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Grupo Frontera talks about Shakira, new album ‘Jugando A Que No Pasa Nada’

Grupo Frontera may be known for breathing new life into the decades-old dance genre of Mexican cumbia and Tejano music with their debut “El Comienzo,” but the six-man group shows just how extensive their range is with his latest, “Jugando A Que No Pasa Nada.”

“We’ve had a lot of success as a cumbia band, but we’re so much more than that,” says singer Adelaido “Payo” Solís. Variety. “We are a band that can play different styles and we all have different musical tastes. Some of us like rap, R&B, country… and we thought now, with a second album coming out, was the perfect time to experiment and create something for everyone to enjoy. enjoy.

Grupo Frontera, with members Julian Peña Jr., Alberto Acosta, Carlos Zamora, Carlos Guerrero and Juan Javier Cantu, seeks to refine its identity as a multi-faceted act after winning Latin American love with collaborations leading artists who made them famous. staple artists from streaming juggernauts like Bad Bunny and Shakira, both of whom recruited the group to make their first forays into cumbia, sparking hits like “Un x100to” and “(Entre Paréntesis),” respectively.

Today, the young group – only three years after its formation – shows its muscles on the 12 songs “Jugando A Que No Pasa Nada”. Grupo Frontera, with the help of Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera, dabbles in R&B, pop and country (Payo cites George Strait and Morgan Wallen as influences) in a solid project that has punch on songs like opener “F*ckin.” Amor” – where accordions and tight percussion lay the foundation for Payo’s resounding vocals to speak about a sour relationship. “Me Hizo Un Favor” is one of the group’s most interesting songs on the album, as it completely deviates from the sonic tropes of the group’s debut to adapt a dreamlike pop and R&B soundscape.

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“‘Me Hizo Un Favor’ is the song that made us want to try a lot of different styles on this album because we tried to record a cumbia version, and we ended up recording it in an R&B style, softer and because of that song, we ended up having a whole conversation with (Barrera),” Payo recalls.

From that conversation, and with a helping hand from Barrera, the group decided to record the music they thought sounded best. This isn’t to say that Grupo Frontera is abandoning its Tejano hats or its ranchera aesthetic. “It’s the music that we love, the music that we grew up listening to and, in a way, it’s almost like a reminder to our audience that, as Mexicans, even if you don’t speak Spanish , you grew up listening to music in Spanish, English, whatever – we can exist in all these (facets) of music and expressions.

The group also found a lot of inspiration after meeting Shakira and recording music for her album “Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran”. “This album had a ton of different styles, and we definitely saw that and felt allowed to experiment in a similar sense,” Payo said. “Shakira is such a well-known artist and I feel like she knew she could do whatever style she wanted and make it great. We’re a long way from Shakira’s status, but that sense of artistic freedom is what that led us to create this album that we love so much. We do what we want, and it’s a huge gift.

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Grupo Frontera is aware of their rapid rise to fame, and perhaps that’s why they sound so confident as they move from the swagger of the corrido tumbado “Ibiza” to the techno-infused “Desquite” with the smooth vocals by Argentinian singer-songwriter Nicki Nicole. .

Beyond genre, Grupo Frontera hopes to eventually provide more options for young Latino or Hispanic listeners to hear their native language in a variety of styles. “We touched a lot of bases with this album,” Payo says. “I think if it’s something that we feel fully represented by, our listeners will also be able to find themselves, find something that they love in this album.”