Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, music curator, cultural journalist

Kinky

“When we started, we wanted to take things to the extreme. Sure, the name has a sexual connotation,  but it’s about experimenting and playing with genres and music and taking it to places where all the barriers break down,” says Ulises Lozano, keyboardist and accordionist for famed Latin Alternative group Kinky. He continues, describing the initial reaction to Kinky’s hybrid sound, “At the beginning, people were like, where do we play your music? What kind of station? Electronic? Rock? Over time, people just say, it’s ‘Kinky!’”

The five-piece band, whose members hail from Chihuahua, Monclova and Coahuila as well as Monterrey, first came together in that city in 2000 in an era when the city was a thriving model of Mexican industriousness and prosperity. Each musician played with his own group, but they would all come together occasionally as “Kinky” to experiment, taking electronica as the base, then adding cumbia, hip hop, grupera music and just about anything else. At some point in light of its success, Kinky became their main project.

Kinky is now based in Los Angeles, due to the logistics of having to continuously work with film directors and music supervisors interested in using their music. Nevertheless, Lozano emphasizes that their homeland is the forefront of the band’s musical life: “Our house may be in L.A. but we spend our time most of the year touring in Mexico. We see the situation, la inseguridad, the decrease in our audiences.” In fact, as Monterrey itself has been heavily affected by drug-trafficking related violence, for several years they did not play often in their own hometown.

Kinky’s last Latin Grammy nominated record, El sueño de la máquina, shares a seeming apocalypse, but Lozano insists that the band holds close to an optimistic vision: “We have the point of view that we will not immerse ourselves in negativity. Mexico is going through a very critical situation, as is the world – the environment, social, struggle, wars. But we have to focus on the positive things each person knows how to do, and that is the way we will move our country ahead.”

Lozano is happy to note that in three recent concerts in Mexico including one in Monterrey, their audience exceeded 30,000 people, a sign he hopes indicates that things are changing for the better. It’s time to change our focus, he declares: “Let’s talk about other things, about beautiful things. Let’s talk about Mexico as a beautiful country full of art and color and people who are struggling to improve the country. We are a people who have always fought to improve.”

Kinky will perform Dec. 12 at V-Live.


Check Catalina’s show Beat Latino on Facebook and subscribe via Itunes or download the podcast on the archives.



Comments are closed.