1. Growing Up
We all come from musical families. It’s a very common thing for a lot of Latinos. You either grow up singing, playing an instrument, dancing at any given opportunity or you play football/sport… or all of the above! Our parents were professional singers. We grew up in a musical household so it was a very natural thing for us to get involved with.
An advantage of growing up in Australia is that we have so many diverse cultures mixed together. We have been exposed to so many different styles of music so we have a broad range of musical tastes. Anything from soul, reggae, rock, jazz and funk music, to Afro-Cuban ensembles like Irakere and Los Van Van.
3. Your Band
Our band Son Veneno started here in Sydney just over 15 years ago. A lot of us met as family friends. Our parents were actively involved with gigs and events so a few of us grew up as ‘muso kids’. Other guys we met as musicians working in the scene. We’re all like family now after so many years. We started the band with the intention of creating an ‘Aussie’ band with Afro-Latin influences as opposed to a traditional Latin cover band. The live band usually works as an 11-12 piece: two to three percussionists, a horn section, guitar, piano, bass and almost everyone sings. It’s a pretty big and thick wall of sound when it’s all going!
4. The Music You Make
We make a lot of music… most of the guys in the band write which is great. We have a lot of variety with our original material, anything from R&B, soul and funk to rock but all with an Afro-Latin edge. We relate a lot to bands like Ozomatli and Irakere. Son Veneno has released three albums as a band and we have all released other albums as solo artists and collaborations with other musicians and ensembles. Carlos has been producing artists for many years as well and has worked with artists such as T-Pain. People can expect a very entertaining show when they see us live.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
It’s been a unique experience for most of us, being second and third generation musicians in Sydney. We’ve seen the peaks and troughs over the years. The scene is in a healthy state from a musical point of view. There are so many amazingly talented local musicians that could easily cut it on the global stage… Milan, Gang Of Brothers, Watussi and Diana Rouvas spring to mind as good examples of this.