INTERVIEW: Kinky’s Ulises Lozano Breaks Down Every Song on ‘5 Disparos’ EP

Lead Photo: Photo by Gaby del Río.
Photo by Gaby del Río.
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Genre-bending isn’t new — and Kinky has almost 25 years of experience to show for it. The Mexican band is back today (May 22) with their newest musical project, 5 Disparos, an ode to their culture’s icons and rising stars. The Monterrey-originated band formed by Gil Cerezo, Ulises Lozano, Carlos Chairez, Omar Góngora, and Cesar Pliego — has been mashing genres together since 1998. Together, they’ve garnered thousands of fans with their signature and innovative sound that blends cumbia, pop, alternative rock, música mexicana, and more on the electronic spectrum. The band is considered part of the Avanzada Regia, a diverse and rich musical movement from Monterrey in the mid-1990s.

5 Disparos is not only a way for the group to show their talents as musical shapeshifters. The album also gives back to Mexican greats who have inspired them throughout their career and gives newcomers pushing the genre forward their props. According to Lozano, the group’s producer, Kinky had this idea over a decade ago. However, with the recent música mexicana boom, he knew it was finally the right time to release it.

“We were in the right moment to do it because of how regional music is right now – it’s global and is just killing it worldwide,” he tells Remezcla. “It was a great moment to keep expressing and also showing to the world the amazing music that is being done in Mexico by these amazing artists that you might not be aware because you don’t like banda or you don’t like cumbia or you were not into mariachi, but you can now discover it in a new style that it might be easier for you to get.” 

Their “new style” includes a rediscovered, synthesizer-heavy tribute of Grupo Soñador’s classic “El Paso del Gigante,” and a reimagined groovy, faster-paced cover of Rocío Dúrcal and Juan Gabriel’s “Déjame Vivir” alongside Majo Aguilar. And although Kinky has already collaborated with música mexicana icons like Intocable and Pepe Aguilar in the past, Lozano shares they’d love to collaborate with names like Ángela Aguilar, Grupo Frontera, and Carin León (which he praises for inviting Molotov during his Coachella set). 

“These are just 5 Disparos, but I think for now,” Lozano says. “Maybe we’re going to come back with, maybe not a revolver, we’re going to come back with a metralleta. We’re going to have a hundred disparos, because Mexican music is so rich and amazing.” Kinky is currently on their 5 Disparos Tour, which includes performances in Los Angeles (May 24), and El Paso (May 25).

But let’s get through the breakdown of this EP first. To celebrate their newest EP 5 Disparos, Remezcla talked to Kinky’s Lozano about each track. Here’s why they chose to record each song.

Grupo Soñador - “El Paso del Gigante” 

“‘El Paso El Gigante,’ which is our first single, is a song that we all love. It’s a very huge cumbia song from Mexico — Grupo Soñadora is from Puebla. It’s one of the – for us – the innovators of cumbia electrónica. We always wanted to create a Kinky version of that song. It just came out amazing. That’s why we chose it as the first single because it’s very powerful and people love it. It deserved a version that is not cumbia but still feels ‘El Paso del Gigante.’”

Ed Maverick – “Fuentes De Ortiz” 

“When we selected these covers, it was important [for us] to incorporate sounds that were classic, but we also wanted to show some of the new artists that are starting to be known in Mexican regional music. After going through a bunch of the new artists, Ed Maverick had this amazing song called ‘Fuentes de Ortiz,’ and we started creating it. It just felt natural; easy to do a Kinky version for us. If you hear the original, it’s a mellow song with a guitar – [a] melancholic song. Now you can hear the version of Kinky, which is very energetic and fun and also danceable, but you can still sing it and recognize it and it sounds amazing.”

Grupo Frontera, Bad Bunny - “Unx100to” 

“It was also important to bring another one of those artists which are killing it today. [Grupo Frontera is] doing amazing. The song is really cool and very easy to incorporate into any style. It’s [one of] those songs that you can sing it with a guitar, do it in mariachi, do it in banda, do it in rock, or in our case, more like a disco electronic vibe. It just fits perfectly into these 5 Disparos. We love Grupo Frontera. They are also bringing that Tejano, cumbia sound that we were introduced to by Selena [Quintanilla] and then by Intocable, and now with Grupo Fontera. We were really happy to create a song that is so popular right now in a Kinky version, because why not?” 

“[About Bad Bunny’s feature] It was really important that such a big artist like Bad Bunny was able to bring Grupo Fontera and introduce it to everybody by just singing his part on the song. He made it globally known and more popular… It’s just great how people or artists are supporting each other in that essence.”

Rocío Dúrcal, Juan Gabriel - “Déjame Vivir (feat. Majo Aguilar)” 

“This song is a classic… we had to invite somebody who was going to become Rocío Dúrcal in this case, and we’re going to be Juan Gabriel. We were thinking, ‘Who can it be?’ It’s a challenge because we know a lot of amazing and talented female artists that are more into pop or are just into regional or are just into rock. But we wanted somebody who has more range of style [and] can manage to be in a pop song [and a] disco Kinky vibe, but also can bring that emotional, more sentimental part in the song. We proposed the idea [to] Majo, who’s also killing it, and we are such big fans of her, and she loved it. We were so honored that she said yes and was happy to be in the song [and] also shoot the video. For us, [it’s about seeing] different styles of music colliding and trying to reach new markets by interacting with each other.”

Los Ángeles Azules, Natalia Lafourcade - “Nunca Es Suficiente”

“We did a collaboration with [Los Ángeles Azules] with the song, ‘Como Te Voy A Olvidar’ almost 10 years ago. It was so natural to be together with them. From that point, we’ve been playing [the song] with them in festivals like Coachella. It just became so important for us to be a part of this. We wanted to honor them again with one of their hits, which is ‘Nunca Es Suficiente.’ [It’s also with] Natalia [Lafourcade], who is an amazing artist, and we also respect her and admire her a lot. It’s a song that people love. And people who are not too much into cumbia can enjoy it in our Kinky version.