MEXICO CITY (AP) – Sometimes the pain goes away, other times it leads to the Latin Grammys. This is what happened to the Mexican singer-songwriter Marco Mares, who thanks to his EP “Band-Aids” is measured this Thursday for the coveted award for best new artist.
The production, her third after the 2019 album “These songs remind me of you” and the 2014 EP “For her”, emerged from heartbreak, after ending a six-year relationship.
“I think that day or the day before I had the feeling on the surface,” Mares recalled in a recent interview in Mexico City.
Unlike his previous album, which took him two and a half years with 12 songs, “Band-Aids” did it quickly during the pandemic, in a moment of self-reflection caused by the confinement. His five songs are a way of “representing my wounds,” he said, “of accepting them.”
“I think of the songs that I have made are the ones that I would dedicate the least to someone because I actually wrote them for myself. Everything else I had done before wanting to write to my girlfriend, my family or my friends, and this I feel was a very personal thing, “said the 28-year-old musician.
The EP mixes styles like ranchera music, cha-cha, bachata, pop and R&B with trap phrases. The word “band-aid” appears in songs like “friendly” (“Give you kisses as a band-aid / Hug you if you get wet) and” baby “(” If this is going to hurt me / Start the band-aid at once “), while in the cover, as well as during the months that he presented the songs of the album, Mares appears with band-aids on his face.
“I am a person who likes complete ideas and concepts very much, I am a little maybe obsessive with those things,” he said. “I really like to work the ideas from scratch and that they are like super round and that you feel like they are super close together.”
In “friendly”, the first song of the EP, he raps that is different from the loutish boyfriends, and in “baby” he asks not to be left in the uncertainty of silence while he enters the field of ranchera music with his guitars.
“I was thinking of doing this station wagon but from the perspective of a sensitive man. I feel that we are used to the typical ranchera of the male of ‘you’re leaving because I want you to go’, and I don’t identify myself at all, “he said. “I feel that I am a person who is very in touch with her feminine side, with her sensitivity, with her vulnerability, and I wanted to represent that in a song.”
In the romantic “alboroto” he has a bachata base with a phrase of trap or “bachatrap”, as he calls it. It was written together with the Venezuelan artist El Arcas of the Okills band.
“Nada más” is a song in which he talks about not fighting, because in a couple’s lawsuits no one wins. In this issue Mares apologizes for the mistakes made. “I really don’t like fighting, I’d rather give you kisses and that’s it,” he said.
In “yano”, a happy pop song in terms of instrumentation, the relationship has been broken to the point that, to avoid painful memories, the narrator avoids listening to the Beatles and frequenting certain places. “He is a person who really ruined your music and your life,” explained the singer.
Mares, whose full name is Marco Antonio Mares Díaz, comes from a family in which everyone sings, including grandparents, parents, cousins and uncles. One of them, his uncle Edgar “Pijamo”, is a bass player for the band DLD.
“Since I was a child I grew up in that very harmonious environment in which games, instead of playing hide and seek, were to assemble numbers, assemble songs and present them,” he recalled.
As a child he began to study percussion, singing and piano. He also studied theater and came to act professionally. Upon reaching university, he entered music production engineering, but realized that it was not his thing. Later he got a scholarship to study at the prestigious Berklee music school in Boston, and in parallel he played drums, bass and guitar in different types of bands.
“Metal, rock, pop, folk, punk,” Mares said. “I had been in a thousand bands, but had never written.”
At Berklee he began to miss Mexico and to see music in Spanish in a different way. This led him to delve into rhythms such as bachata and cumbia, while beginning to write his own songs.
“Among the stranger I realized that I did really like music in Spanish,” he said. “I realized that music in Spanish had a great, great value that I hadn’t given it.”
In 2017, when central Mexico suffered a strong earthquake, her song “Flaquita” went viral.
“I feel like it was the shaking that made something move in their heads, because I swear it was a week after the shaking that a song of mine already had a million views on YouTube,” he said.
Like “These songs remind me of you,” Mares co-produced “Band-Aids” with Mauro Muñoz, Herman Araujo and Roberto Valadez from the Multiverso studio in the Portales neighborhood of Mexico City, a traditional neighborhood.
He is currently working on his next album, in which he will be more involved in production. On Wednesday he released the song “Soñé tú” with the Spanish singer-songwriter Carlos Sadness.
As for his Latin Grammy nomination, he was asleep when it was announced.
“I didn’t put a lot of energy into thinking ‘I’m going to be nominated, I’m going to be nominated,'” said the artist, who plans to attend the ceremony in Las Vegas accompanied by his family. “I feel like my effort with music has always been to connect with me and be part of something bigger, not so much as being nominated or having the most listened song. This came as a very surprise ”.
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Love breakup leads Mares to the Latin Grammy