- Rock band Los Inmigrantes brings back memories to all those followers of Rock en Español (Spanish-language rock) to a time when this genre changed the Latin American music scene, which is still alive and kicking.
What person over 30 years of age and who lived in Latin America at the end of the ‘80s and ‘90s does not get excited to hear “De Música Ligera” (Light Music) by Soda Stereo or “Lamento Boliviano” by Los Enanitos Verdes (The Green Dwarfs)? “We believe that very few,” says Mario Mejiva, leader of the Miami-based rock band in Spanish Los Inmigrantes. “We all grew up with this music and listening to it is a trip back full of nostalgia,” he says.Rock en Español marked a milestone in Latin America and Spain in the late ‘80s. “The Rock in Spanish Boom,” as it is known, transformed the musical taste of millions of young Latinos who until then could only enjoy and listen to British and American bands. “The arrival of bands like Caifanes (Cool Dudes), Maná, Heros del Silencio or Los Prisioneros, changed the way our generation expressed themselves,” says Federico González, guitarist, and singer of Los Inmigrantes.
Many young people, who were not followers of typical tropical rhythms from our region, and who were more into American or English Rock, saw Rock en Español as a way of pitching our language to the world, through a genre that jump-started a whole generation.
Precisely, Mario and Federico are examples of this musical renovation in Latin America. They met in El Salvador, their home country, and from childhood, their musical interest grew around rock. While teenagers, they played in several bands back home.
Once they reached adulthood, each one decided to embark on different professional and career paths. From that point on, music was never left aside but rather was a hobby, and they started playing in bands as amateurs. However, circumstances got them together again in Miami, and they decided in 2018 to go back to basics and start a band under the name Los Inmigrantes.
“We felt that that Rock en Español as a genre was lost in Miami, and we decided to reclaim this movement that was very strong back in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” says Mario. “We wanted to reconnect with those nostalgic followers, and Miami, as the capital of Latin America, was the perfect spot to make it happen.”
That’s how Los Inmigrantes was born, which, as the name implies, is made up of three other Latino immigrants: Drayenco and Nestor, playing drums and guitar respectively, from Venezuela; and Mariselis, vocals, from Puerto Rico.
Mario, bass and lead vocals, makes it clear that their difference from other bands, what makes them unique in the local scene, is the mixes and medleys they put into songs when playing live. “The audience loves our medleys. We play ‘80s American rock or pop songs and mix them with other Spanish rock songs.”
Thus, at their live performances, it is common to listen to “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, mixed with “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, and then followed by “Tren al Sur” (Train to the South) from Los Prisioneros, to finish with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” guitar riff, all in one song!
“Public reception has been quite good, which proves our fans are really influenced from Rock en Español bands like Soda Stereo, Los Toreros Muertos (The Dead Bullfighters) or Miguel Mateos, but also there is a strong legacy left by legends from English and American Rock bands, which makes these versions even more fascinating,” adds Federico.
They are ready to record their original tracks on studio and release them on streaming platforms such as Spotify and iTunes to increase awareness and recognition. “We have already played these songs live, they are called “Anormal” (Abnormal) and “Gris,” (Gray) our audience really liked them,” says Federico.
Currently, they continue to play at the local scene, with past live gigs at Seminole Theater in Homestead and in local bars around Miami-Dade and Broward, such as Open Stage Club, Coquitos Bar & Grill, and 1-800-Lucky. “To enjoy our music, follow us on Facebook or Instagram as Los Inmigrantes 305,” concludes Mario.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Los Inmigrantes, Revive el Rock en Español en Miami