Latin Pop Boy Band CNCO on Their Inclusive ‘Spanglish’ Direction: ‘It’s Showing Both Our Cultures’
After nearly four years together, Latin pop group CNCO finally made their U.S. television debut on Good Morning America in 2019. The boy band representing different parts of Latin America have been growing in popularity while taking every opportunity to get the name CNCO out there. This year the guys wrapped their first headlining tour in the U.S. and they're set to host this Premios Juventud, Univision’s premier youth awards show, this month.
In December 2015, Ecuador's Christopher Vélez, Dominican Republic's Richard Camacho, Mexico's Joel Pimentel, Cuba's Erick Brian Colón and Puerto Rico's Zabdiel de Jesús were selected from reality TV show La Banda to become the members of CNCO. The band's first two albums, 2016's Primera Cita and 2018's CNCO, both topped Billboard's Latin Albums chart while also landing in the top 40 of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
With a third album on the horizon and their new single "De Cero" out, the guys took a break from Premios Juventud preparation to talk with us about CNCO's plans ahead. Plus, check out an exclusive premiere of the behind-the-scenes video from the making-of "De Cero," below.
You guys recently made your U.S. TV debut on Good Morning America. How do you feel?
Richard: That was crazy. Right before the performance, we were talking to each other like, "Yo, I’ve never been this nervous before on a TV show." To be able to be on that show is just a blessing. We're very thankful that they're looking at our music and following our culture.
How has the journey been going through it together as a band?
Erick: It's a crazy experience for us that it's going to be four years since we started the band. We have gone through a lot of cool moments and adventures. We've met a lot of people. A lot of countries have received our music so well. That's something that inspires us and motivates us to do our music.
Your new single is called "De Cero." Can you tell me about how that song came together?
Richard: It was supposed to be for the last album. For some reason, we felt like it wasn't ready. All of a sudden now we heard it and we were like, "Yo, this song is such a banger." We felt good dancing to it and singing to it. It's because of the new era that we're going in now that it feels super new. It felt good also after "Pretend." It made for a good concept after we pretend to be like with other people. It's like, why don't we forget we cheated on each other and start from zero?
Like on "De Cero" and "Pretend," your style recently is mixing English and Spanish lyrics. Can you tell me about that Spanglish direction?
Christopher: It's just showing both of our cultures. We have both of the worlds in this band: English and Spanish. We just want to show that we can do both. There's a lot of fans that don't speak Spanish or don't speak English so we just want to give them a chance to listen to us in their language.
Your new album is coming out in September. What can you guys tell me about it?
Erick: This album is very special for us. On this album, we've been writing a lot in writing sessions. Ninety-five percent of the album is us and we are super excited for the fans to hear it. Stay tuned because a lot of things are coming.
I feel like right now that Latin music is bigger than ever right now. How do you feel to be a part of the Latin music movement?
Richard: It feels like fire to be honest. Let's say a couple of years ago we were all trying to do Spanish music and make it worldwide — to make sure people listen to it and vibe with it. After "Despacito," and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee opened those doors, it was game over. It was a game-changer. We're super happy to be part of this wave — part of this journey as Latinos representing our cultures all over the world.
How do you guys feel to be hosting the Premios Juventud?
Christopher: We feel nervous, but we feel really excited for it. It's a good opportunity for us to show that we cannot just sing, but that we can do a lot of things. We're [going] to do a good job hosting.
What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?
Zabdiel: We want to keep traveling and doing shows. To keep doing music and try different things. We want to do acting and movies.
Last month was Pride month and I want to know if you have a message for your fans in the LGBTQ+ community.
Richard: We support the movement to be honest.
Christopher: Love is love.
Richard: I feel like just be happy. Be you.