By: Ma. Fernanda Soria @mafersoria
Gerardo Alvarado is a telecommunications engineer in the day, but on the evenings he is “Geraré“, lead guitarist, vocalist and composer of “Los Corrientes“, a band that wants to take their “Guayaco flavor” to all corners of the country.
“Betoman” (Beto Malave) and Geraré met in college ten years ago, both of them are musicians with a 9 to 5 jobs. In April 2010, “Geraré” wrote the melody of a song called “Impasible,” then he called “Betoman” to help him with the lyrics, “That’s when I started composing with him, but only the lyrics,” says the economist who is in charge of percussion and raps with no censure.
They later recruited “Gorraion” (Ismael Escobar) “to add his voice to the song… then we were already three, and it made sense not only to record the songs but also to start rehearsing them. Once we had those three wills together, it was a matter of inviting more volunteers,” Betoman adds.
“They met me in a bar,” says “Juano” (Juan Jose Cevallos), bassist and musical director of the band. Soon the two other members of the group joined: “Doña Pepa” (María Alejandra Cervantes), who besides being a graphic designer plays the melody, and drummer “Otroman” (Alejandro Martinez) who is an English teacher in Quevedo and travels to Guayaquil only to perform with “Los Corrientes”.
Love for music is what brought together these six talented guys who were not initially a successful fusion. “The first time we met, we went to Jorge Luis del Hierro studio and we played horrible,” Betoman remembers while Doña Pepa giggles. “We were like El Chavo del Ocho’s band, we were only missing a rattle,” says Juano. “Everyone had been practicing separately and everybody had just met,” Doña Pepa clarifies while sitting on the floor of “El cubil”, a small studio where the band meets to rehearse, write and have some drinks after work.
The band mixes several rhythms in their songs, so they invented their own musical genre: “Urban Experimental Pop.” “We even have a song that mixes disco and pasillo,” says the bassist.
Doña Pepa assured that people get hooked with “Los Corrientes” music because they sing about “real stuff”. “Soy chiro” (I’m broke) is one of the most heard songs, “because people feel identified, even if you have money at some point you had only 5 cents in your pocket and you were broke,” says the melodic designer.
As for the name of the group, it has nothing to do with electricity, it’s just six people, six “corrientes” (ordinary), “you’re corriente, I’m corriente, we’re all part of this project. We want to be a musical renewal, this cool image that Guayaquil can display, we tell street stories, personal stories … I think there is nothing more beautiful than people saying ‘these guys are guayacos’ even when they have never seen us” says Juano exhaling pride.
“Los Corrientes” have more than 13 studio recorded songs available for free download on their Facebook fan page because “art belongs to the people who inspire it.”
“We want everyone to know who we are, that there is someone who sings to Guayaquil, who brings out the idiosyncrasies, the slang, the amorfinos, the guayaco style. We need to spread it all through the music,” concludes the bassist of this new musical project which expects to become an orchestra.