer's] got something amazing in it: we have five bilingual duets with four Canadians singers and one from the U.S. David Myles, Ron Sexsmith, Kuba Oms, Alejandra Ribera and Anya Marina. I think it's the first of it's kind in Canada that combines Spanish and English, and it's making me feel really good. This album has done the most for me in Canada.
You've been to the Grammys before. What's it like on the red carpet?
Last time, I saw Lady Gaga come in inside an egg. Literally! She had four people carrying her, so nobody could interview her. It was quite the thing, quite the statement. You never know what to expect. I just play it cool. I'm happy to be representing Canada and Cuba. It's quite a crazy time, but over the years, we've known what to do in crazy times.
You have a song on your new album about your wife. Is that right?
Yes! It was about time, I think. 20 years! I didn't wait a long time. Every song, everything I've done in music is pretty much inspired by her. She's been my right hand, my muse, my business manager, my everything! So when the song came, and I started to hear in my mind, I was super excited, but I wasn't sure if she was going to be okay with me recording it. She was totally cool with it, but it kind of surprised me because she likes to stay in the background. She's everywhere in my career, but no one sees her, and she likes it that way. She loved the song and that made me feel really happy.
And she's the reason you're in Smithers, right? That's her hometown?
Yeah. The family started getting a little bigger, so we said, okay, time to go near family. It would either be Cuba or Smithers. And I said, can we go to Smithers? Even though it's completely out of the way, it's very easy to travel. That's what I needed at the moment. I couldn't even imagine how good of a decision we were making at the time. It's allowed me to be a father, a husband and a musician at the same time.
Do you ever miss Cuba?
I miss my parents, to be honest, but nothing else really. It's interesting how your mind works when you find the right person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you know? Everything becomes easier.
This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.
To hear the full interview and a song from Alex Cuba, click the audio labelled: Alex Cuba, up for Juno, Grammy awards, plays Kelowna