Boca Chueca, Vol. 1

Boca Chueca, Vol. 1

Carín León's voice is a torrent, both sweet and fierce, so it’s fitting that he keeps naming his albums after his mouth. While 2023's Colmillo De Leche evokes the image of biting teeth, Boca Chueca, Vol. 1 is about the punches he’s taken that have helped him propel regional Mexican music into an undeniable global force. This project reveals his bad habits, the language he learned on the street, and the essence of who he is. He croons, “Perdona por ser como soy” (“Sorry for being the way I am”), in the gospel-tinged closer “Despídase bien,” but this record makes no apologies. He considers these 19 tracks to be the products of his flaws: “Things that happen to you throughout life, they’re related to you,” he tells Apple Music. “They’ve helped me to carry on living my life the way I like to live it, and, most importantly, to do a lot of healing through my own music.” From the outset, with “Cuando la vida sea trago,” the Hermosillo, Sonora, native cheekily admits that he was always the one giving his mother gray hairs thanks to his ambition and temper. These same traits have led him to where he is today, enabling collaborations with Mexican icons like Pepe Aguilar and Panteón Rococó as well as country and R&B stars like Kane Brown and Leon Bridges, imbuing the album with a texture that resonates on both sides of the Rio Grande. Below, he tells the stories behind some of the songs on Boca Chueca, Vol. 1. “Frené mis pies” “I’m a huge fan of the songs by my friend, composer Alejandro Lozano, and I loved this tune from the moment I heard it. I like the theme of the lyrics, and his use of language. It has a bohemian component, and the meaning is visceral. Drowning your sorrows in tequila, drowning them in Bacanora, like we say in my hometown. Those guitar licks that switch between rock ’n’ roll and the blues evoke the sounds of a bar, and that’s exactly what we wanted to achieve here: a great bar story, right?” “No sé” (feat. Panteón Rococó) “Panteón is a major reference point for Mexican music at an international level, especially within the rock scene, which continues to grow in strength and which I love to give my support. This album proposes a return to those sounds, with plenty of guitars and the classic rock vibe—boosted, of course, by the presence of a great band like Panteón Rococó. This song is my take on cumbia, and the connection that exists between all those different genres belonging to the same family: rumba flamenca from Spain, a little bit of salsa, and then the specific brand of cumbia from the south of Sonora, reflecting the connection between Guamúchil and Navojoa. I explore all those sounds, and then include a guitar solo that brings Santana to mind. All those influences shaped me as a kid, and now I can incorporate them into a single track.” “Lamentablemente” (feat. Pepe Aguilar) “Pepe’s music has been a huge inspiration. Considering everything that he has been doing for such a long time, I believe he is a major reference point. This song is informed by his sounds, and the different sonic paths that he carved as he introduced new horizons to the genre. Being able to record with him was a natural, as I have a deep knowledge of his songbook. I know his style, and I love working with him.” “Aviso importante” (feat. Bolela) “Quite often, artists are too busy trying to find that elusive hit, or obsessing about collaborating with the star of the moment. My only departure point has always been a desire to make good music. It’s the only goal that motivates me, and I’m proud to have recorded this track with my good friend Diego Bolela. He embodies the right direction to follow for Latin music. I love his version, and because the song is his, he has a clear grasp of how this particular story should be told. We’re experiencing a musical renaissance of sorts, and artists like Bolela will have a huge impact on Mexican music.” “Aunque tú no lo sepas” “I love this cover. I keep revisiting baladas and romantic music in all my records. I’m a fan of those slow tempos and the way in which this kind of music can give you chills. No matter what kind of a cover you may attempt to record, the lyrics of ‘Aunque tú no lo sepas’ are enough to move you to tears, regardless of who’s singing. I wanted to record my own version.” “Despídase bien”⁠ “Unless I’m mistaken, we were in Madrid, because it was Latin Grammy week. I remember we went to record a feature with Arcángel that is still unreleased, and it was then that my good friends KEITYN and Edgar Barrera showed us ‘Despídase bien’ and ‘Casi oficial,’ which is also on the album. The outro is actually a segment from another song, a bonus track called ‘Con La Misma Espina,’ a song that’s steeped in folklore and reminds me of my grandfather and the music that I listened to when I was growing up—my first taste of regional Mexican. But it also has the kind of lyric that takes on a new meaning in your personal life as the years go by. The implication is that music knows no boundaries—everyone tells their story in their own idiosyncratic way.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada