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Ramona Gets a Pan Dulce Deal

Newly formed surf-indie rockers Ramona scores a sweet deal



    Ramona Gets a Pan Dulce Deal
    courtesy of Ramona/Pan Dulce Productions
    Ramona, Tijuana's newly formed quartet, blend mellow surf sounds and indie rock.

    Tijuana’s Ramona are crooning their way into our hearts with their deliciously mellow surfer-indie rock en Español. Frontman Jesus Lopez Guerrero, 18, may be the band’s youngest member, but he is impressing us with his love-lost romanticism songwriting. The all-male quartet recently released the music video for “El Incansable Amor por la Ruta,” which features a totally cinematic take on childhood love. You won’t be able to look away after the first shots of a boy’s bedroom filled with Godzilla & Robot collectibles. The single is off their debut album, "La Segunda Luz del Dia," under Carla Morrison'sPan Dulce Productions label. The Grammy-winning songstress even stars in Ramona’s music video, “Vete con Él.” Bassist Edgar Moreno and guitarist Mauricio Villicaña dish on the making of the music video, what it took to get Morrison’s attention, and why Tijuana is the place to be.

    Dita Quiñones: The video is so captivatingly cute, and it really takes you back into remembering childhood love. How did you come up with the idea? And I have to know who the kid actors are -- they were perfectly casted!
    Edgar Moreno: The concept is pretty tied into the name of the song, “El Incansable Amor por la Ruta,” which translates to "the tireless love for the journey." In the video the “journey” is meeting that girl you like and getting to know her -- sharing experiences and trying to win her over. And how all of that -- regardless of the outcome -- can be a beautiful thing.
    Mauricio Villicaña: The lead girl is Shaury Pol, and the lead boy is Hector Buentiempo. We met them through a casting our director held and just loved their attitude towards the project.

    DQ: I love all the different locations you set the story in. Where did you film the video?
    MV: The video was all filmed in different locations around Tijuana. The outdoor scenes were shot at Parque Morelos and La Presa. And the beach scenes were shot at Playas de Tijuana.
    EM: The song was inspired by a movie about a road trip ["Diarios de Motocicleta"], so we wanted to give it that vibe. I think the rhythm section would be like the country road and all the accents like the scenery passing by -- something like that [laughs].

    DQ: Do tell the story of Ramona’s beginnings!
    MV: Jesus and Omar [Córdoba, drums] were born in Tijuana; Edgar was born in Guadalajara, and I was born in Los Angeles, but we were all raised in Tijuana. The band started about four years ago when Jesus met Omar at a concert. They decided to form a band with a couple of other friends. After a couple of years, they were left without a guitarist and drummer. So Omar switched from being a bassist to playing drums. They invited me, since we’ve known each other from local shows with my band at the time, La Tira Comica. I invited Edgar to one of our rehearsals, and we all clicked instantly.

    DQ: What does the city of Tijuana mean to you?
    MV: We’ve lived in TJ practically all our lives, and although we weren’t all born here, this is our birthplace musically. A majority of our songs talk about our personal experiences in our hometown, so if we had to sum it up in one word, I think we could say Tijuana means inspiration. The music scene here is awesome. There’s a lot of diversity, and there’s always someone trying something new and different, and that just motivates you to create.

    DQ: Did Carla Morrison oversee production of your debut album?
    EM: As our executive producer -- through Pan Dulce Productions -- she financed the whole project and guided us through the unfamiliar parts of making an album. But the creative process was left up to us with our producer, Alejandro Jimenez, a.k.a. Jandro.

    DQ: What did you have to do convince Carla Morrison to star in your video, "Vete con Él"? 
    EM: Jesus and Omar actually knew her way before she produced our album. We’ve opened shows for her too, and we’ve formed a nice friendship. When we recorded the video -- it was like having some drinks with your friends at a bar. We actually posted an open casting call on our Facebook, and Carla contacted us that she wanted to do it! It was totally unexpected for us, but we loved the idea. We recorded the whole video in one day, so it was about 12 hours spent on the actual shooting, but she was super cool and friendly with everyone. We all had a blast making the video.

    Ramona is definitely onto something great in our local music scene. With the stamp of approval from Carla Morrison, the Tijuana quartet will be making moves. They performed Oct. 17 in Mexico City’s Pasagüero with their fellow hometown music buddies Jandro and Glasmus.

    Go “Like” Ramona on Facebook. Watch “El Incansable Amor por la Ruta” on YouTube.

    Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.