Little Jesus

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About Little Jesus

Little Jesus is a rock quintet from Mexico City. They describe their sound as "tropipop," an idiosyncratic blend of bright, hooky indie pop, '90s-era Rock en Español, frenetic guitars, double-timed percussion, sparkling keyboards, marimbas, Beatlesque vocal harmonies, and humor -- all captured with rigorous production standards. Their explosive live presence has taken them across Latin America, Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Their career trajectory has been marked by perseverance, charisma, a highly developed sense of craft, and most of all, a happy-go-lucky attitude regarding success -- they put all their energy into making music and let the rest take care of itself. Early singles such as "Berlín," "Azul," and "Cretino," proved successful at rock radio and on the internet, earning them comparisons to treasured acts such as Café Tacuba, Azul Violeta, and Fobia. In the early days, the band only had five songs to tour with and often played them twice with different arrangements rather than simply resorting to filling stage time with covers. Their universally acclaimed 2013 debut album, Norte, took six months to record: they came in and dropped a song at a time. When they realized they had three tracks yet to add, they cut them overnight and had them mixed the same way to make the release deadline. This "in-the-moment" motivation has fueled their career since their inception in 2012, and informed more than a dozen singles, a couple of albums, and a recording contract with Nacional. Led by frontman and founder Santiago Casillas, Little Jesus prefer to let the mestizaje (loosely translated as hybridization) of their music do the talking. While studying in Boston in 2010, Casillas came up with an idea for a band and began playing casually with two Colombians and another Mexican in a rock & roll group. After graduation he returned to Mexico City in 2012 and looked up old friends, including drummer Truco Sánchez Rucobo (aka Trick), whom he had known his entire life and played with since the age of 10. They formed a band to play parties and select shows for kicks. Casillas taught his new bandmates songs he had written back in Boston; after a short time, the collective began writing together. They recorded a couple of tracks in a home studio and their friend Lalo Rojas (by then their manager), who hosted an internet radio show, played the tracks and then uploaded them to social media. When they arrived to play their gigs, everyone already knew their songs. The quintet began appearing live on Rojas' show, and they received invites for more gigs and media appearances. Their tunes racked up plays on the digital charts, which enhanced their reputation, as did their energetic live performances. After writing all winter, they entered a studio to record their independently issued Norte, which was completed just in time for a Christmas 2013 release. The album exploded onto the indie scene in Mexico City, garnering mass critical attention. Little Jesus took on gigs out of town, eventually playing in the U.S., where they were showcased at SXSW. That gig, and their openness to doing media appearances, earned them further invitations to tour, eventually taking them to festival stages in Mexico (including the high-profile Vive Latino), Europe, and Asia. They signed to Nacional while they were on the road. Norte received a deluxe expanded Japanese release on Fuerzas Basicas in 2014, which kept them on the road for most of that year. After a break, the quintet began writing again, playing gigs whenever they could, and focusing more on being a good band rather than worrying about their albums. They finally re-entered the studio in 2016 where they cut Rio Salvaje as a "collection of ten, A-side singles." Released in April of 2017, the album was greeted with enthusiasm across three continents and headline status on tours. They even secured an opening slot for the Rolling Stones in Mexico City. In the early spring of 2019, Little Jesus dropped two pre-release singles that both made the streaming charts: "Fuera de Lugar (feat. Girl Ultra) and "Los Años Maravillosos." ~ Thom Jurek

Mexico City, Mexico
July 2012
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