Menudo was undoubtedly one of the most successful teenybopper bands of the ’80s, both in Latin America and worldwide. Songs like “Súbete a mi moto” and “Quiero ser” broke boundaries, making generations young and old want to get on their feet and dance. Thirty years later, five rising young stars are reviving the Menudo phenomenon with a contemporary sound and look. Carlos, Chris, Emmanuel, José and Monti are the new voices of the pop band, and as 17-year-old Emmanuel says, “Menudo is back.”
It all began with the MTV reality show Making Menudo, which made 15 young finalists put their talents to the test. Only five were chosen to become members of the new pop band and record an album with Epic Records. Of the show, 15-year-old José says “it was an experience that changed our lives completely. We never thought that we were going to make it so fast, much less with the name Menudo, which is a huge name.” And 18-year-old Carlos calls the experience “incredible,” an attitude he shares with the rest of the band. Driven by the same dream, the young stars call themselves a family, even though “like all siblings, there are always fights, but we try to be very good,” José admits.
Before entering the competition, the teenagers were pretty much living your average teenage lives with their families and in school, but as 18-year-old Monti tells us, he was “always dreaming and trying to become an artist.” That dream became a reality last December with the release of their first EP “More Than Words,” which includes four songs.
Listen to “Más que amor”
As they visit TV show after TV show performing their songs, the pop fivesome are working hard on their first album, which they hope will drop in spring 2008. When asked how they divide the work that goes into making an album, José explains that “Emmanuel, Monti and Carlos play the guitar, and Chris and I compose.” Even though they have more experience with dance, the guys are the perfect combination of personality and talent to win over Menudo followers, along with “all the pretty ladies,” Emmanuel adds flirtatiously.
When it comes to dealing with the consequences of fame, the young musicians say no problem – they already have a plan. “If one of us starts to get a big head and starts to act like a big-shot artist, we’re going to sit down and remember to keep our feet on the ground,” says José, the chattiest member of the quintet. The new members of Menudo understand very well their responsibility to fans, music and themselves. As we say goodbye and good luck, 15-year-old Chris ends the interview with a confident final thought: “2008 is the year of Menudo.”