Mana, DLD Transcending Culture and Spreading Latin Music Across the Globe
In Mexico, the Grammy-nominated Latin alt-rock band DLD has performed in front of large crowds filled with longtime fans. Across the border in America, however, many listeners are just discovering DLD and similar Latin musicians.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, DLD has returned to the U.S., this time with an international following, for the first time in years.
“It’s been about six years since we’ve been out there, and now with this new tour that’s taken us to a lot of places we’re finally returning to California armed with a lot of new stuff,” said Francisco Familiar, lead singer of DLD.
Like DLD, another Latin rock band has transcended nationality over the years to become one of the most popular mainstream rock bands in the world.
The Mexican rock band Mana, formed over 30 years ago in Guadalajara, has now gained massive international recognition for both its musical prowess and cultural significance. Currently, Mana is ranked the 390th most-listened to band (or solo artist) in the world on Spotify. Mana has more than 4.5 million monthly listeners (just on Spotify), resulting in worldwide fame and the spreading of Latin music.
Over the years, Mana has earned four Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards Latin America, six Premios Juventud awards, 15 Premios Lo Nuestro awards, and 19 Billboard Latin Music Awards. All these accolades, plus a strong following and more than 40 million albums sold, has resulted in many considering Mana as the most influential and successful Latin American band of all time.
Not only does Mana create great music and perform entertaining live shows, however, but they are also politically active and very socially aware of issues pertaining to Mexico, the U.S., and the planet as a whole.
Vocalist and guitarist Fher Olvera recently stated his feelings toward U.S. President Donald Trump, and like many Latin artist, he didn’t hold back.
“[Trump] didn’t care about offending and demeaning all the Mexicans and Latinos that have worked hard in the U.S.,” Olvera stated.
It’s not just the guitar player who is socially aware or vocal about change, either. On their Album, Suenos Liquidos, Mana dedicated various tracks to “all those who, for defending an ideal of justice, are persecuted or find themselves imprisoned.”
Like Jackie Robinson, who faced racism and prejudice in 1947 while breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier, Mana hopes to carry on the tradition of breaking barriers and improving the lives of everyone in the world, especially those who are discriminated against.
In addition to making great music and fighting for social justice, Mana continues to keep their plate full with other ventures as well. The members of Mana aren’t just socially conscious musicians but also newfound small business owners who run their own apparel line.
Every month, about 50,000 small businesses begin using software programs like Office 365 to help streamline certain aspects of their business. Now, the members of Mana are using their notoriety to support a new eco-friendly clothing line.
“We wanted to make a line that was casual and cool, and that represented us and our [Mexican] culture while being accessible in price,” said Alex Gonzalez, drummer and songwriter for Mana. “The designs have to do with the sun, the moon, things you’d find in the rainforest, and the Day of the Dead — which is very celebrated in Mexico.”
According to Ocean Drive, Mana didn’t develop this clothing line in hopes of making a quick buck or because they were forced to. They did it to make a change.
“We wanted to do it because we have the opportunity and platform to be onstage and put out a positive message,” added Gonzalez. “It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, black, white, Latino, gay, straight, whatever. We all have to take care of this world because we are all a part of it.”
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