It’s not that hard to get seduced by MC Peligro and her Mexbow style. Just listening to her music and watching her videos will make you want to live in a world full of partying, beach and good vibes; like an easy to reach escapist fantasy for the modern world. Using reggaeton rhythms to deliver anthems dedicated to the summer, sex and doing what you love.
MC Peligro is actually the union of Ethel, Hugo, and Caio, and they are proponents of mexbow (both their chosen genre and the name of their debut album) and cosmic spiritual perreo. If this seems a bit confusing, then let Ethel explain herself and her mates better. We spoke with her on the eve of the release of their first album, Mexbow, which we are streaming today.
What made you interested in music in the first place?
My parents are big fans of Eighties music so I spent most of my childhood listening to New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure, stuff like that; lots of synthesizer. If you notice, the stuff we do is very analog. I have been in music from a very early age, I would go to choir and piano classes. This is not the first band I’ve had, but it’s the first one I’ve shown to others.
What was your first band like?
I was in an emo band when I was 15 called Una Lágrima Más [laughs hysterically].
That sounds exactly like the opposite of MC Peligro.
No, I’m kidding [laughs]. I had another band that was more disco/electro/synthpop around 2000 or 2002. The MC Peligro project started in 2005, it was a DJ set I used to do; but it wasn’t until 2013 that it expanded to include Caio, Hugo, and me. We do everything between ourselves and we’re good friends. Or songwriting process usually involves hanging out [laughs]. We never thought we were going to make a record or a video or that anyone was going to listen to us.
Did you think what you were doing would gather attention so quickly?
I don’t think any of us had thought we would get this kind of reaction. We started doing it just for the pleasure of getting together, drinking beers, and jamming together. Every time I go to Guadalajara, we always work on something and record it. We wanted to do something hot, guapachoso, and at the same time would have an unrefined reggaeton essence.
Like reappropriating the genre for yourself.
Yes! Before I got together [with Caio and Hugo] I had asked several people “hey, listen; I have a few reggaeton songs I would love you to help me record them” and they would invariable tell me that they were not interested in doing reggaeton. When I got together with [Hugo and Caio], they thought the idea was funny and they were willing to try it. We experiment with a genre that makes most people gag but in reality we didn’t care what anybody would say. It’s fun experimenting with a forbidden genre.
“We experiment with a genre that makes most people gag but in reality we didn’t care what anybody would say.”
Many producers have used reggaeton rhythms lately to make something a lot more adventurous. When you started there might not have been many people experimenting with the form but now it’s a very fertile ground.
Something led all of us to do this. There’s this emergence at least in Mexico because I don’t think there was a strong reggaeton scene in here that wasn’t so barrio or underground. There’s reggaeton in Chile and Spain but…like there’s a new future hipster wave of the genre [laughs].
How do you define mexbow?
It’s a sound that’s taking it’s own form and identity, little by little. It also has a lot to do with a lifestyle. You can see it in the videos, it’s like saying “this is the everyday life of people who are into mexbow”. A bunch of girl in bikinis having fun, skating and surfing. It has a lot to do with my actual lifestyle.
Did you think your lifestyle would be mythified so much?
No, I never thought that [laughs]. MC Peligro started around the same time I started surfing and definitely is my biggest influence for doing this. Life on the beach, the heat, the coconuts, the smell of sunblock; everything.
Do you think San Pancho could become a mecca for fans? Like can you imagine people traveling there in hopes of finding girls in bikini surfing and perreando?
[Laughs] In reality, there’s not a lot of people who live here. Half the year, the town is dead. It’s a seven block town, there’s like three taco stands and that’s it [laughs]. It’s full of elderly gringos, not many girls in bikini [laughs]. It’s actually a very mellow place to live. My life in San Pancho doesn’t have a lot to do with MC Peligro because I usually go to bed at nine at night, I get up at six in the morning, and I spend all my day at the beach doing sports. It has more to do with a healthier, more rootsy kind of life. There’s a ton of chickens everywhere, dogs on the beach. It’s a place people go to raise their families, to retire.
“It has this other side, the cosmic perreo aspect, which has a lot to do with the rootsy kind of lifestyle.”
“Nature” is a word you keep coming back to describe your life and work.
Just picture it. I live in a place surrounded by mountains. If you go walk on the beach late in the afternoon you can see these amazing birds, and there are crocodiles and turtles. You can be surfing and you can get bumped by dolphins or whales. MC Peligro might seem like it’s all about partying and nightlife, but it has this other side, the cosmic perreo aspect, which has a lot to do with the rootsy kind of lifestyle; having a good time, not making big fuses out of anything. A more hippie kind of life [laughs].
Like perreo hippie?
Like if Marymar turned hipster [laughs].
What happens after your album Mexbow gets released?
We want to tour. Above all we would love to travel South America. it’s one of our top priorities because I think people really get us over there. We get a ton of mail from Argentina, Chile, Peru; it’s mind blowing that they are into us, being that reggaeton originated in all these places. We’ll also be playing at many festivals that are about to be confirmed.