The debut album of the young singer-composer Iván Díaz is a good example of grupero music’s versatility
By Pablo De Sainz
In the 1990s, there was a huge radio movement that gave exposure to grupero music, that is, Mexican music that included a wide range of rhythms, from banda and norteño. Only the really strong bands survive from that era.
During that time, there was a young man named Iván Díaz, who wrote several songs for some of the most successful bandas. In 1994, for example, the so-called Queen of the Bandas, Banda Machos, recorded his song “Chiquita Bonita,” which became a huge radio hit. Later, in 1977, he joined Banda Cuisillos: He became that Cuisillos’s lead singer, composer, artistic director, and co-producer.
It was obvious Díaz has musical talent. So, in 2001, he decided to start his solo career, and left Banda Cuisillos to search for new paths. He opened his own recording studio.
“The real deal is to try and do what you really like,” Díaz said. “I love my work.”
And the result of that work is paying off: Díaz is now presenting his solo debut album, “Historias” (EMI Latin, 2003), a collection of 13 songs by one of the most dynamic young singer-composers in Mexican music today.]
“I did this album with all my heart, I hope people like it, because this album has a little bit of everything: Dancing songs for those who like to dance, and songs to cry and fall in love,” said Díaz, who started writing songs at the age of seven.
“Historias” tells us different stories, some of them common, simple stories about love, others new, captivating ones. But all of them, narrated with an original voice. The press release states that these are “stories about falling in love and falling apart, about fun, about partying, about loves that leave and loves that stay.”
There are 13 tracks in “Historias,” all of them except for one written by Díaz. The first single is called “Un año más sin tí” (Another Year Without You”), a song that was popular a few years ago with Banda Cuisillos. Today it is getting attention again on radio, but with new sounds and the voice of the young singer-composer Díaz, who, in 1991, at the age of 14, formed his own rock band with some friends.
The album gets its title from a song titled “Historias de Amor,” which might be the best and strongest one in the whole production. It narrates the life of a man who gets a woman pregnant but he denies he’s the father of the baby. The woman gives birth to the child. Years later, the man, feeling guilty, starts looking for his son, without success.
“Hablando de historias de amor yo tengo una que contar, que no es ciencias ficción, es caso de la vida real. De un hombre que niega a su hijo porque le falta valor, y ella se lleva lejos el fruto que el hombre le dejó,” states the son. (“Speaking about love stories, I have one to tell, that’s no science fiction, it’s real life. It’s about a man who denied his son because he was a coward, and she took the baby far away.”)
For Díaz, this is a special song. “It is a song about reflection, a matter that rarely gets mentioned in popular music,” he said.
Other songs included in “Historias” are “Volver a empezar,” “Candela,” “The amaré,” “Coqueta,” “Cuando un amor se va,” “El abuelo,” “María se fue de la casa,” “Muchachita,” “Quédate conmigo,” “Mi chaparrita,” and “La última canción.”