Nuevo Culture

PREMIERE: Andrés Canalla & La Doña Bring Norteño to the Car Park in ‘Cuando te Disparan Sangras’

In the age of the label-made blockbuster crossover, independent artists have learned that evolution and collaboration are the surest paths forward. Mexico City singer-songwriter Andrés Canalla has grown into one of the most intriguing shape-shifters on the scene, gaining notoriety with his punk band Tungas in the mid-2000s before pivoting into a folky solo career a decade later. Now comes the next chapter: A new album titled Mestizo that finds Canalla diving wholeheartedly into música mexicana and bouncing voraciously between corridos, banda sinaloense, and mariachi. Premiering today on Remezcla, the first taste of Mestizo arrives with the music video for “Cuando te Disparan Sangras,” a norteño lament against gun violence disguised as a romantic torch song.

Like the forthcoming album, the song is a study of Canalla’s Mexican identity and his prolific music career, swirling with influences from the global rise of música mexicana. The clip for “Cuando te Disparan Sangras” was directed by Andrea Grain Hayton, with Canalla singing and mugging for the camera from the hood of a sleek sports car. He’s also joined by the song’s guest vocalist, Bay Area favorite La Doña, clad in a striking zebra-print bodysuit as she duets with Canalla about grim daily headlines. “Y hoy ya estoy cansado de esperar / que de una vez por todas las noticias / dejen de hablar de sangre y de dolor,” they sing, aching for the innocents affected by armed conflict with syrupy norteño music more often suited to warring hearts. 

“‘Cuando te Disparan Sangras’ is a song I wrote in 2019,” says Canalla over email. “I wanted it to be accordion-driven, very inspired in Julieta Venegas, and I always imagined it as a duet, although I hadn’t found the right collaborator until I met La Doña. The song talks about the waves of violence we still face in this country, but for me it’s about the desire for peace in Mexico.”

Born Aldo Camalle in Mexico City’s Lindavista neighborhood, he began writing punk songs at 14 years old. Though his pop-punk band Tungas didn’t see the mainstream crossover heights of Pxndx or División Minúscula, they gained legions of loyal fans in Mexico’s gritty DIY scene. But in 2017, Canalla began to feel confined by the punk band format and embarked on a solo career. He began with the thrashing single “Centro Médico” before swerving into stripped-down folk-rock on “La Canción Más Triste del Mundo.” In 2021, he took a hard left with the release of “La Envoltura Dorada” and the Nico Orozco collaboration “Es Pura Fantasía,” blurring the line between folk guitars and corrido grit and where punk drums progressed into barreling duranguense percussion. 

“When I started as Andrés Canalla, I wanted to communicate subtler, more complex ideas,” he says, reflecting on his ongoing metamorphosis. “The same happened with música mexicana. The pandemic forced me to think more as a composer than a performer, reassessing my future in music and materializing a dream I’ve had since I was a kid. I grew up a few blocks from Roberto Cantoral’s house, which has the sheet music for ‘El Reloj’ engraved into the door. That image fueled my dream of one day being part of the tradition of música mexicana.”

Mestizo is slated for release later this year, and Canalla has teased many more heavy-hitting collaborators and a plethora of regional genres. While the album is self-produced, the credits on “Cuando te Disparan Sangras” include guitar and bass from Moiza Flores, accordion by Gerardo González, and percussionists Matías Acunaz and Francisco Achaval.

Check out the premiere of “Cuando te Disparan Sangras” below.