Since winning the Univision reality show “La Banda” in 2015, the group CNCO has hit the ground running.
This year, they managed to pull off two tours: their own throughout Latin America, and another as the opening act for Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, where they had stops in the U.S. and Canada.
Thursday night, the quintet — Christopher Vélez, Richard Camacho, Joel Pimentel, Erick Brian Colón and Zabdiel De Jesús — will take the stage at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, airing live on Telemundo from the Watsco Center starting at 8 p.m.
That’s not all — the guys are up for awards in four different categories.
“None of us could believe we were going to be at the Latin Billboards,” said Christopher, who is from Ecuador. “We were always the little kids who watched these famous people on TV and now are going to be right alongside them. We never imagined this day would arrive.”
Yes, dreams have become reality for these young artists.
“If you had told us a year ago that we would have been opening for Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias we would not have believed it,” Christopher continued. “We met Pitbull when we were competing on ‘La Banda’ and he seemed like an excellent human being. Very humble. We learned so much from him and we continue learning from him and Enrique as well.”
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But CNCO doesn’t just have appreciation for stars. They appreciate each another as a team.
“It’s been really easy to work together,” assured Zabdiel, who is Puerto Rican. “We want to be clear that CNCO is a unit, we all support each other as a group, and we are all equal. We are all different yet complement one another.”
How different are they?
Christopher reports: “In our group, there’s a little bit of everything. Erik is the youngest and most fun, with the most energy. He’s so smart. Just three weeks ago he said he wanted to learn how to play guitar and now he plays like a professional.”
As for Richard, Christopher says the Dominican is “super creative, always making music,” and Joel, who is from Mexico, is “very into his family,” recording many songs about his grandfather. Finally, Zabdiel “plays all types of instruments that you can imagine, but he is very humble about it.”
And Christopher? “I would say I am the happiest of everyone, because I’m the one who always makes everyone laugh, telling a joke.”
They have worked hard to get where they are, and continue to do so.
“This week alone we woke up at 8 in the morning, and all we did was eat breakfast and go straight to the studio,” Christopher said. “Even though sometimes we don’t finish until midnight, it’s worth it because we are fighting for our dream.”
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And there’s no limit to where the band will go. Current plans include their own line of products and to record more songs. They’re currently celebrating the release of their single, “Hey DJ,” which they will perform at the awards ceremony. They’re a little nervous.
“There we will be, in front of so many people performing,” Zabdiel said. “We can’t wait to to see what happens!”