Orgullosamente regio-montano (de Monterrey), Julio Reyes se asegura de llevar un poquito de Mexico por donde quiera vaya, cosa que se puede notar en su vestimenta ya que suele utilizar siempre algo del color verde que le recuerde a su Mexico lindo.
Proud to be from Monterrey, Julio Reyes makes sure to always bring a little bit of Mexico where ever he goes as he seeks to always have a little something green as a reminder of his beautiful country.
Bionica: Tell me about style when it comes to clothes.
Julio Reyes: You know, it's a little vintage. Today's outfit has an urban edge to it. My style has a lot to do with my music. The color green reminds me of Mexico so I always look for it. I'm wearing a little bit of Mexico, something vintage, something urban and that's exactly what my music is. It's Mexican, it's urban, it's funk, r&b… The name of the genre is regional alternative, so it's regional music fused with other things make up my musical identity.
Bionica: What is it that makes your alternative music different from the regional?
Julio Reyes: Well, it's usually northern, or band music here in the US. In this case we are combining both the northern & band elements together. We're combining both of these Mexican folklores. We're adding electronica, funk, r&b and soul to put together a collage of different rhythms and that's what represents who I am. I came to this country when I was 17 and graduated from Berklee College of Music. This project allows me to express who I am and the experiences that I learned from including my risky beginnings in Mexican music, as well as my influences along the way.
Bionica: Your music has a lot to say about heartbreak and experience yet you are so young. What inspired those songs?
Julio Reyes: I'm really not that young. The music, is what keeps all of us that dedicate ourselves to it young. I think it's more about the extreme romance in going through a loss that sets apart from today's songs where it's easier to change from one love to the next. The romanticism from the 60s & 70s, the romanticism from Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Juan Záizar, Tomás Méndez, Victor Cordero and the composers from that era was a hardened, at a certain point, it was a drunken love. And it had a strong need of tearing apart and we're trying to bring back that extreme romanticism and adapt it to newer, contemporary sounds. It's my hope that the new generations will appreciate these works of art that we are bringing back in these songs.
Bionica: I heard Me Cansé de Rogarte (I Got Tired of Pleading) and to me it seems like a fusion of regional with r&b because I can hear the trombone, a little bit of the accordion but also a piano that I imagine to serve as a bridge between both genres. Was that intentional?
Julio Reyes: You are completely right. Me Cansé de Rogarte (I Got Tired of Pleading) is the first song that we have presented as a single because it expresses my project so well. It begins with a super soulful piano, then little by little you hear a beat like a tssst tssst which gives it an urban kind of feeling and it all starts to develop and come together. Then you hear a tuba followed by the metal instruments which fall into a new groove. It's the perfect presentation for this besides the song Ella (Her) which inspired Me Cansé de Rogarte (I Got Tired of Pleading) a very famous song by José Alfredo Jimenez. So we said, 'let's go with the most famous song on the album' and remake it in a soulful way with some r&b which has a lot to do with the music that I love as well. The other song that you can also hear from the album is Paloma Negra Parrandera (Black Party Bird) a collaboration with Chiquis Rivera, and it's on her album. It's got jazz and soul with a little bit of funk and then a whole band that comes in strong. It's something completely different from Me Cansé de Rogarte (I Got Tired of Pleading) yet it's still within the kaleidoscope of regional alternative.
Bionica: You have a new album coming out. What's it called? When does it come out? What can we expect from it?
Julio Reyes: The title for the album is Mi Versión de un Clásico (My Version of a Classic). I put together all of the songwriters that have influenced me the most from the 60s & 70s along with their best songs and re-did 10 songs from that time. They began to develop with different collaborations as it is an album of duets with very important women in the industry. There is a duet with Amanditita who is huge in alternative rock in Mexico & Europe. We have a collaboration with Chiquis Rivera, one with Gloria Trevi, with La Santa Cecilia… They're people from very different genres and that's what gives more life to the project. It's no longer about following a certain pattern. It's about coming together as musicians and breaking down barriers as such–coming together in a project that has a lot of heart.
Bionica: Which is your favorite song in the album and why?
Julio Reyes: Right now, the one that I like the most is No Volveré (I'm Not Coming Back), its a very old song <sings> 'I'm not, coming back, I swear to god that sees me…' Now it's 'I'm not, coming back, I swear to god that sees me upset and trembling.' So it's very soulful, cool 80s, r&b.
I'm so happy that we are so open to play with these songs & recreate them.
Bionica: As a singer and songwriter, what's your advice for those people that listen to you and want to be like you?
Julio Reyes: The bit of experience that I can pass on to those that want to dedicate themselves to this is to try to be 100% you. Don't do things because you want to find an audience that's going to accept them, but do the things that really move you and make you feel whole as an artist. Those things that you can defend once you're on stage. If you can't defend the music that you're doing, than it's probably not for you and you shouldn't be doing it. It takes a lot of us years to learn that lesson. I would say to really find your calling.
Bionica: I feel that this is advice that not applies to music, but life as well. Do what makes you happy–because you want to...
Julio Reyes: Because you want to. What feels right in your heart, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile.
Thank you so much Julio!!!
camisa: H&M, pantalones: Publish, botas: Kelly Vera
shirt: H&M, pants: Publish, boots: Kelly Vera