Manuel Jesús Rodríguez Rodríguez was born in Malaga, Spain. His musical pursuits began at the age of 17, when he bought his first bass and joined a local punk group called Santos Putos de Punk Rural. Rodríguez's musical tastes evolved as the years passed, and he began playing styles such as rhumba and rock Andaluz with his new band, Arte y Duende. His first local success and accolades came as a member of pop/rock group Minima Expresión, which won the Muestra de Musica Joven de Malaga Award in 1989. In the years that followed, Rodríguez continued collaborating with area rock groups, yet not finding a lasting fit. In January of 2001 he formed a new project, drawing on new personnel and a different mode of working. The group's name was El Koala. The band recorded a six-song demo in September of 2003. The disc, called Rock Rustico, was well-liked by critics and audiences, winning first place at the Alhama de Granada Festival. As positive buzz began to surround El Koala, so did offers for a proper debut record. El Koala signed with Fods Records for the 2006 release of his big-league premiere, Rock Rustico de Lomo Ancho. The record made its way up the national charts, ultimately finding a place on Billboard's European Top 100. Rodríguez and El Koala have since maintained a busy touring schedule throughout Spain. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi