When it comes to blending soul and funk music with Cuban history, there is only one name that springs to mind and that is of The Cuban Brothers.
The crowd-pleasing act have been pleasuring audiences across the globe since their first appearance in UK clubs and now finally have opted to release their debut album ‘Yo Bonita’ in January 2013.
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The Cuban Brothers live shows are renowned for their mix of floor-filling tunes and comedy spots to match.
Fame caught up with Mike recently to find out how life is for the fun loving guys and what this album means to them.Hi Mike so what can we expect from ‘Yo Bonita’, is new single ‘Mike 4 President’ a good representation of the album?
Buenas Phil you beautiful bastard ….uuuum M4P is a good represntation yessir but there are 16 joints of truth on Yo Bonita!! Funk, soul, hip hop, reggae, soca,latin all played by the most extraordinary dope musicians on the planet, the record has been crafted over 4 years and i think that comes across in the quality of the songs and the maniacal tastiness of my voice…just kidding!!Not really.I cannot believe this is your debut album release. I have been covering gigs by yourselves for many years now. What made you decide to make an album now?
Over the past decade i put some EP,s out A million stories,Love is alive,Losing you then the A TO Z comp all with Rob da banks [fantastic fela] Sunday Best and when my first born Bonita came along i decided to dedicate more time to a long player and have my favourite vocalists guest…
Cats who I always respected as true voices in the UK Omar,Mica Paris, KT Tunstall, Jolanda quartey and i was lucky enough that they as well as Abdominal and Kurtis blow were up for blessing the project so the recording was sporadic because we are a busy live entity and being honest my heart always prefers the stage to a recording studio but having Ade meehan [Toolshed] producing and handpicked brethren in The CB’s it was a pleasure writing and recording if a bit retardo at times but that is my middle name Mike clandestine mumtouch retardo keat…..straight in!!You are well known for your energetic and lively shows. How do you keep up the energy?
Nosewhiskey.We are able to get hold of this next level cocaine referred to as Oily honeycomb…it,s clean as the flannigans and i can unleash the kraken for 3 days at a time on this shit…Just kidding….no we all grew up b-boying so it,s our culture so we,ve always been very physical on stage,if we did,nt come off after a show vomiting with exhaustion then we,ve mugged ourselves off a well as the punters.
We love our job and recognize we are priviledged to travel the world entertaining that fuels our energy as well as the powdered rhino horn and Tiger penis elixir.Can you give our readers an insight into how the band formed?
I started Los hermanos by myself playing the character Miguel DJ,n playing percussion telling wrong stories then one night i battled Archie in hip hop club,he was a far more powerful technical dancer than myself after being on tour with the Prodigy for a year as on e of the floor freaks so i asked him to represent at one of my shows , gave him an outfit a character to play needless to say he was amazing and we had a fairly supernatural chemistry we met Kengo a few months later another gifted dancer and heavy academic…I was able to turn his head momentarily from his various studies and 12 years on here we are with our full live entity The CB,s we are all mates first and foremost….I am the boss but not the dictator we are brothers and have shared some next level experiences and are thankful.
You have seen yourselves become the go to guys for many top stars (including Robbie Williams, Elton John and Richard Branson), how does it feel to be asked to perform for someone like that?
It,s cool but we just go and turn the party out the same as anywhere …we have fun and try to create that atmosphere regardless of the celebrity audience.
How do you as a band begin work on a new song. Have you a method/system you use?
Usually I’ll write a top line melody go in with the brothers and jam around it then one of the other cats will come up with another hook or interesting vibe and I’ll write to it then we,ll all jump in a bath together…have a wee joint..leather each other with birch branches come back in the studio and jam again this time with more FEELING.When you first started out did you ever imagine you would be part of club residencies, festival headliners and an act of international fame?
When we started I was a young cat that got an outrageous buzz from performing in whatever enviroment,i would be spitting over beats without any monitors and singing over instrumentals just vibing..that was a special time, we came up getting changed in disabled toilets with a band rider of 6 pints behind the bar.
I always knew we had a special entity that was tangibly different and had dreams of sharing the stage with my heroes James brown,Prince,the native tongues collective,George clinton etc….over the past 8 years all these dreams have been fulfilled so yes we have pinched ourselves many times and shared looks of ‘whaa the faaaaaaa?’as i highlighted before blessed to be performing internationally making money having fun.
Have you any tour plans to promote the ‘Yo Bonita’ album?
Absolutelye on tour in Oz till end of jan then we in Germany and Austria then back in UK touring Manchester, Brum, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and finishing London KOKO in May but we always on tour ‘In ur town no tellin where you might see us coming thru in tees and wifebeaters out doing the damn thing we like beavers, the M.I.G.L I finished the job my Australian broad cooking me chilli con queso’ hopefully see you down the front.
The talented band the CB’s are a part of the album. How did you get them involved in the project?
I put the band together to support the Godfather..Mr Dynamite..Mr please..please..please Jaaaaames Brown!! in 2006 they are cats who have played with Chaka Khan, Mick jagger, Lou reed,Primal scream, Amy Winehouse respectively and are the best men I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with …LOVE DEM.
You must feel happy to have been able to work with or meet so many of the music industry’s finest. However is there one act you as a band would love to collaborate with?
We supported Erykah Badu last jan in New Zealand which was off los scalehausen ,I would love to get her on one our our tracks..she has one currently so who knows its Fatbellybella after all a true one off lady and artist.
Finally guys may we ask where you see the Cuban Brothers in five years time?
Brother we try and live in the moment Archerio has been a buddist since 99 and extols that Sogyal Rimpoche vibe of the ‘now’ hahaha I’m a bit of a basket case but i,m trying to get down with it.
This year we,ve done 4 films,i was the wrongest character in Plan B,s Ill Manors then we all starred in ‘ Cuban fury’ Nick Frost’s film …big UK comedy for next year and I have just wrapped SOL’ with Jane horrocks and Peter Mullan and next week we will have an edit of our film ‘LONG WAY’ a pilgrimage to Bon Scotts grave in Freemantle travelling 3000 miles by car in 14 days so who knows …
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