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Music. Mexican artist Carín León takes “regional” out of the borders



Óscar Armando Díaz de León Huez, better known by his stage name, Carín León, wears a beige cowboy hat, adorned with a red feather on the side. For the rest, he wears a black leather vest over a turtleneck of the same color and jeans. He and his musicians are set in a rustic setting for (the show) Tiny Desk, an intimate concert format where artists can show themselves without artifice.

“Thank you for supporting our music, for allowing us to reveal a little more of our soul to you, and for showing you our desire to make music and experiment with new sounds in the regional Mexican”, says León, surrounded by his musicians.

They start to play No es por acá, a song from his album Unpublished, released in 2021, where the 34-year-old singer, originally from Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora, began to show the first signs of his creative vein and his desire to think outside the box. The romantic ballad is accompanied by traditional instruments, such as the tololoche (a type of double bass), the tuba and the accordion, but the latter dialogue with instruments such as the electric guitar, the bass and the dobro, which enrich them to create a alchemy of sounds sierreños (a variation of the genre norteño originating from the states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa) and country rhythms.

Hard work

Generally, concerts of Tiny Desk take place in Washington, in the offices of NPR (National Public Radio, the public radio station of the United States) but, due to Covid, Carín León had to organize the concert at his home. It was September 19, 2022. There were still a few months left before the launch of Colmillo de leche, his latest record, released in early 2023. He didn’t know it at the time, but this concert was going to be premonitory.

“We really like this song, because the lyrics touch us and above all because it lets us hear our own sound and proves that the regional Mexican is not incompatible with quality. here is Primera cita.” It was with these words that Carín León presented the last piece of the concert, without knowing that in December 2023, almost a year later, a Latin Grammy Award under the arm (rewarding Leche Colmillo like the best music record nortena), he was going to play the same song in New York, at the Rockefeller Center, in The Tonight Show of Jimmy Fallonone of the most watched evening programs in the United States.

The year 2023 has been, for Carín León, synonymous with hard work and openness, as evidenced by his collaboration with Maluma for Según quiéna mix of regional and urban music; or, more pop, with Reik in The correctness ; or without moving away from its roots, but always seeking sound fusion, with Alch síthe new song with country tunes where he

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