Locos Por Juana: "Music Chooses You Before You Choose It... It's a Powerful Weapon"
Via facebook.com/LocosporJuanaMusic They've gone crazy for Juana!
These guys may be un grupo de locos, but one thing's for sure: they are reggae/Latin/cumbia/fusion badasses.
Locos Por Juana was successful from the start. The release of their debut, self-titled album landed them a Premio lo Nuestro nomination in 2003 for Best Urban Artist.
The second album, Música P'al Pueblo, scored them a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album in 2005, and the third album, La Verdad, released under Universal Music, was nominated for a Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album at the Grammys in 2008.
The dudes recently released their fifth studio album, Somos de la Calle, and are prepping for an upcoming summer tour.
Crossfade caught up with guitarist Mark Kondrat just in time for Locos' June 8 show at Jazid where they will be celebrating the club's 17th anniversary. He revealed who Juana is, the challenges of the music biz, and the band's special bond with Jazid.
Crossfade: What inspired the name of the band?
Mark Kondrat, guitarist: We started off like in 2002. Most of us were in high school. The name is like, the beauty of the name is that many people can take it in different ways. Juana, for us, is like a mythical character, she's like the Latin woman we're all looking for, the strong, powerful woman who came here and started her life. At first, we thought it was funny and fun. We stuck with it and people loved it. Juana can represent something for each person. It could be the the woman you love, your mother, it's like an homage to women. For us, it's really important to respect the woman. We always sing a lot of songs dedicated to women. Latinos, we flirt a lot so its kind of flirty and fun.
You guys are a fusion of reggae, cumbia, hip-hop, rock. How would you describe your sound?
I would say it's a Miami sound. The cumbia that we play is not the cumbia you would hear played in Colombia - it's a cumbia that I feel could be born in the city. Miami is unlike most cities, and I think it's really beautiful how all of our cultures really mix. And it's not like other cities where barrios are spread. We have the reggae because we see Bob Marley's family because they live here, so that vibe is in our music. Each of the main members' Colombian roots have a lot to do with it... We love music, so for us it's really fun to take some elements from reggae, hip-hop, and to be honest though, it was never forced. Our sound is a very organic sound that naturally comes out. The city has a lot to do with our inspiration, but when we came together, each of the guys brought their own thing.