CNCO

One way to foster band bonding is to be in quarantine together. CNCO, the rising Latin American boy band consisting of Joel Pimentel, Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colón, Christopher Vélez and Zabdiel De Jesús, were supposed to set out this year on a major tour. Instead, they found themselves spending lots of quality time together as a band in their adopted home of Miami, listening to comfort music they grew up with — which has inspired a new record of covers of those favorites, due early next year.

“We spent so much time in quarantine, we were listening to so much music. And we were listening to songs that we grew up with,” the group says.

The band has been their own quarantine bubble and have had quite the helping of bonding time — “a bit too much,” they joke, which has led to a stronger-than-ever united front.

“I think this quarantine has helped us connect more, and sit down a little bit and breathe and think about more ideas,” Pimentel says.

CNCO was formed in 2015 after winning a five-year recording contract with Sony as the prize from the first season of “La Banda,” the Spanish language competition series from Simon Cowell and Ricky Martin. Both their debut and sophomore albums debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, and went on to become multiplatinum in the U.S.

CNCO in their video for their cover of Big Boy’s 1996 hit “Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti.” 

The group, despite canceling their tour, have had quite the 2020 as it were. Earlier this week, they were named to Forbes 30 Under 30 music list, last week they performed on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and today they’ll release the third track off their upcoming album. The single, a cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero,” is their first fully English song, and for the accompanying video, they decided to play tribute to The Backstreet Boys’ video for the song “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.”

The upcoming covers album is made up of reimaginations of different Latin songs from the Eighties, Nineties and early Aughts that they each grew up on, including hits from Luis Fonsi, Sin Bandera, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Chayanne, France De Vita and Cristian Castro.

“We don’t like to call it covers because we just wanted to reinvent these beautiful hits that we listened to with our family, and kind of just make it our own,” Pimentel says, sitting beside his bandmates on a couch over Zoom. “We wanted to show it to our youth, to our generation….We really love these songs because the younger crowd hasn’t listened to these beautiful lyrics and we really wanted to give it a new life so they can listen to all the great music that was made back then.”

They admit in union to being scared to take on such influential hits — “we didn’t want to not do good” — but are happy with the final product and hope that the album can serve as a bridge between their fans, most certainly first time listeners of these songs, and the fans’ parents.

Though canceling a world tour was not exactly high on their dream list, they’ve managed to look back on 2020 with silver linings — and are excited for what 2021 has in store for them.

“For us, I think it helped us to reinvent ourselves, being able to take that break and kind of just get away from all the noise just kind of home in to our roots,” they say. “And also with ourselves — we got together and we started planning more. We started coming up with these types of ideas for the videos as well. It just helped us be more creative in all aspects.”

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