TimeOut interview: Rodriguez (Sugar Man)

Lydia Jenkin talks to Sixto Rodriguez, the songwriter and subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, who is enjoying a renaissance more than 40 years after releasing his two and only albums. The Mexican-American artist plays the Wellington Opera House on March 16 and Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre on March 17. Better known as Rodriguez, the Detroit native recorded his tough folk rock debut Cold Fact in 1970 - which included his best-known song, Sugar Man - and follow-up Coming From Reality in 1971, but they never took off in his homeland. Following this lack of interest in his music he went back to renovation and restoration work to support his family, and even ran for the mayor of Detroit at one stage, while still continuing to perform on the side. However, Rodriguez' songs took hold in New Zealand, Australia, and especially in South Africa where they struck a chord at a time when many people were agitating against the apartheid regime.

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