This year, Sergio Lizárraga’s Banda MS marks two decades in the music business, and it’s kicking off its celebrations with “Un Chingo de Tequila,” a song featuring Mario Domm — from Mexican pop group Camila — who was eager to test the waters of the Regional Mexican genre. Written by Domm, the track debuted Friday (February 3) at 5:00 pm ET.
“About a year ago I wrote a song and I thought it was something very different from all I had done in my life and I asked myself who was the most important banda artist, and immediately I thought of Banda MS. It’s something new for me; I’m singing something different, new, but I feel comfortable doing it. I am happy to collaborate with Alan, with Walo, in short, with the whole team that has been incredible with me”, Domm says to Billboard Español.
In recent years, the band from Sinaloa, Mexico has recorded with pop artists like Yuridia and Carlos Rivera. According to Banda MS’s singer Oswaldo “Walo” Silvas, when it comes to collaborating, the main thing for him is to admire the other artist’s career, so that there is a connection.
“Mario Domm is definitely one of my favorite artists. I’m a fan of him and Camila — so when the opportunity to do this collaboration came about, we were very excited, being aware of the quality of what was going to be done,” says Silas. “When I heard the song, I was sure it would be a hit. I think people who are experiencing a heartbreak will relate perfectly, and I assure you it will be the song they’ll listen to on many a night of leisure and enjoyment. We’re grateful to Mario and to all who made this possible.”
“Un Chingo de Tequila” is a song about heartache that combines the bravío and very Mexican style of Banda MS with Domm’s and Camila’s romantic pop. Much tequila is added to these ingredients, and though liquor is no way to heal a broken heart, according to the song, at least it helps you not think about it. “A shot of tequila to forget/ Distance, time and someone else taking your place/ So that you never forget when you lied to me/ So that you regret what you have lost,” the lyrics go, in Spanish.
But this track is just the beginning of a year of celebrations, which will include new collabs with artists as varied as Ice Cube (check out the announcement on Instagram), as well as Christian Nodal and again, Yuridia. It also includes a 35-date tour, kicking off February 5 in León, Mexico and ending on December 2 in Fort Myers, Florida. On September 2, they will return to Madison Square Garden in New York, where they’ve previously sold out two shows — the only band from Sinaloa to achieve that. (Tickets are already on sale in Mexico and the U.S.)
Over the years, Banda MS has sold more than 30 million records. It currently has 14 million monthly listeners on Spotify and its YouTube videos have amassed more than 2 billion views. On the Billboard charts, it’s had dozens of entries, including 10 top 10s on Hot Latin Songs, 23 top 10s on Latin Airplay and 18 No. 1s on Regional Mexican Airplay. Its album Que Bendición made it to the Billboard 200 albums chart, debuting and peaking at No. 71 in February 2016. It also reached No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, where it led for three weeks.
Banda MS’ story is a shining example of how an empire can be built from scratch. Thus, after more than a decade of being a part of an international record label, the group chose to create its own. Established in 2016, Lizos Music is an award-winning company that has become a benchmark for the Regional Mexican genre and among independent labels.
Below, the CEO and leader of Banda MS, Sergio Lizárraga, talks to Billboard Español about their career and the plans for this year’s celebrations.
How do you summarize what has happened with Banda MS these last two decades?
The truth is I feel proud that most of us, who started in 2003, continue to be together and continue together well. Saying what needs to be said, respecting ourselves, improving ourselves, wanting to continue innovating and moving forward. Twenty years is a life; so many things have happened that we have to celebrate it in a big way, and nothing better than celebrating it with this tour we’re now about to start. But above all, being at the Mazatlán carnival this February 18 is the icing on the cake for us. In addition, we will return to Madison Square Garden in New York in September, and on September 15 we will also celebrate the national holidays in Las Vegas with our fellow Mexicans.
How did the approach to Mario Domm for “Un Chingo de Tequila” happen?
The way I like it — organically. We met one day and talked about doing a song together; time went by and we met again in Los Angeles, and that’s when we had a deal. He went to Mazatlán and there we finished putting together the song that we’re sure both audiences will like.
Lizos Music has shown that success in the Regional Mexican genre can be achieved by being independent.
We can say that it was our job to team up and move ahead, but in this world no one is totally independent; there are many people around who have been a part of what has happened. We have worked very well as a label and as artists. This includes order and discipline, but above all, overcoming problems that arise.
How have you adapted to the new trends in music?
You have to always be aware of what’s going on, what is new — but above all you must be open to everything. That’s what we have done and it has worked. The proof is in collabs like [our song with] Snoop Dogg. Another duet with Ice Cube will happen very soon, one that will pleasantly surprise the public — and we can announce exclusively that we still have another duet with Yuridia, and a second one with Christian Nodal pending.