The Chamanas are an indie-pop and Mexican folklore group all in one! The band, who is comprised by Manuel Calderon (Bass), Hector Carreon (Guitars), Paulina Reza (Vocal), and Alejandro Bustillos, (Drums), were nominated as Best New Artist at the 2016 Latin Grammys. We recently caught up with the multi-mixed Latinx band on their style, the origin of the group's name and more. Read it all in our exclusive interview below.
Your music is a mixture of a lot of genres, including Mexican folklore, indie, and pop. How did you get this unique sound?
This project started off as something fun. You know, even though we take everything that has to do with music earnestly. It started as something fun and the guitarist, Hector and I met at Sunnybranch Studios. It's one of the best studios in the world, and we began to do our little demo and started working with all the song writers, other singers, and it was fun until we had to communicate. We all have different backgrounds, so it made it a little challenging, but we were able to merge everything. This left us with what you hear today.
What's the story behind the group's name?
The name is a mixture of Spanish and English. Chamanas is like the Spanish word chamán, but in Spanish you wouldn't say chamanas. It's more of a Spanglish word. Spanglish is very common, especially in Mexico because a lot of people think they're speaking proper Spanish! Our music is like a chamán, it's good therapy because our music can describe different moods.
Your culture is very much represented in your music. Is that ever criticized or is it praised?
I think our music is more criticized, but it's what we want because it allows us to see what people like. It also gets our name out there and our numbers on social media and digital platforms are always increasing. Everyone isn't going to be an instant fan or like the music, but what we were surprised about was how our broad our audience is. We have fans of all ages, from parents to grandparents and even kids.
Who has influenced your musical style?
That's going to be a long list. [Laughs] In English, we have a lot of favorite artists like Isaac James and in Spanish, we have guys like José José, Juan Gabriel, Tronco, Jeanette, and also Beach House, which did a little tour with them and had a show in Washington D.C. It was a great opportunity to incorporate techno, rock, and classic Mexican sound to our music.
What's up next for the group?
We're headed to El Paso and we have a big show in Mexico City on August 11. We're gonna to meet with our producer at a beautiful theater called Capital de la Ciudad, which is located in downtown Mexico City. Many famous singers have performed there. Then after that, we'll be releasing our new record and doing a little tour in the U.S. pretty soon. Make sure to add us on Facebook, Snapchat, and pretty much any other social media [platform] for more information. Our website is thechamanas.com.