Juan Bago + O Talk Christmas Song, Social Commentary, Comedians, and More
Tue, 13 Nov 2012 07:32:13
"We live to entertain," declares O, one-half of the hilarious New York comedy duo, Juan Bago + O.
Every time these two drop a video, it's more entertaining than the last. Whether it's the raucous viral sensation "Pan Con Queso" or the socially conscious political satire "Vote Right", they consistently deliver smart, sharp, and slick humor with a Latin twist. Up next is their hotly anticipated Christmas song which is bound to spread some side-splitting holiday cheer.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Juan Bago + O talk their creative process, what's next, and so much more.
So what's cooking in the world of Juan Bago y O?
O: We started working on an original Christmas song. Our entire team is going to be involved in front of the camera. It's going to be a celebratory thing. That's going to be the last video for the year. We've already begun working on other stuff for 2013 too.
How do you go about making a Christmas song?
O: On our end, we always like to try to have some type of Latino or Hispanic influence because we always want to be able to connect with our roots. There's a really famous Spanish song that everybody knows called "El Burrito Sabanero". We took an influence from there and gave it more of a modern and urban twist.
Juan Bago: The storyline is O and I are getting Christmas gifts for our girlfriends. Along the way, we find this missing goat that belongs to the "Three Kings". The Latino Caribbean culture believes in these "Three Kings" that have a goat at Christmas time. We find it, and we're being followed by the "Three Kings" because they want the goat back. At the end of the day, we end up at a house party. We don't have much money, but we try to find a creative way to get gifts for our girlfriends. We end up making gifts for them [Laughs].
What was your approach lyrically?
O: We really start brainstorming with the concept of where we want to go with it after we pick the song. Our writers are extremely talented. They take our vision of what we want to see, put it to paper, and make it amazing.
Is it important to include social commentary and a positive message within something humorous?
Juan Bago: Yeah! From day one, we've been very into getting deeper than doing just "funny" songs with no substance. When we sit down, we come with storylines that not only make people laugh but if they sit down and take a look at it, there's something they can take with them. It gives people something to relate to and allows them to connect more to the songs. We've been blessed to cover some topics that hit home, especially the last video "Vote Right". When it comes down to message, we have great open conversations. Then, it goes into the lyrics and the whole storyline after we've had a few brainstorm sessions.
Who are some of your favorite comedians?
O: My personal favorites are The Wayans Brothers. They've been a huge influence on me, growing up watching a lot of their stuff. Martin Lawrence is a big one too. I grew up watching them on TV through their sitcoms, and their humor blended together. Those are some of my key, go-to comedians. I love Kevin Hart now. He's hilarious.
Juan Bago: I grew up on Eddie Murphy. I loved John Ritter on Three's Company (TV Series). I enjoyed those situations. Kevin Hart's storytelling is great. Then, there's Louis C.K. I'd also say In Living Color (TV Series). I could relate to it because there were people on the screen who looked like me and high-energy storytelling.
Who are you guys listening to now?
O: I'm a big hip hop and R&B fan so a lot of Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, and 2 Chainz. I'm a huge fan of A$AP Rocky. Miguel's album is amazing. I'm definitely getting into Kendrick Lamar too.
Juan Bago: I'm similar to him. I'd say Kendrick Lamar, Miguel obviously, and The Weeknd. I've been going out a lot lately. Not only am I listening to that stuff, I'm listening to a lot of Spanish and Caribbean stuff. I've been listening to electronic music as well with Chris Brown, Rihanna, and David Guetta. I have a diverse background when it comes to enjoying music.
How do you see the Juan Bago y O sound evolving?
Juan Bago: We have two types of spoof songs. We do the one where we seem very serious and the storyline seems serious, but what we're doing is funny. That brings a type of humor. Then, we've got a style that's outrageous. Sometimes, it's borderline slapstick, or it's like "Pan con Queso", "Hooked on Hookah", or "Vote Right", where it's organic, people are laughing, and it's not in-your-face. It's not just O and I. We have a team that understands the brand and goes through everything. It's a fleshed-out process so it smacks in your face at the end. We didn't know our identity during the first few videos. We're very mindful of being on the same page when we do a track or a video. People know what they're going to get. They can't predict what's going to happen because sometimes the videos end with a surprise, but they're looking forward to it. They know there will be a message to it.
O: I can definitely agree with that. One of the things that helps us is we balance each other out a lot. Seeing us and interacting with us, we're like yin and yang, but there's a commonality we share in our humor. There are a lot of personality differences. Bago has been around a little longer so I look to him to see what's going on and learn. It's a great balance. That's been a winning factor for us.
Have you checked out Juan Bago + O?
Watch "Vote Right" here!
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