I don't know who I should thank for the boyband revival, but whoever they are, bless them. International groups full of delicious dancing men are big this summer and a new Latin American pop group is quickly catching up to other heavy hitters like BTS and The Jonas Brothers. CNCO (a play on the Spanish word for five: cinco) is a new group on the come-up and music fans should start getting used to their faces and music. You might be asking "Who is CNCO?" now, but pretty soon you're going to stan for them hard.
The group is made up of five or cinco members: Joel Pimentel, Richard Camacho, Christopher Vélez, Zabdiel De Jesus, and Erick Brian Colon. Today, the boys range from ages 18 to 23 years old, with Colon coming in as the youngest and Vélez holding it down as the eldest. This puts them square in the middle of two different demographic fan bases — young teenagers who are developing their first crushes and older millennials who think they're still young enough to date a 21-year-old (*cough* me *cough*).
The boys were actually formed on a musical competition show (tale as old as time) called La Banda, which was created by Ricky Martin and Simon Cowell. CNCO was formed in the series finale which aired in December 2015. If this success story sounds familiar, it's because CNCO's story is essentially the same as One Direction and Fifth Harmony's on the UK and U.S. versions of X Factor. If Simon Cowell's formula ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess.
By January 2016, CNCO released their first single, "Tan Facil." After that, Ricky Martin took them on his One World Tour as his opening act.
Today, the boys are celebrating the release of their first song with lyrics in both English and Spanish, aptly referred to as "Spanglish." The song is called "Pretend" and is as catchy as anything I've ever heard. The song samples from "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge, which makes it both nostalgic and exciting. As of August 1, 2019, the music video had nearly 55 million views on YouTube.
Let me tell you. It's worth it.
(I'm not a music expert, but is this serving some Enrique Iglesias vibes, too?)
In early April, the boys spoke with Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast about performing at the then-upcoming 2019 Latin Billboard Music Awards and what it was like pulling from such an iconic tune.
"When we first heard it, I was like, 'This is a throwback.' Because we remember the times our moms or aunts or even us were cleaning the house with that song on," Camacho said. "It was always a jam. When we heard the song, we were like, ‘Yo, this song is going to throw everybody back.' And it’s a feel-good song."
Damn right, it is.
Not for nothing, all of their hard work is continuously paying off. For example, not only did they have a stellar performance at the Latin Billboard Music Awards, the boys also snagged wins in all of the three categories they were nominated in: Latin Pop Album of the Year, Latin Rhythm Artist of the Year, Duo or Group, and Latin Pop Artist of the Year.
Keep your eye on these boys, world. They're gearing up to do some seriously great things.