The Mexican band Los Ángeles Azules will play on Coachella’s Main Stage on Friday and during weekend two on April 20. The band members are looking forward to what they foresee as one of the highest points in their more than 30-year history as a group, founded by the Mejia Avante siblings, at what they consider to be “the most important festival in the world.”
On the eve of their performance, Los Ángeles Azules’ Pepe Mejia Avante spoke to Billboard about the seductive power of cumbia and the band’s recent “rebirth,” which has brought them to a new generation of fans, in Mexico and beyond.
How will you make your mark at Coachella?
We will seduce the crowd with our cumbia! We don’t know if the non-Latino public knows who we are, but we are going to do our best to infect them with our rhythm.
What is Mexican cumbia, and how has that definition changed?
Our cumbia is an adaptation and fusion of Mexican folkloric music.
Why do you think that people of Coachella, many of whom are used to listening to English-language rock and pop music, will feel connected to your music, and why do you think they will enjoy it?
Our music knows no bounds: It’s gone from Iztapalapa [a borough of Mexico City] to the world. Everyone can dance to Los Ángeles Azules’ cumbia.
What would you say has been the low point of the band’s career, and what has been the most euphoric moment?
In our over 30 years of existence, we’ve had our highs and lows. Now, to have the honor of performing our music on the stage of Coachella, which is the most important music festival in the world, is one of the highest points of our career.
How has the sound of your music changed in this latest period of your long career?
Our sound changed with our Cumbia Sinfónica albums (2014 and 2016). We collaborated with the most important Mexican alternative rock and pop artists. (Ximena Sariñana, Gil Cerezo y Ulises Lozano de Kinky, Saúl Hernández de Caifanes, Ana Torroja, Miguel Bosé, Pepe Aguilar, Gloria Trevi, Natalia Lafourcade,and others), with whom we adapted our early hits.
When did you realize that your music had reached new generations?
When we released Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar: Cumbia Sinfónica, we were invited to play at Vive Latino, the biggest festival in Mexico. There, we were reborn.