Conexión Divina is popularizing regional Mexican music
Sandra Calixto, Liz Trujillo and Ashlee Valenzuela make up Conexión Divina, a band that is among several Gen Z artists popularizing regional Mexican music in the United States.
Growing up in Texas, California and Arizona, the Mexican American women, whose ages range from 18 to 23, said they would listen to different music in Spanish, which ultimately led them to perform in styles aligned with traditional Mexican sounds.
Just this month, Conexión Divina hit huge career milestones with the release of their debut album “Tres Mundos” on April 14 and their first performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 16 — a weekend that proved to be historic for regional Mexican music in general.
Banda, sierreño, corridos and mariachi are just some of the genres that fall within the regional Mexican format, with most of these having originated in rural parts of Mexico. And it’s only in recent years that the festival has incorporated such acts into its lineup, including in 2022 with Grupo Firme, the first to play banda at Coachella.
This year, Los Angeles-based Conexión Divina and the valley’s own DannyLux are top regional Mexican acts playing at the festival, but representation surged by way of special guests during its first weekend, when singer Becky G shared her stage with Peso Pluma and Fuerza Regida, other rising stars in regional Mexican genres.
In a live broadcast from Conexión Divina’s Instagram account on Sunday, Calixto and Valenzuela praised Peso Pluma’s performance of his song with Becky G, “Chanel,” as simply “awesome,” adding that they know him through a mutual friend and had spoken to him following his show.
They also predicted that Conexión Divina will be a headliner on the Coachella main stage someday.
Until then, the band will be back in the Sonora tent for Weekend 2 on Sunday. It will also play at this year’s Chella, a free community event with live performances set for Wednesday in downtown Indio.
Recently, Conexión Divina spoke to The Desert Sun about going to the festival and their latest music. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity and was partially conducted in Spanish.
Desert Sun: Had you ladies ever been to the Coachella Valley?
Trujillo: It’s my first time in the area and going to Coachella (the festival).
Valenzuela: I’ve been in Coachella before, hanging with friends, but not at events.
Calixto: I hadn’t.
Desert Sun: What are you featuring in your festival set?
Valenzuela: It’ll be our songs that are hits right now, as well as music that just came out on our album.
Desert Sun: Will any special guests join you?
Trujillo: We’re going to have guests the second weekend.
Desert Sun: What’s it like to have your Coachella festival debut along with a new album?
Valenzuela: It’s honestly a lot of work.
Calixto: We don’t expect people to know those lyrics, but we hope that with the (festival) performances, they learn to love our album.
Trujillo: This is our opportunity to show people our music — new music that just came out, literally.
Desert Sun: Do you have favorite tracks on your new album?
Valenzuela: All of them, but I especially like “Only You.”
Trujillo: I’m listening to it and we’ve listened to it this entire year, so I always change songs. Right now, for me it’s “Colores.”
Calixto: My favorite is “Cómo Dolió,” because I love the electric guitar in it.
Desert Sun: What’s something you want listeners to take away from the album?
Valenzuela: I want them to connect with the music and enjoy the vibes that we have, because I feel like we have something special and hope people like it.
Trujillo: It’s a big representation of us, our characters and personalities, so we hope people can connect with that.
Desert Sun: You’re young people bringing something new to regional Mexican music. Could you speak to why you chose these genres and to make this type of music?
Trujillo: Each one of us has our own way of how we got into (this) music. I heard it at my high school, when I was in my senior year. I went from listening to románticas to corridos verdes.
Valenzuela: I feel like the new generation is bringing a lot of corridos to the (format) and I think it’s really cool because I grew up with those.
Calixto: When I was like 16, I went to my church to learn guitar, but that was when COVID happened, so they sent us all home. I just started learning how to play through YouTube. And then, I started learning bass guitar when I was 18.
Desert Sun: Who are some artists at Coachella this year that you really wanted to see?
Valenzuela: Bad Bunny and Becky G … I’m glad that we get to play the same event as Bad Bunny, who’s the first Latino to headline Coachella, and that we’re all a part of it and we’re all Latinos.
Eliana Perez covers the eastern Coachella Valley, including the cities of Indio and Coachella. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @ElianaPress.