MACUILXOCHITL: Five Flower,” the Aztec god of music and dance
By Francisco Ciriza
Recently, when the Academy of Recording Arts announced this year’s nominees for the Grammy awards, Colombian rockers, Superlitio were recipients of their first Latin Grammy Nomination. The natives of Cali found themselves nominated in the Best New Artist category. The band has quickly become the darlings of the Latin Alternative scene with their recently released US debut, Tripping Tropicana on Cielo Music Group/BMG US Latin and are currently experiencing a very respectable amount of success with the first single, “Que Vo’ Hacer”. La Prensa San Diego spoke with bassist Pedro Rovetto as the group prepared to work on the video for the aforementioned forthcoming single.
“We are really excited and honored to be recognized for our music,” said Rovetto who then explained that while it was true the band was happy about the nomination it was never the intention nor the goal of Superlitio’s members to strive for such recognition and awards. “We didn’t set out to get nominated for or to win a Grammy,” the bilingual musician added. The group has always set out to make the best music possible and with each recording endeavor, make something distinctly Superlitio, yet something creatively unique.
Working with one of the industries hottest commodities, producer Tweety Gonzalez, the group put together one of the year’s top releases. Aside for the Grammy nomination, Rolling Stone and other national publications have noted Tripping Tropicana’s eclectic triumphs with its broad musical spectrum, combining rock, funk, electronic, reggae. The group’s sound also includes Latin grooves along with lyrics in Spanish, English and French has allowing them to reach fans of all ages and genres as well as open up a world of opportunities to them. Its accessible yet complex sound, which is well documented on the cd, has also made Superlitio even more of a household name in its native land.
“As soon as word got out about the nomination, TV, radio, everyone was after us for interviews back home,” said Rovetto. The group even parted ways, so to speak, for a short time as they fielded requests for interviews both in Colombia and here in the United States. Rovetto flew to Los Angeles to work with the band’s publicist and providing interviews in English and Spanish while the remaining group members stayed in Cali
While the recent media push has been noticeable, the band has always maintained a relatively high profile in land since the group’s beginning’s in 1996. It was out of an important musical movement that took place in the bars and clubs throughout Cali, that Superlitio was born. Musicians with diverse influences came together to create a band with a fresh and vibrant sound. Utilizing the skills and experiences from their work in other bands, each was essentially an expert in their trade making it easy to discover their musical soul mates within one another in Superlitio.
The band refined its sound through numerous jam sessions and wrote songs that would evoke emotions and movement from their audience. Numerous local live shows allowed Superlitio to rapidly cultivate a large and rapidly growing fan base that stretched beyond the boundaries of their hometown. The Colombian music scene welcomed the band’s combination of rock, hip-hop, drum ‘n bass, jazz, electronica and funk with open arms.
The band has since participated in and headlined a wide range of international musical festivals including the IV ANNUAL ROCK AL PARQUE FESTIVAL in Bogotá. The band’s music has reached most if not all of Latin America and as far as France and England. Two independent records: Marciana (1997) and El Sonido Mostaza (1999), have allowed the band to tour all over the world. In 2000, Superlitio attended the first annual Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in New York, garnering much recognition within the music industry. The band’s performance at the conference made a lasting impression on promoters, journalists, radio, television and even dj’s in attendance.
Today, the band is celebrating the inclusion of Tripping Tropicana’s opening track, entitled “Babylon” on the influential BMG US Latin compilation “Latin Rock Explosion Vol. 2”. Those of such well-known artists as Alejandra Guzman, Gustavo Cerati, Jumbo, Julieta Venegas, Aterciopelados and more will match Superlitio’s efforts.