One of Tijuana's emerging bands you should know about is Madame Ur y Sus Hombres. She's a fortune of talent. Her band's name in itself is provocative and evokes a superwoman strength which defines Madame Ur. By day, she's Azzul Monraz: all mom, all wifey with a bookworm spirit. By night, she transforms into a soulful cabaret jazz chanteuse with a powerful voice that'll fascinate. Unlike the prevailing sound of EDM in Tijuana, Madame Ur is forging her own path in the local music scene with a feminist, bilingual approach to cabaret jazz.
The Orquesta de Baja California (OBC) has even taken notice of Madame Ur y Sus Hombres. The conductor, Maestro Eduardo García Barrios extended a personal invitation for them to perform at Tijuana's cultural landmark, CECUT. The band recently released the live track from that night's collaborative performance, titled “Amado,” which resulted in a haunting audio landscape allowing Madame Ur to give a commanding, gut-wrenching performance of a very personal song.
I spoke to Madam Ur and bassist, Toto Zuniga to find out more about the track “Amado” and to dig for info of a possible follow-up to Animal Man (2011).
Dita Quiñones: Okay, where is “Amado” from? It's not on Animal Man or your debut, Men and Pearl Necklaces. Is this an upcoming single?
Toto Zuniga: Not sure about “Amado” being the first single. But, it definitely will be a song we want to promote. Especially if we can duplicate how it came out sounding with the orchestra – time will tell.
Madame Ur: “Amado” is a song that we love. It feels different. It exists in two versions: the original one (our version) and the OBC's version – smells like a single.
DQ: Nice. So do I smell a new album, too?
MU: We have a plan to present an album this summer – don't have the name yet. But, what we have is the music. Now we have more studio experience and we are ready to discover the flavor and way to take these new songs.
DQ: Must have been exciting to work with a full orchestra, no?
TZ: Working with such talented musicians and having such a brilliant arrangement to one of your songs is a dream come true. It makes the song come alive in ways we always imagined but couldn't reach with our stripped down setup.
MU: It was an exciting, impressive, emotional – a master-class experience.
DQ: What made the orchestra collaboration possible?
MU: OBC directed by the Maestro Eduardo García Barrios was very open to work with independent bands here in Tijuana. The OBC are talented, sensitive and they shared their experiences, talent and passion for music with us. I really feel like we were one in the theatre playing. It was an invitation for “Las Tandas de Agua Caliente." An homage to the circus shows, cabaret shows of the '20s and '30s in Mexico – sassy musical theater influence.
No wonder Madame Ur y Sus Hombres were invited to play with OBC – they're the perfect match for “Las Tandas.” You can watch Madame Ur y Sus Hombres perform “Amada” with the OBC on YouTube. Follow @madameur
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.