Christopher Velez, 20, from Ecuador; Richard Camacho, 19, from Dominican Republic; Zabdiel de Jesus, 18, from Puerto Rico; Joel Pimentel, 17, from Mexico; and Erick Brian Colon, 15, from Cuba.
The quintet is a product of Univision reality show La Banda (co-produced by Simon Cowell). “That’s where I learned to sing, dance and present myself onstage,” says Pimentel, the unofficial spokesman of CNCO (pronounced seen-co). After the show aired in 2015, the heartthrob-ready ensemble earned a massive social media following (498,000 Instagram followers) and an opening slot on show producer Ricky Martin’s tour.
The group’s reggaetón-inflected first single, “Tan Fácil,” landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart in May, and its debut album, Primera Cita (Sony), crowned the Top Latin Albums list in September.
“It has been more than six months since the show, and they’ve shown they can stand on their own two feet,” says manager Armando Lozano, who plans to release CNCO’s next single in October. Then, in February 2017, comes the group’s first solo tour, which means getting used to the least desirable part of newfound fame: “Airports,” says Pimentel. “We hate waiting in line in security.”
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 15 issue of Billboard.