Cuban-Canadian Artist Alex Cuba, Takes His Imagination Across the World With a Brand New Album, Mendo.
The proudly independent two-time Juno Award Winning Cuban-Canadian eclectic, multi-instrumentalist and vocal artist continues to be honored by his musical peers. Though raised in Artemisa, an hour outside of Havana, Alex Cuba’s artistry is as far-flung as the place he has settled and lived for over fifteen years: Smithers, BC, 14 hours north of Vancouver.
Building on the 2017 Grammy-nominated release Lo Unico Constante with its back-to roots introspection, his latest collection of songs was released in September 2019 on the full-length album “Sublime”, featuring six songs with Latin American singers and songwriters. Alex joined with Toronto-based engineer, John Bailey to record in Gibson’s BC at The Farm Studio. The decision to record all the instruments came to Alex Cuba years ago when making demos for new songs and wanting to share that undeniable personal sound.
Alex’s most recent album, Mendo, was recorded from his home during the pandemic, is a self-produced, independently performed, and stylistically diverse project that features numerous collaborations with artists Antonio Carmona, Cimafunk, Lila Downs, Gian Marco, Raul Midón & Gilberto Santa Rosa. Proudly sporting over 20 awards and nominations under his belt, including 4 Latin Grammys and two Junos Awards, and four Grammy nominations, to which on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, Alex was awarded his first Grammy from those four nominations, in the “Best Latin Pop Album” category. However, Alex was unable to attend the ceremony this year due to touring but is looking forward to receiving his very first Grammy Award in the near future. His outfit from his performance at the 2020 Latin Grammy Awards is currently featured alongside numerous music icons in The Grammy Museum. “This is a surreal moment for me. I got to hear I won a Grammy while driving in the middle of a snowstorm between shows here in Canada. I am grateful beyond words to life and to my family. Music has won today, with no marketing strategies or fashion trends. I hope that this album recorded at home in the middle of the pandemic inspires independent artists in Latin America to believe and follow their dreams.” – Alex Cuba
“Bringing his distinctive folk, funk, and rock hybrid to life, the four-time Latin Grammy winner presents Mendó, a testament to the respect other artists have for Alex. On this set, Cuba collaborates with renowned artists including Antonio Carmona, Cimafunk, Lila Downs, Gian Marco, Raul Midón, and Gilberto Santa Rosa” – Billboard
“A while back I had to ask myself ‘Is it me or do I actually like everything Alex Cuba releases?’ So far, the answer is: Very much! …The four-time Latin Grammy winner’s brilliant discography has evolved from Afro-Cuban music to world music, rock en español, salsa, alternative Latin and Latin crossover blends of pop, soul, and jazz. And it just gets better… Irresistible, superbly minimalistic yet profoundly full …a sensory upload of sublime playing, creative arrangements, and melodic delight.” –Felix Contreras, NPR
Mendó means “substance of the soul, is a powerful project filled with international collaborations. From the healing voice of Grammy Award-winning Lila Downs on “Mundo Nuevo”, to his colorful collaboration with world-renowned flamenco artist and Eurovision winner, Antonio Carmona, and commissioning a 13-piece horn band from his native country of Cuba, Alex’s vibrant new album reaches all the way around the world while ironically being stuck at home. Using his art as his refusal to be trapped by the circumstances surrounding him, Alex shares with listeners his “Mendó”, the substance of his soul, on his most powerful project to date.
“When I began to imagine this album, I knew I didn’t want it to be small in any way. Neither did I want it to be known forever as the album that was born out of the pandemic. I was convinced that it definitely was the moment to aim at creating something very special, unique and vibrant, fuelled by the very deep emotions that this time has brought out of all of us.” – Alex Cuba
On this project, Cuba was “dedicated to virtually reaching as far and wide as possible”, and reach he did. From Northern British Columbia to Spain, Peru, Puerto Rico, and beyond, Cuba’s unlimited musical imagination saw him create vibrant, full-bodied songs in a wide variety of musical stylings. From flamenco to tropical cumbia, to jazz, the assortment of genres on Mendó showcases an artist with deep musical knowledge and immense musical talent. It will come as no surprise that Cuba is credited with playing all of the instruments on the album – something he almost always does. His music at once incorporates his roots and is a unique amalgam of styles, having collaborated with artists ranging from Jason Mraz to Ron Sexsmith and Nelly Furtado; and bringing together melodies, pop-soul hooks, and rock chords in songs that may seem to bear little resemblance to traditional Cuban form.
Mendó is filled with beautiful, inspired, imaginative musical works – full and energetic – from the soul of a musician so immensely creative that when the world is locked down, he can find within himself the sounds of the world.
Congrats Alex Cuba! Cheers to many more magical musical moments!
To stay in tune with Alex Cuba, connect on his in-depth social platforms below”