Jerome, please tell us your story, how your journey has been since you started down this path.
I began doing music at a young age around 10 years old. I learned guitar and enjoyed singing. As I got older and went into high school I continued with music and participated in my school’s Mariachi where I played requinto and guitarron as well as sang. My senior year of high school in 1990 I put together my first group Los Amigos Unidos. We played several occasions including graduations, wedding, anniversaries, and dances. We recorded our first album released in 1991 ‘Canciones de mi Barrio’ which was a success for the group. We continued to record albums some of which include ‘In the House’, ‘Sin Limites’ and ‘Directo Al Corazon’ to mention a few, seven total. Throughout the 90’s we toured and played extensively throughout the Southwest region. In the early 2000’s we took a break for a few years before returning with an album ‘Para Nuevo Mexico’ in 2005.
Jerome, did you encounter any struggles on your musical career path?
There are always struggles to encounter during a musical career. One of my struggles was transitioning from a traditional New Mexico style band to incorporating more Tejano/International style productions into my music.
Jerome, please give our readers some background on your music.
My music started as Northern New Mexico music with hits such as ‘Canciones de Mi Barrio’, ‘La Reynalda’, and ‘Corazon Duro’ to mention a few. As time went by I grew to love many different styles of Spanish music leading me to record two albums in San Antonio, Texas. As my love grew for Tejano music in 1999 I pursued a full blown Tejano album produced by Jorge Alejandro. The album did very well for me throughout the Southwest with hits like ‘Chaparrita de Oro’ and ‘DIrecto Al Corazon’ the album’s title. We have always been known for our up tempo cumbia beats and progressive rancheras. Speaking of progressive rancheras, check out my new release ‘Llegaste a Mi Viva’ released August 2020.
What song that you recorded has been the most popular?
Mi Hija is my most popular song. This song is an original composition written by myself. It was a song inspired by the birth of my eldest daughter but carried on to my youngest as the words describe the love a father has for his daughter and the changes that fatherhood brings.
Jerome, when did your daughters become interested in singing , recording and performing?
My oldest daughter Ashley began at the young age of seven years old. She had her first recording at the age of 9, Angel Baby which was on my album Para Nuevo Mexico. Both of my daughters grew up around New Mexico music sitting on the floor while I recorded and enjoying the music. They also both grew up playing piano and guitar which led to Raquel joining the mariachi band in high school just like her dad. Raquel played guitar and was a lead vocalist during her time in mariachi. As they got older they began to develop a passion for music leading to their first single as a duet ‘Lo Busque’ which was released in June 2019 and won them vocal duo of the year at the 2020 NMHMA. The girls just released their newest single ‘Que Manera de Perder’. Which was produced in New Braunfels, TX. They are currently pursuing the Tejano market as well as the New Mexico market.
What awards have all of you received?
I personally have won 15 awards from the NMHMA some of which include, Band of the Year, Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year, Ranchera of the Year, Conjunto Song of the Year, Crossover Song of the Year, along with several others. Ashley and Raquel have won Vocal Duo of the Year at the NMHMA with their single ‘Lo Busque’.
Ashley & Raquel, what are your future aspirations as musicians?
We have just released a new song ‘Que Manera de Perder’ and are both currently working in the studio on new recordings that will be released next year. We would like to continue to record and perform music across the state of New Mexico as well as the Southwest to help in preserving the culture and heritage of New Mexico music. Like our father we have a love for many different styles of music and would love to incorporate those influences in our future recordings. A big aspiration of ours is to begin writing music of our own and composing original songs. We hope to be able to connect to people through our music and continue music for years to come.