Recently EO had the chance to talk to up and coming, cumbia-enthusiastic indie band Viento Callejero’s guitarist, Gloria Estrada. We discussed her influences, as well as the bands outlook, on Latin-based music and their debut, self-titled album.
Viento Callejero, made up Gloria Estrada on guitar, Federico Zuniga on bass and Gabriel Villa on drums, was formed in early 2013 through networks of local, and not so local bands.
Estrada met Federico Zuniga, the bass player, who is a native of East Side San José, touring the Bay Area before he moved down to Los Angeles. The two connected once he relocated to the City of Angels, where they sought out drummer Gabriel, who was working in the band Chicano Batman, and created a cumbia band.
The recent announcement of their freshman self-titled album was made possible because of the support of their community, the fans and other supporters who donated to the band’s Kickstarter campaign. This garnered over $9,000 in 25 days to which enabled them to bring their album to sonic reality.
Estrada, a La Santa Cecilia alumnus, was early on influenced by Juan Gabriel, Ramon Ayala and Los Bukis. “At the same time I liked rock music, like led zeppelin and Janis Joplin,” said Estrada. “I was a musical sponge in the sense that I was just drawn to all kinds of music”.
Beyond these eclectic musical beginnings Gloria went to school at University of Southern California, (USC), studying and earning her bachelor’s degree within their school of Music. “To me it was always like a way to put it all together, have it make sense. And I think because of the schooling I learned the theory”. This biculturalism of growing up Latina as well as the proper musical background studies helped her become a well-rounded musician.
She describes one of her previous bands, La Santa Cecilia, as a “fusion of a little bit of everything, rock, bolero, cumbia, all of the above.” Now in her and her bandmates pursuits with Viento Callejero she says “this project I wanted to stay more concentrated in a specific genre or style with cumbia on it. In my head I just wanted to have feel-good music and the guys were all on the same page about what we wanted. Let’s us have a good time making this music. Ultimately like a party band.”
When it came to funding this start up cumbia band it was up to the band members to create music and see if those out in the world would support their efforts. Estrada notes, “Although all of us have our networks…we were a fairly new band and we thought okay, this is going to take longer to realize. We had to pay some of it on our own but we were really going to need help to help catapult this a little faster. Fortunately, it was great because we put it out there and people responded.” They exceeded their $8,000 Kickstarter campaign goal by around $1,750 which goes to show the support for the music was definitely out there.
The networking does come into play as the album is full of collaborations between local LA bands like Las Cafeteras and Quetzal as well as those far reaching ones like Pachamama Crew’s Spain-born Héctor Guerra. This reinterpreted twist of traditional Cumbia is now available for your listening pleasure. Viento Callejero can be heard on iTunes, Spotify and in retailers near you.