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Why You Should Be Listening to CNCO

Music is something we can all listen to and enjoy because there are many different genres stemming from many different cultures. I’m Cuban American and from South Florida (basically Miami). Growing up, I listened to traditional Cuban music like Salsa as well as many other genres. Last summer, my best friend introduced me to a whole new world of fangirling. I’m not fluent in Spanish, so I never saw myself being a part of a Latin boy band’s fan club, but when I first heard CNCO’s song “Reggaeton Lento,” I immediately fell in love.

CNCO is a Latin boy band that formed in 2015 after winning the first season of the Latin American singing competition La Banda. The members include Joel Pimentel (Mexican), Erick Brian Colon (Cuban), Christopher Velez (Ecuadorian), Richard Camacho (Dominican) and Zabdiel De Jesus (Puerto Rican). Each member auditioned separately, made it through the finale, and won a spot in the boy band.

Currently, their most popular song “Reggaeton Lento” has over one billion views on YouTube and is very popular in Latin America. Here’s why you should be listening to CNCO.

1. They’re very talented

Not only are they amazing singers, but they’re also really good dancers. In boy bands, it’s essential that all members know how to dance in order to coordinate moves for their music videos and live shows. In their song “Reggaeton Lento,” they not only have good harmonies, but their dancing is really well coordinated. I’m sure they practiced for hours on end, but the outcome was well worth the hard work they put in. The music video has over one billion views on YouTube, and “Reggaeton Lento” has two remixes, which includes one with the winners of the first season of The X Factor UK, Little Mix. They’re even releasing a music video soon for the remix that features lyrics in Spanish and English from both bands. It’s a wonderful way for CNCO to break through in the UK and American charts by using what I like to call “Despacito tactics.” I admit, the song is very overplayed, but it became a huge hit because of the fact that there was an English-speaking artist, Justin Bieber, singing in another language. That’s what CNCO did by collaborating with Little Mix on this remix. Hopefully it’ll bring more success to CNCO so  they can break through the American music charts.

2. They’re very family oriented

It may be partially because they’re Latinos, and Latinos are very close with their family, but each member of CNCO is family-oriented. When they were individually competing on La Banda, Christopher Velez mentioned how he left his family in Ecuador in 2014 to work in New Jersey. He needed to leave Ecuador to financially support his family, but it was definitely hard on him because of his close relationship with his family. During one of the live shows of La Banda, he was surprised by his mom, who he hadn’t seen in a year. It was a very emotional moment to watch. You could tell how much he missed his mom and how much he loves her just from seeing their embrace.

Another member of CNCO, Joel Pimentel, had recently lost his grandfather before auditioning for La Banda. He actually dedicated his audition song to his Abuelo, but in the middle of his performance, judge Laura Pausini cut him off and asked him to sing another song. Yes, his initial audition was a mess, but the fact that he dedicated it to his late grandfather makes it a very sweet gesture.

CNCO is not only very close to their individual family members, but they’re also each other’s family. They all have a close relationship with one another. Despite their age differences (16, 18, 19, 20 and 21), they all look out for each other. Initially, they didn’t get along because of their differences in culture and language, but over time, these differences made them closer. Yes they’re a band, but they’re a band of brothers. Even though their backgrounds are different, they share common threads.

3. They genuinely care about their fans

This is very common among bands and artists because without their fans, they wouldn’t be famous. In CNCO’s case, they’re very genuine and open about their love for their fans. In an interview they did with Awesomeness TV on YouTube, Christopher is asked “How does a fan get your attention?” His response is very genuine. He says, “She has to be sincere. She has to be herself. Don’t try to be a different person to impress me or try to get my attention.” Throughout the video, you can tell how laid back and goofy the band is as well. They don’t only talk about their love for their fans in interviews, but they also tweet about how much they appreciate their fans regularly. When they became the first boy band to reach one billion views on YouTube, Joel tweeted his appreciation for their fans, who are also known as CNCOwners.

In the past few weeks with Hurricane Irma approaching the Caribbean and the Southeastern U.S., CNCO has used twitter to reach out to fans and send their love and prayers. Erick, who’s Cuban, tweeted out to his followers saying “My prayers are with you. Stay alert, take care.” He used the Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic and Cuban flag emojis to show his love for the Caribbean islands, which was the first location to feel the impact of the hurricane. Through their interaction with fans online and in person, you can tell how they genuinely love and care about their fans.

CNCO is very popular in Latin America, but it’s about time they get some recognition in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. If “Despacito” can reach No. 1 on the charts and stay there for weeks, then CNCO deserves a chance at fame in the U.S. You can learn more about CNCO by listening to their album Primera Cita and by following them on Twitter and Instagram @CNCOmusic.

Cady Casellas is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Florida. She enjoys listening to music, spending time with her big Cuban family, fangirling over bands and playing with her dogs. She also plays euphonium and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
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