Lead singer reflects on a 10-year evolution and why collabs with Leonel Garcia and Vicentico and the producing chops Eduardo Cabra were essential.
Catalina Garcia is already eyeing the summer and a looming U.S. tour that coincides with the release the new album Encanto Tropical. The Monsieur Periné singer lights up when asked about the perfect setting for the new music and instantly fers a beach scenario and a sweet libation.
“There's nothing like good company and a piña colada,” Garcia tells Billboard. “Different moods inspire different possibilities, and that's the beauty music, which allows you to change moods and perspectives.”
Along with Nicolas Junca (guitar) and Santiago Prieto (multi-instrumentalist), Garcia and her Bogotá-based bandmates are back with a 12-track album catchy melodies, such as the charming “Bailar Contigo” (Dancing With You; see video below) and the tender love song “La Sombra” (The Shadow) co-written by prolific Mexican singer/songwriter Leonel Garcia.
“Leonel's phrases are beautiful,” Garcia said. “The song is about healing, and that's something that I take with me because he was so generous and shared so much himself.”
A decade in the music business means that the band has evolved musically from their experimental beginnings (gypsy jazz) and fusing sounds, from Afro-Colombian to French and other European inspirations. It was their 2015 album Caja de Música (Music Box) that led to a Latin Grammy for best new artist.
“The Latin Grammy helped us tremendously,” Garcia said. “It allows you to expand your audience and be seen on a larger scale.”
For Encanto Tropical, the band decided to collaborate as a way to learn from artists they've admired through the years, and their relationship with Eduardo Cabra (Calle 13) meant that as a producer, he understood the Monsieur Periné journey.
“He understands and he's so respectful,” Garcia said. “He's an artist, so he understands us from that place, and that's what makes him the ideal producer.”
Garcia's passion for songwriting is evident, but she quickly switches into business mode when asked about the band's prile as streaming reaches new heights. She knows exactly where her Monsieur Periné followers are located. “On Spotify, 'Bailar Contigo' was part the viral chart in 19 countries, including Japan, Italy, France, Brazil and the U.S., among other places,” she said. “Top countries listening to us include Mexico, Peru and Chile.”
Having key data at their fingertips, Garcia says, leads to making decisions about where to reach out, where to tour and how to stay connected with fans.
“We're always looking to improve, learn, collaborate,” Garcia said. “We want to make music that we can look back at and feel proud. It's about growth and making music that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime … even with a piña colada.”
Watch the “Bailar Contigo” video here:
Monsieur Periné North America tour dates:
June 3: Upstream Music Festival & Summit – Seattle, Wash. June 4: Arts Common – Calgary, AB Canada June 6: Miner Auditorium (San Francisco Jazz Festival) – San Francisco, Calif. June 7: Kuumbwa – Santa Cruz, Calif. June 9: Hollywood Bowl (Playboy Jazz Festival) – Los Angeles, Calif. June 10: North Beach Bandshell – Miami, Fla. June 12: Paradise Rock Club – Boston, Mass. June 13: The Howard Theatre – Washington, D.C. June 16: Highline Ballroom – New York, N.Y.