A lifetime of musical influence has inspired Raúl and Mexia Hernández, sons of Los Tigres del Norte bassist Hernán Hernández.
The brothers have combined their talent for the duo's first album, 'Arriba y Lejos' (Up, Up and Away), which will be released by Nacional Records on Feb. 19.
Raúl, 25, and Mexia, 32, were just kids when the music played in the family home in San José, California started to influence their future.
"Growing up, our household was always a whole lot of hairspray and combs," said Mexia in a telephone interview from his home in San José, tagging on his father's stylish hairstyle.
"I was born in 1988," added Raúl, "And that was the year they won their first Grammy. They already had a career with 20 years experience."
Aside from the numerous awards, Los Tigres del Norte became strong advocates for millions of immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.
'Arriba y Lejos' is a three-year process. The 10-song album was partially produced by Mexican great Toy Selectah with help from Hernán. The brothers admit, this release delivers no messages on immigration.
It contains a diverse set of rhythms, what they call "the next generation" for listeners.
It combines the Hernández family's norteño lineage with the duo's younger influence.
"It's a very diverse album with a lot of variety. You can hear a bit of norteño, hip hop, reggaetón, cumbia, and romantic. I like to say it's a bit of salsa, a little bit of everything, the next generation of music," said Mexia.
This is the second collaboration for the duo. In 2010, they released an online single called 'Todos Somos Arizona' (We Are Arizona), a message on the state's tough, anti-immigration law, Senate Bill 1070. The video shows photos and news footage of demonstrations and arrests on undocumented immigrants in Arizona. Proceeds from the song went to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
Raúl and Mexia -- along with brother Giovani Hernández, 20, the band's drummer -- were raised as musicians and advocates.
"My mom (Anna Hernández), she would play all different kinds of music. It was like Marvin Gaye and James Brown in the house. And then my dad would come home, he would play Los Cadetes de Linares and Los Humildes," said Mexia, a trained sound engineer.
The family continues to support MALDEF.
"We're definitely very involved in the community, socially and politically. We're aware of what's happening in the nation. President Obama's speech; the bipartisan (in immigration) proposals are key to what's happening right now," said Mexia.
Though 'Arriba y Lejos' has little in the way of an advocate's message, but the brothers admit another composition on current events will soon reach fruition.
'Las Escondidas,' the first video for the album, was released on Feb. 10. The video, directed by Giovani Hidalgo, is a high-energy piece that brings to light a young lady's quinceañera. The tune was produced by Selectah, who has won Grammys for his work with Calle 13.
Mexia and his wife of seven years, Kelly, have three children, Andrew, 14, Isaiah, 9, and Olivia, 1. Mexia said he is immersing his family in the music.
Raúl, who was married last July, has no children yet. He will soon transfer to the University of California, Santa Clara to study business marketing and communications.
Talk of a tour currently remains in the planning stages. The brothers believe a late-spring tour could occur. Release of the album has prompted invitations for concerts in Chile and México.
"We may not be doing what Los Tigres are doing, but they are definitely our biggest examples on how to run our careers, but we're speaking to the next generation with this album," said Raúl.
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