AQUIHAYAQUIHAY Is Bringing M-Pop to the World [Q&A]

Childhood friends  AQUIHAYAQUIHAY are pioneering the M-Pop (Mexican pop) genre. The five member group handles all songwriting, production, and creative direction. They describe themselves as an anti-boy band with the goal of getting their listeners to feel comfortable being themselves. Their debut EP is set to release later this year and we can't wait to hear it.  

We were lucky to catch up with them via Zoom to talk about   some of their influences, obstacles on their journey, and their album DROPOUT. Full interview in English and Spanish below.  

Ones to Watch: Before becoming AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, you each had independent projects you were working on. In what moment did y'all realize you should come together and form a collective?  What's your creative process?  How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened to it?

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY: The full vision came to us the day we all met, we all had separate dreams, but the goal we created together as a band turned into something huge - even today. We’ve matured and our creative processes have never been an issue because we don't have a formula or strict way of creating music. We make music for fun, but the creative process always starts off differently whether it’s starting with a beat by Phynx or lyrics by Zizzy, everything starts to take form and the process is really quick from there. We describe our sound as "M-POP," what our generation wants to listen to is finally reflecting musically, and how the fusion of R&B, Hip-hop, Rock and Corridos can evolve in Mexico.

Who are some artists, rappers, or producers that influence the unique sound that you've created?

We all have different influences but the common denominators between the members of the band are Pharrell, Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Travis Scott, SZA, Yung Beef, & Pxxr Gvng.

If you could pick one artist to collaborate with on a future project who would it be?

It would be an honor to be in a booth and work with anyone who has influenced us.

You've previously talked about how your debut album, DROPOUT, is about self-love. Why was it important for you to have that as a theme of the album and what was it like creating a larger body of music?

Honestly, the process of making Dropout took us on a journey of self-discovery and it helped us change our perspective in a number of different ways, one being self-love which became a focal point when we detached ourselves from everyday life and became in tune with nothing but ourselves and our dreams. It helped us connect with so many people and it was the best take-away, the fact that we created an album that could be with our fans in moments of need.  

What experiences helped inspire other themes within your music? How has your childhood and family influenced your career?

The day to day inspires us. Loving freely and our battle to stay away from romantic love, the streets, finding and losing friends, honesty, money...all of that has inspired everything the band has done. The most interesting thing about us is that we've been friends for 8 years and all of us come from different places and our relationships with our families made us go through different situations that helped us become who we are. Without getting into detail, we all had to sacrifice a lot of moments and things in order to move forward with our dreams.

What are some obstacles you've encountered as a collective and how did you overcome them?

There haven’t been big obstacles that have deterred us. We broke every barrier any new artist has to break. Everything that has happened to us has been very movie-like. The kids who left home to travel to the big city, who worked in restaurants while recording songs and videos, who experienced people trying to take advantage of them and offer them bad deals who became indie, and had the opportunity to sign to Steve Aoki.  We would definitely watch that movie! Together we're stronger than anything bad that has or will happen to us.

Despite COVID changing plans for many, you've managed to stay very busy. Recently AQUIHAYAQUIHAY was announced as the first artist signed to Steve Aoki's new music label, Dim Mak en Fuego. How did you come in contact with your music? How has this partnership with DIM MAK en Fuego changed the way you work?

The signing to DIM MAK EN FUEGO was something that came at the perfect time for both us and the label. It was incredibly natural, we got an email with a great proposal that evolved into a solid plan for the future of both parties. It didn’t change the way we work at all, if anything it just added gas to this motor. The incredible support from DIM MAK EN FUEGO is opening so many doors for new projects like ours in Latin America. Thanks to that we are already working on our next video and planning the next album which we're so happy and excited about.

Any advice for fans who are hoping to start their own musical careers?

Remember that talent is everywhere and it's a really long path, but consistency, discipline, and love for whatever it is that you do, not just music, will bring rewards. Nothing happens instantly but everything is possible.

End it off on positive note Lastly, what's been the most unforgettable/ rewarding moment in your career so far?

Our first tour was definitely a huge step for us, knowing that we connected with so many people in so many different places in Mexico has been insane. It filled us with so much hope and gave us so much more drive to continue working every day. Nothing can ever change the feeling right before you hop on the stage at a new place every weekend.


Antes de convertirse en AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, ustedes tenà­an proyectos independientes en los que estaban trabajando. ¿En qué momento se dieron cuenta que deberà­an juntarse y formar una banda? ¿Cuà¡l es su proceso creativo? ¿Cómo describirà­an su màºsica a alguien que nunca la ha escuchado?

Creo que la visión a gran escala llegó el dà­a en que nos juntamos los 5, todos tenà­amos sueà±os por separado pero la meta que formamos con la banda se ha hecho gigantesca hasta el dà­a de hoy. Creo que maduramos mà¡s, sin embargo, nuestro proceso creativo nunca ha sido un problema ya que no tenemos una fórmula o una manera estricta de trabajar, hacemos màºsica para divertirnos, pero siempre inicia de maneras distintas, con un beat de Phynx o una letra de Zizzy todo comienza a tomar mayor forma hasta que armamos una canción, para lo cual somos muy veloces. Describirà­a nuestro sonido como "M POP," creo que al fin se està¡ reflejando musicalmente lo que nuestra generación quiere escuchar y cómo puede evolucionar en nuestro paà­s esta fusión de géneros como el R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Corridos, etc.

¿Qué artistas, raperos o productores han influenciado el sonido àºnico que han creado?

Todos tenemos distintas influencias, pero creo que los comunes denominadores entre los miembros de la banda son Pharrell, Kanye West, Missie Elliot, Travis Scott, SZA, Yung Beef y Pxxr Gvng.

¿Si pudieran escoger un artista para colaborar en un proyecto futuro, quién serà­a?

Con cualquiera de nuestra lista de influencias. Serà­a un honor estar en el booth de grabación con cualquiera de estos artistas.

Antes mencionaron que su primer à¡lbum, DROPOUT, se trata del amor propio. ¿Por qué es importante para ustedes que ese sea el tema del à¡lbum, y como fue crear un proyecto musical mà¡s largo?

Realmente el proceso de 'Dropout' fue un autodescubrimiento y nos ayudó a cambiar nuestra perspectiva en un sin fin de maneras. Una de ellas fue el amor propio que se volvió el tema principal ya que el despojarnos de nuestras vidas cotidianas sin nada mà¡s que nosotros mismos por nuestros sueà±os, nos ayudó a conectar con mà¡s gente y es lo mejor que nos podemos llevar, que el à¡lbum los acompaà±e en los momentos que lo necesiten.

¿Qué experiencias sirvieron de inspiración para otros temas dentro de su proyecto musical? ¿Cómo se ha visto influenciada su carrera por su nià±ez y su vida familiar?

El dà­a a dà­a desde siempre nos ha inspirado. El amor libre y nuestra batalla de alejarnos del amor romà¡ntico, la calle, encontrar y perder amigos, la honestidad y el dinero, todo eso ha inspirado cada movimiento de la banda. Lo interesante de nosotros a pesar de ser amigos desde hace 8 aà±os es que todos salimos de distintos lugares y las relaciones con nuestras familias nos hicieron pasar por diversas situaciones que nos volvieron quienes somos. Sin especificar, todos tuvimos que sacrificar momentos y cosas para poder seguir adelante con nuestro sueà±o.

¿Cuà¡les son algunos obstà¡culos a los que se han enfrentado como grupo y cómo los superaron?

Creo que no ha habido obstà¡culo que nos frene, rompimos cada una de las barreras que te puedas imaginar que se le presenten a un artista nuevo. Nos ha sucedido de todo, como de pelà­cula. Los nià±os que salen de su calle para viajar a la gran ciudad, trabajar en restaurantes mientras grabamos canciones y videos, luego alguien trata de aprovecharse de ellos, nos hacemos independientes y logramos algo genial como firmar con Steve Aoki. Definitivamente yo verà­a esa pelà­cula. Nosotros juntos somos mà¡s fuertes que cualquier cosa mala que nos llegue a suceder.

A pesar de que el  COVID ha cambiado los planes de muchos, ustedes han logrado mantenerse bastante ocupados. Recientemente AQUIHAYAQUIHAY  fue anunciado como el primer grupo firmado por la nueva disquera de Steve Aoki, Dim Mak en Fuego. ¿Cómo conocieron su màºsica? ¿Cómo ha cambiado la manera en que trabajan?

El acercamiento de DIM MAK EN FUEGO fue algo que llegó en el momento indicado para nosotros y para ellos, sucedió muy natural. Nos llegó un mail con una buena propuesta que se convirtió en un plan a futuro para ambas partes y no creo que para nada nos cambió la forma de trabajar, sólo le pusimos mà¡s gasolina a nuestro motor. Es un apoyo increà­ble que està¡ creando una puerta para nuevos proyectos en Latinoamérica como nosotros, gracias a eso estamos ya trabajando en nuestro siguiente video y la planeación del siguiente à¡lbum, por lo cual estamos muy contentos y emocionados.

¿Algàºn consejo para sus fans que esperan poder empezar su propia carrera musical?

Recuerden que el talento està¡ en todas partes y que es un camino largo pero la constancia, la disciplina y el amor a lo que sea que hagas, no solo a la màºsica, te va a traer recompensas. Nada es instantà¡neo, pero todo es posible.

Vamos a terminar en una nota positiva. ¿Cuà¡l ha sido el momento mà¡s inolvidable de su carrera hasta ahora?

Nuestro primer tour definitivamente nos marcó, saber que conectamos con tanta gente en tantos lados de nuestro paà­s ha sido una locura, nos ha llenado de esperanza y de ganas para continuar cada dà­a, nada cambia la sensación antes de subirse a cantar en un lugar distinto cada fin de semana.

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