With more than 15 chart entries on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs and 12 top 10 hits on Regional Mexican Airplay, La Adictiva has become one of the most successful bands from Sinaloa in the last three decades.
Formerly known as La Adictiva Banda San José de Mesillas, the 17-member band was founded on March 19 (día de San José) in 1990 in the town of Mesillas and is celebrating 30 years in music, and multiple hits on the Billboard charts throughout the years, including their heartbreak song “Después de Ti, Quién?,” which ruled the Regional Mexican Airplay chart for eight weeks and, more recently, “Escondidos,” which peaked at No. 1 on Latin Airplay (chart dated Jan. 18).
Known for leaning more toward singing romance-inspired songs penned by songwriters like Horacio Palencia, Espinoza Paz and Fabian Murillo, “the romantic essence distinguishes the band from others,” lead vocalist Guillermo “Memo” Garza, who joined La Adictiva in 2014, tells Billboard. These are the songs that opened the doors for us, like ‘Después de Ti, Quién?'”
In 2015, La Adictiva scored their first No. 1 on the Latin Airplay chart with “Después de Ti, Quién?,” written by Paz, and just this year, they scored their second No. 1 with “Escondidos” by Palencia — becoming the first regional Mexican band to score a No. 1 on the survey in 2020.
Overall, on Regional Mexican Airplay, the band has had 18 chart entries (12 hit the top 10, nine out of those hit No. 1). On Latin Airplay, the band boasts 16 chart entries (nine hit top 10 and two of those hit No. 1). Over on Regional Mexican Albums, La Adictiva has had two chart entries, both of which hit the top 10. And on Hot Latin Songs, they have 16 chart entries (three went top 10).
“It’s an honor to be able to be part of the team that celebrates 30 years. I used to dream about these things when I was a kid and sometimes as a kid you dream things don’t seem realistic. I’m trying to enjoy every minute of this important celebration,” Garza adds.
Below, Garza reflects on 30 years of La Adictiva, talks about why releasing singles instead of albums has worked for them, and the evolution of the banda genre.
La Adictiva hasn’t really jumped on corridos and the band has stuck with songs about heartbreak and love. How has that played out for the band?
We always try to have a diverse album but we are focused on romantic lyrics because it’s been an effective formula for us and if we tried to change our essence, we’d be going against who we are. We wouldn’t change it up now if it’s worked for us. People have been accepted us for our music and it sets us aside from other bands. We our hopeless romantics ourselves so that helps when we sing these types of songs.
How have you seen banda evolve from when you started with La Adictiva six years ago?
Even from the way we dressed we have evolved. The suits or outfits we wear aren’t that traditional “ranchero” outfits that we used to wear before. Now, we’ve changed our style. I think people used to stereotype us because of how we looked but once we started wearing more “normal” clothes they began to realize we were like everyone else. Our style has been something we’ve been freshening up both onstage and off the stage. Banda and regional Mexican has also slowly become more mainstream because people are realizing that when you take away the instruments or the sound from our songs, they’re essentially pop songs.
As the lead vocalist, what’s your relationship and collaboration like with the songwriters like Palencia and Paz who have written chart-toppers for the band?
It’s a beautiful process. I met Espinoza first and he was instrumental to my arrival at La Adictiva. He recommended me to Andrés Valdez who is the owner of the band and it’s because of him that I’m here. The first few of his songs I recorded, he was in the studio and directed my interpretation and it was a dream come true. One thing is to know him but for him to give me direction, was so special. It’s been a dream come true. I love having these songwriters in the studio when I’m recording because since they write it, they help me express whatever they had in mind when they wrote the song.
The band doesn’t often put out albums but instead drops singles every few months. Is that a strategy that has worked for you?
While we’re touring, we are also working on a new album to celebrate our 30th anniversary but throughout the years we’ve noticed that it’s not too common to put out albums anymore. People nowadays like to make their own playlist and they’ll add our songs to it. If you give someone an album, they’ll choose like four songs from that album and the other songs would almost seem to go unnoticed. We’re more focused on releasing singles like every five to six months and it’s a well-produced song with a music video.