Mau y Ricky Go Back To Their Pop-Punk Roots
What’s better than a sexy latino man? Two sexy latino men who are brothers—and sing to boot!
Venezuelan-born brothers Mau y Ricky recently released a break-up anthem “La Grosera” that’ll remind you of the pop-punk hits from your youth, which makes sense since the brothers say they grew up listening to New Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World.
We talked to Ricky about him and his brothers’ upcoming album, writing music during COVID, and how their zodiac signs affect their dating life.
When did you guys fall in love with music?
We fell in love with music when we were very young. I started playing the piano when I was four. When I was seven, I did my first tour opening my dad’s shows. I remember asking for a wireless microphone when I was like seven or eight cause I remembered seeing everybody that I loved singing with wireless mics and mine had a cable and I was like, “wait, what’s going on?” I asked one of my uncles for it and he misunderstood me, he got me a mic stand, a mic with a mic stand instead of a mic with a little stick sticking out which was the antennae of it.
How did growing up in Venezuela and Miami influence your musical style?
We listened to Spanish music and English music all the time, so the lyrics of music in Spanish really inspired us. The sounds and types of sonic elements in American music have a lot to do with [our musical style]. We grew up listening to rock n roll and that was kind of our main thing. You know, bands that were big when we were growing up like U2, New Found Glory, a bunch of bands you know. That, plus the poetry, the way they wrote in Spanish [music] really influenced our music today for sure.
Who are your musical heroes?
We have heroes for different things. John Mayer, guitar playing. Keith Urban, guitar playing. Stevie Ray Von, guitar playing. For Mau and drummers, Steve Jordans is a hero as well. Songwriting-wise, our father, Alejandro Sanz, Pablo Milanes, Silvio…so many that we grew up listening to. We have producer heroes also, like Michael Jackson and so many people.
What are your zodiac signs and do you believe in that stuff?
I don’t really believe in that stuff at all. I am a Scorpio and my brother is a Leo. I used to say I did it to pick up women cause they said that Scorpios are very passionate and great lovers so I would always say like, “Oh I am a Scorpio, what does that mean?” People that know would say, “they’re very passionate” and I’d be like, “What? Really?” So yeah, but I don’t really believe in that stuff too much.
How long have you guys been writing music?
I wrote my first song when I was about maybe eight years old or younger. I read it the other day, cause I had written it down and sent it to the girl I wrote it for. She’s like, “look what I found!” And she sent me the lyrics cause I sent to her like a little paper printed on the computer. It was terrible, terrible.
You guys wrote our anthem “Sin Pijama” for Natti and Becky. Tell us the process for this?
Well, we had written a song called “Mal de la Cabeza.” We were going to LA to record Becky for it and when we were there, the label was like, “Why don’t you guys stick around and write a song for Becky?” We said, “amazing, but we have to take a couple of friends with us.” They said, “We already have some friends there that she likes to write with.” We ended up flying Camilo and Jon with our money. We were like, “no, we’re writing with our boys.” After we recorded “Mal de la Cabeza,” we took the next day to lock in the studio. We had two rooms going and we wrote two songs that day and one of them was “Sin Pijama” with Jon, Camilo, Mau, me, and our two friends, Nate and Kyle.
What is the most exciting part about being able to bring your music to life as brothers?
I think our chemistry is our biggest strength more than our musical talent. I feel that the chemistry between me and my brother when we write and when we perform is like no other. There’s a lot of people we admire, but that relationship and chemistry between brothers I think is one of a kind.
You guys have done some cool musical collaborations with the likes of Karol G, Thalía, and more. Who would you love to collaborate with next?
For this album, we decided to not collab with anyone. We wanted to deliver our message ourselves. The album is called Rifresh. It has a lot of different songs we really hope people fuck with, but regardless we’re very very proud of it. That’s kind of like our attitude lately. That’s what happened with “Papás.” We were like, “Well, if people don’t fuck with this then we’re at least very fucking proud of what we did.” And they ended up fucking with it a lot which is amazing, such a blessing.
You guys are really embracing the rock n roll vibes. What songs are on your rock playlist?
Oh man, so many classics, it depends. Bunch of Guns n Roses songs. Also all of Blink 182, a bunch of Simple Plan stuff, a bunch of New Found Glory stuff. Sum 41, The Offspring, Jimmy Eat World. That’s kinda the music we grew up listening to, you know?
What does brotherhood mean to you guys?
It means everything. Like I said, I feel like it’s our biggest strength. He is my best friend, my confidant, my business partner, we’re involved in pretty much everything. There’s nothing I enjoy more than knowing that everything we make we kind of split down in the middle, knowing that everything that I work so hard to have happen and everything he worked so hard to have happen we get to split that down in the middle, I think it’s beautiful.
Mau is married. How did he meet his dream girl?
He met her at a club in Medellin, Colombia after we had played a gig. A friend of ours was playing at a club and she was one of his friends. They started talking that day and didn’t stop after that.
Have you guys been writing lots of new music over the months of COVID?
Yeah, this is has been a very inspiring time. We wrote this entire album, we’re working on new music now as well, so it’s been super inspiring. We’ve been able to realize that there’s nothing more important than our identity. When our identity is clear, there’s absolutely no competition. Nobody to your right, nobody to your left compares to you. Once you understand what your value is or the value of your identity, there’s no competition, no comparison. We are more secure than ever, more confident of who we are, you can see that in our videos, in our music and I can’t wait for you guys to hear what’s next.
What can you tell us about the upcoming album?
You’ll find identity in our [new album]. You’ll find us, our true selves’ songs that speak about our life but mainly speak about everybody’s lives. Your life, the listeners life. We hope that you can find yourself in our songs.
How will the sound on this record differ from previous records?
It’s very influenced by stuff we grew up listening to. It has a lot of guitars, we kind of zoned out and didn’t want to listen to what was going on playlists or radio anywhere, we just kind of wanted to do our thing and find ourselves in this album, and really, we did that. I think it’s going to bring something new to the table and kind of change the game. Thank you all so much.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JACOB DEKAT
FASHION DIRECTION: PRINCE CHENOA