With millions of followers internationally, the dynamic duo Gente de Zona continues to rise with the premiere of their new album, “De Menor a Mayor”, just last week.
Alexander Delgado Hernández and Randy Malcolm Martínez naturally found their way into music one way or another.
Their first world achievement, “Bailando” with Enrique Iglesias, placed them at the top of the artistic industry, followed by hits with Marc Anthony such as ” La Gozadera ” and “Traidora”.
Collaborating with artists like Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, Pitbull, Becky G, and many more, the duo have traveled the world with their music, and they haven’t stopped.
The first Cuban artist to reach number one on the Billboard “Hot Latin Songs” chart, Gente de Zona has won and been nominated for various awards at major events, such as the Latin Grammys, the Billboard Latin Music Awards, and were recognized with the ASCAP Golden Note Award.
His new album, “De Menor a Mayor”, celebrates the diversity of music with guest artists from various genres, such as Carlos Vives, India Martinez, and the voice of Celia Cruz, a dream fulfilled by the advancement of technology.
An inspiration to his entire audience and emerging Latino artists out there, Gente de Zona always delivers a catchy beat and a positive message, proving that anything is possible.
In an exclusive interview with Impacto Latino, the duo shared their beginnings, anecdotes, and more about their past and present projects.
What were your beginnings in the industry?
Randy Malcom Martínez: Well, I was inspired by my father, who was a producer of the Nueva Trova in Cuba. Since I was a child, I grew up watching many orchestras, and I always leaned towards music since I could remember. He stopped me with two sticks, because I am a percussionist, to play on cans at the door of my house, and I was inspired to see so many musicians and so much diversity of genres pass by my house.
Alexander Delgado Hernández: I don’t come from a family of musicians, but I’ve always loved music. I started making urban music. Later, all these types of music appeared, I was influenced, and I began to compose and perform concerts. It started as a hobby and ended up being my job today.
What was the beginning of Gente de Zona?
ADH: Three members have passed through Gente de Zona. Each one took his path, and I have kept with the fixed idea of the project. It’s twenty-two years. We have had several stages and several beginnings.
The beginning was when I spent ten years with Jacob. Another beginning is these years that I have been with Randy. But, there has never been an end.
From “Bailando”, we launched ourselves into the world, and we continue working. Today, we are releasing our fourth material together. This one is called, “From Minor to Major”. I make this anecdote because it was the first name that I wanted to give the group.
“Gente de Zona” was a name that was going to be used for material. Now, it happened the other way around. Our name is Gente de Zona, and the record material is “De Menor a Mayor”.
What challenges have they faced along the way?
RMM: The change. We are a group from Cuba, and in Cuba, the industry is completely different than globally. Our digital platforms do not monetize. We don’t have access to many things today, it makes it easier for us to expose our music. We have faced all these challenges, leaving our island, and living in a different country. But, music is what has always kept us strong to keep going.
How would you describe the experience of working with superstars, and then becoming stars with your own music?
RMM: Experience is learning, which we have had together with these great music legends. They are artists who, despite their huge global success, are tireless. They do not stop working, and it is something that has instilled in us to keep going, to not stop working, to continue fulfilling a dream.
Tell us more about this new album, “De Menor a Mayor”.
ADH: This is a varied album that we have been making for practically two and a half years, since the pandemic that interrupted the process. We have a lot of guests, a lot of mix of music.
It’s a very daring album, with other artists who have nothing to do with what we do. It started with Gerardo Ortiz, the ranchera mixed with Gente de Zona; Afrobeat mixed with Becky G; “Tell me about Miami”, which is a mambo made with Maffio; and the proposal of this song that we now have with Carlos Vives, which is a sample of vallenato.
It has a lot of richness, and it respects the concepts that we have about our music, and our identity. It has fifty percent of the invited artists, and fifty percent of Gente de Zona.
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
RMM: I think that today’s artists have it easier than before. If you didn’t have a label, you couldn’t put your music on. Today, there are many platforms to put it on, and if a song goes viral, your career can start with fundamental support.
The important thing is to have your own identity, keep working, and never resist, because you never know when success will come to you. That’s the good thing about making music, that it has no frontier or limit.