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Spark and Fire

Trust your instinct

Rubén Blades, Musician

“It’s too long. It’s too sad. It’s not danceable.” Just some of the feedback salsa legend Rubén Blades got from DJs and record labels about his iconic song “Pedro Navaja” on the album “Siembra,” which went on to sell 25m copies. That’s more than the Beatles’ “White Album.” And his story of creating this album with Willie Colón is a testament to three words: Trust your instinct. Don’t let anyone throw you off a creative vision you believe in. But also don’t assume that instinct is innate. You hone your instinct through a lifetime of reading, listening, looking, doing. And don’t believe anyone does it alone. Trusted collaborators are always a powerful, sometimes invisible force driving any creative vision, in any field.