Vocalist Fher Olvera, pictured performing at Staples Center, founded Maná in 1986. (Rafael Orellana/LOL-LA)
Known for being one of the most successful Latin bands, Maná has just finished their U.S. portion of the Cama Incendiada (Burnt Bed) Tour.
Originating from Guadalajara, the band actually started off as Sombrero Verde (Green Hat) with Fernando (Fher) Olvera on vocals, Gustavo Orozco on electric guitar and the Calleros brothers – Juan Diego on bass, Ulises on electric guitar and Abraham on drums. Sombrero Verde released their first album in 1981 and disbanded in 1986.
During this time, the movement known as Rock en tu Idioma (Rock in Your Language) was underway in Mexico. Imported from Argentina and Spain, the movement was considered a business strategy from some record companies aimed at younger audiences in the effort to allow them to create rock music in Spanish.
Olvera opted to start a new band which would combine rock, pop and latin rhythms, and the result was Maná. The group was made up of Olvera, Alex González on drums and once again featured Juan and Ulises Calleros.
Maná’s self-titled debut album in 1987 helped anchor the movement. It featured the songs “Robot,” “Mentirosa,” “Mueve Tus Caderas” and “Queremos paz,” but was met with little success.
The band then signed with Warner Music Mexico and released Falta Amor in 1990. The record didn’t gain success until a year after its release.
The group made their breakthrough in 1992 with the album ¿Dónde Jugarán Los Niños? which remained on the Billboard charts for 97 weeks.
The current lineup consists of Olvera, drummer González, guitarist Sergio Vallín and bassist Juan Calleros.
Below are a few reasons as to why you should love Maná.
5) Representing Latin music at its finest: Sure, awards aren’t everything, but the fact that Maná has won four Grammys, seven Latin Grammys, five MTV Video Music Awards Latin America, six Premios Juventus awards, 14 Billboard Latin Music Awards and 15 Premios Lo Nuestro awards is impressive.
4) Musical collaborations: Maná has worked with Shakira, Prince Royce, Juan Luis Guerra and more, with each collaboration being better than the next.
3) Politically outspoken: From supporting presidential candidates to supporting the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, whether you agree with the beliefs of the band, you have to at least admire them for not only voicing them, but also standing by them.
2) Selva Negra Foundation: The band formed the Selva Negra Foundation (“Black Jungle Foundation”) in 1996 in order to finance and support projects aimed at protecting the environment.
1) Sound: Known for their pop rock, latin pop, calypso, reggae and ska sound, the band caters to fans of all sorts of music.
For more information, visit mana.com.mx/en.