When George Pajon, former Black Eyed Peas guitarist and songwriter, met Diego Val, singer and participant in NBC’s "The Voice," they found a combined passion for organic rock music.
Within days of being introduced by a music manager, the two began working on the songs they will debut through their band: Sons of Mariel.
“From the moment we’ve met it’s been great. Good music, good sound,” said Val, who made it through several rounds as a member of Team Cee Lo in "The Voice."
“There is nothing better than knowing that you are playing and you are preforming what you love.”
The pair has been working for about a year on five songs that will be included in their extended play, which is expected to launch later this year.
“We are going to build the album while we are playing and the songs will evolve as the shows get longer and we have to cover more time,” said Pajon, who spent about 13 years with the Black Eyed Peas. “Even if we have to do it the old fashioned way, one fan at a time.”
Their songs will be recorded in English and Spanish in order to reach a broader audience while representing their Latin roots.
“I want us to be the first Latin American band that goes worldwide,” said Val, who is originally from Peru. “Right now there is nothing like that band-wise.”
Pajon said an important part of the band came from realizing the need to be bilingual. The two are hoping to produce unique music that can be relevant to both Latin Americans and the general audience.
“Because our parents left their homelands, we now have the opportunity to do this,” said Pajon, a Cuban-American. “We are the first people in our families to be legal in the United States. The first generation of our families that have the right to be artists.”
The band has decided to keep their songs private, they debuted the band in a performance in Los Angeles and are coming to Miami. They have also made public their song “I Told You,” which is only available through an internet video.
“The only way to hear us is to come and see us,” said Pajon, who is enjoying the smaller performances compared to the venues he was used to performing in with the Black Eyed Peas. “For 13 years I was traveling in first class with the Peas, but this is different it’s our baby, it’s my passion, my love.”
The Sons of Mariel will have various performances in Miami this week, including a show at PAX and a performance at the Hispanicize conference. After Miami, the band will travel back to California, performing in various states on the way back.
“It’s here, we are going to do this,” said Val. “We have everything in our hands to make it happen. It’s just a matter of staying focused and doing what we love.”
To find performances of Sons of Mariel click here.