Neither geography, nor disparate music styles could separate the fated union of the five creative souls that comprise the LA-based group Cinco Santos. The group is a life force proudly beating with a Latino heart that, not only transcends cultures and genres, but also fluidly bridges the classic-contemporary divide. The quintet’s debut, Duplicidad (Motivo Music), marks a new frontier in Latin music.
“We’re five musicians who hold a single passion for creating great music,” founder guitarist-songwriter Lorenzo Montero says. “We feel blessed about the emotional and spiritual experience that we get from the Cinco Santos creative process.”
The members of Cinco Santos have citizenship from Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, United States, and Canada, as well as citizenship to the genres of traditional and modern Latin styles, rock, pop, gypsy and electronica. The group is Daniel Jimenez, lead vocals; Lorenzo Montero, guitar, vox; Jesse Stern, bass; Willard Lozano, guitar, shredder; and Emiliano Almeida, drums. Their artistic and physical journeys unite at the junction of finely crafted songs and imaginative and accomplished musicianship.
Guitarist-songwriter Lorenzo Montero is the band’s founder, an accomplished songwriter, and co-producer. One band member affectionately nicknamed him “Jefe” as it’s his vision dating back from 2007 that is Cinco Santos’ guiding inspiration. Originally a solo artist, Montero realized the sound and vibe he was looking to create could only be actualized in a band situation. But it had to be the right gathering of talent and styles, so he spent two years searching Los Angeles for accomplished musicians that would infuse the optimum balance of talents, tastes, and musical backgrounds.
The year 2012 was a watershed for Cinco Santos as the quintet decided to write new material as a band, instead of having individuals bring songs to the group. “Sharing in the creative process solidified the band as an artistic entity and yielded our strongest material,” Montero says. “The next stage of our evolution happened as we experimented with how to fuse our different stylistic elements together, and add electronic beats to give our music a unique groove and very contemporary feel.”
The destination of these journeys is Cinco Santos’ debut Duplicidad. “The album is really about the inner strength and passion in everyone that comes out when inspiration hits you,” Montero reveals. The record’s emotional purposefulness is reflected in its smoldering blend of poetic lyrics, innovative stylistic intersections, and majestic musicianship. The lead single, “Azucar y Amor,” is a sensual blend of soulful and impassioned vocals, supple electro beats, and breathtaking, romantic Latin guitar flourishes. The simmering Latino pop of the second single, “Candela,” perfectly evokes the steamy contents of its lyrics. “’Candela’ means ‘flame’ and the song is about the passion and flame inside of us and how people interact with that inner fire,” Montero says.
The album was jointly produced by Montero and Grammy Certificate-winner Shawn Sullivan (The Mars Volta and Reel Big Fish). Sullivan helped tighten arrangements and keep musicianship meticulous but impassioned.
Reflecting back on Duplicidad, Montero says: “The most fulfilling thing for a musician is to create music that brings to life the emotion and passion that an album is supposed to deliver, and that he or she can be proud of. This is exactly the music we all wanted to create—it’s very exciting to have found a group of musicians that have such a strong vibe and passion for breaking new ground and creating a great album.”