Bicultural music shows face in new talent


La Santa Cecilia

Ever heard of norteñas mixed with jazz? This fusion might seem unheard of, but La Santa Cecilia, a band named after the patron saint of musicians, has been fusing various music genres to create a unique and unconventional sound.

During the last decade, the Latin music scene has adopted a bilingual and bicultural approach as a result of the changing demographics of the country. With so many Latinos maintaining a bicultural lifestyle it’s not a surprise that bilingual and bicultural music has become very popular.

In much the same way, La Santa Cecilia creates music that carries a Mexican infused sound, influenced by the band members’ favorite music. As stated by the band, they draw “… inspiration from all over the world, utilizing Pan-American rhythms like cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, jazz, rock and klezmer music.”

“We’re bicultural because we have Latino parents and we live in LA, in the US,” said Gloria Estrada, the band’s accordionist and spokesperson. “We listen to the music from our parents. It’s what we´re surrounded by.”

Their music has been influenced by iconic Latin bands like Los Lobos, who fused rock and Latin music; Ozomatli, who mixed hip-hop and Latin flare; and Café Tacuba, who mixed traditional Mexican music with rock and electronic music. Estrada claims that La Santa Cecilia’s music is just an interpretation of what they hear.

“I don’t think we’re creating anything knew, we’re just mixing it,” Estrada explains. “We just happen to have all these little hybrids.”

La Marisoul, who comes from a Mexican background, sings in both English and Spanish, pulling from the band members’ personal experiences to create songs that their fans can relate to.

“A lot of people can relate to us because they’re living [a bicultural lifestyle] just like we are,” explained Estrada.

Last year, the band decided to sign with Rebeleon Entertainment, under the direction of Sebastian Krys, a renowned producer and mixer who has won over 10 Grammy and has worked with artists such as Gloria Estefan, Shakira and Kinky.

After working together for three years, La Santa Cecilia’s hard work and dedication was validated by a Latin Grammy nomination for their song “La Negra.” “You’re working so hard, you need something to validate what you’re doing,” Estrada said. “We felt like we were doing something right.”

After its completion, the band plans to kick-off their first full-length album, with a tour in Mexico and the United States.

Showing their bicultural roots, the band released “El Valor”, a five-song EP with cover songs including “One” by U2, Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and “Viento” by Caifanes.

“No one just has one style of music on their iPod because they grew up listening to all kinds of things,” Estrada says. “That’s why people enjoy us. It’s not just cumbia. It’s not just rock. There are songs that they can sing to, they can dance to. [It] brings out different feelings in our listeners.”


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