Akwid has only been on the musical scene for four and a half years. This has been a period filled with achievements and satisfactions, constant meetings with their people, record sales of their recordings, and trips that have brought them all the way to the Far East.
And here they are again. Finishing up their most recent cycle of creative work, the Gómez brothers begin the 2008 season with a new GRAMMY nomination and a new album: "La Novela".
Just like on television or in the movies, this new work is an explicit visual and musical narrative, a "novel" full of experiences, episodes, and characters that parade before the Gómez brothers' relentless microphone, revealing themselves in scenes that describe the reality of everyday life without leaving out or avoiding the harshness of a language spoken by millions of Latinos that suffer and enjoy life in the contemporary United States.
This is why “La Novela" offers everything: tears and laughs, denunciation and mental orgasm, the street, conflict and madness, hope and love, action and reflection, happiness, rhythm and dance, and a kind of audacity so typically Akwid that the idea of an "Ombligo A Ombligo" ("Belly Button to Belly Button") is even suggested, obviously with a girl that is "totally complete, from head to toes".
Forming a musical team with Los Tucanes de Tijuana, "Ombligo A Ombligo" is, precisely, the title of the album's first single. The song is the work of Sergio Gómez, Francisco Gómez, and Mario Quintero, and is presented in three versions, including a bilingual one with the sensual participation of Kuky and Chino XL providing the sexiest doses of the whole album.
“We're happy. No doubt. What we've achieved with this album, with the participation of so many artists, is something very big in our career. ‘La Novela’ reflects one hundred percent what we've always tried to do. For us, Mexican regional music is very big. We love hip-hop, but we grew up with regional Mexican music. It defines and identifies us as artists," maintain Sergio and Francisco Gómez.
And they're right, because the team working with them on this album is impressive. In order of appearance, in addition to those already mentioned, it also includes Voces del Rancho, Fidel Rueda, Raúl Hernández, Rocío Sandoval ‘La Peligrosa’, Flaco Elizalde, Palomo and Jenni Rivera.
Another important aspect of their style, the difference that defines them, is fusion: "We wouldn't be Akwid if we made pure Mexican music or pure hip-hop. It's the mix of two cultures that keeps us in this genre. And if we're considered pioneers for having built our career from the West Coast, this isn't something we asked for or sought out. We didn't give ourselves that title. It's a consequence of what we do."
In fact, when "urban" began to be used to refer to this kind of music, Akwid was already a widely distributed experience, an innovative and imaginative duo, the maker of its own way of saying things.
Looking back over time, what's unheard of is that their first recording only appeared in 2003, marking the start of a recording career already comprising five titles: "We're used to working every day. We finish one project and immediately start the next one. We're always doing and undoing," declare the Gómez brothers.
That's why "La Novela" is what it is: a novel, “a chapter of our lives, from when we were in school, and our first girlfriends, family, and lifelong friends; so there are dramatic chapters and fun chapters. There's a little bit of everything. It's also one of the most daring albums due to its lyrics”.
Refreshingly, although many things around them have changed, the Gómez brothers continue to be as down to earth and accessible as ever, four years after their musical debut under Univision Records. They live in different areas of Southern California now, but this doesn't mean anything special, except the ability to work more quickly on their music.
Their convictions remain the same. And so do their ideas. For the Gómez brothers, "where I’m from" is a truth that brings together two cultural and linguistic realities: the over there and the here, the "I came from there" - from Mexico - and the "I grew up and live here" - the United States. This is what they proclaim and sing on all their recordings: "they can take me out of the barrio, but they can't take the barrio out of me," they state in "ESL", their previous album, three letters that stand for the biting phrase: “English as a Second Language.”
Winner of four Billboard Latino awards for registered sales and nominated to five GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY awards, including one in 2008. Akwid has received two Platinum Record Awards from the RIAA in the United States and two Gold Records in Mexico.
But rather than looking back and resting on the laurels of their recent past, Sergio and Francisco believe that "the greatest hit is still to come."
Now, in "La Novela", they once more multiply themselves on an album that contains twelve singles just as original as anything they've done throughout their career.
Born in Jiquilpan, a small village in the Mexican state of Michoacán, and during a career of only four and a half years as Akwid, Sergio and Francisco Gómez have released four musical productions: "Proyecto Akwid", KOMP 104.9 Radio Compa", "Los Aguacates de Jiquilpan" and "ESL".
Francisco and Sergio Gómez left their native land at the age of three and five, respectively, to relocate with their family to south central Los Angeles, California. The two brothers spent their childhood and teenage years in this neighborhood, taking their first steps on the bipolar path of the so-called Generación Ñ, the new generation of bilingual and bicultural Latinos in the United States, the new face and sound of the 21st century America.
At home they grew up speaking Spanish and listening to Mexican music. Outside, however, the reality of the urban social environment where they evolved had visible African-American influences, which included everything from hip-hop and colloquial English to urban fashion and the irresistible appeal of street rap.
The group emerged in this environment, bearing the influences of their own idols, such as AMG, NWA, Snoop Dog, DJ Quick, HI-C, and Second to None, whose music reflected current trends and personal experiences. Nevertheless, the call of their Latino blood and the memory of their childhood and its own melodic ghosts nested in the hearts of this duo until the end of the 90s. This trend manifests itself in the primary use of Spanish, as well as English.
This fusion has been the concept and essence of Akwid, the new voice of the 21st century and its new sound, the passion and burning feeling, the bridge between two realities intertwining in the everyday life of every Latino born or raised in the United States.
Daring but accurate, with language that is at times biting and irreverent, renewing themselves, advancing and expanding their frontiers, in "La Novela", Akwid is natural and spontaneous, with strong lyrics and tenderness in their message -all at the same time, open to criticism and the future, positive above all and committed to their two cultures, chapter by chapter, between drama and fun, ready to keep triumphing.