JULIETA VENEGAS was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California. She started her musical training by studying classical piano as from the age of eight. Daughter of Mexican parents, who are...Expand
JULIETA VENEGAS was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California. She started
her musical training by studying classical piano as from the age of eight.
Daughter of Mexican parents, who are professional photographers, JULIETA
VENEGAS was the only one of five children that chose to get into music.
Along with piano lessons, she also started taking theory, singing and
violoncello classes at Northeaster Music School and South Western College,
in San Diego, which she alternated with her high school studies.
She also took cello lessons with private tutors, enriching her training and
Through a high school friend, JULIETA VENEGAS was invited to play with the
group “Chantaje”, the predecessor of “Tijuana No”; bands that played ska and
reggae. The group lasted two years. JULIETA VENEGAS, however, continued
playing now and then with Luis Güereña and Alex Zúñiga from “Chantaje”, with
whom she composed the song “Pobre de ti”, a song which made the band
As a teenager, JULIETA VENEGAS began composing very productively her songs
with a unique personal style, and although she does not have any strongly
marked influences she did enjoy listening to Suzanne Vega, David Bowie,
Prince and Charly García.
In 1992 she ventured into musical theater, participating in “Sirenas de
corazón” by Edward Coward, then playing at the National Theater in
When she was about to turn 22, she moved to Mexico City in search of a more
fulfilling environment. There she met Fratta, Café Tacuba and other artists,
who helped her put together her career.
In 1995, JULIETA VENEGAS was asked to compose the music for the play
“Calígula probablemente” by Francisco Franco, which ran for nearly twelve
months. At the same time she formed a band called “Lula” and started playing
the accordion, an instrument she also began doing musical arrangements for.
Later she formed “La Milagrosa” with Fratta and Rafa González, a project
that became, simply, JULIETA VENEGAS; a young musician and composer who in
1996 signed a contract with BMG and started recording her first solo album
entitled “AQUÍ”. This effort was recorded in Los Angeles, California, and
produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, who in addition to writing some of the
songs, played the accordion, piano, guitar and vibraphone.
“AQUÍ”, released in 1997, was the result of five years of work. Great
friends and prominent musicians such as Joselo & Quique Rangel (Café
Tacuba), Rafael González (Botellita de Jérez) and Patricio Iglesias (Santa
Sabina) participated in this musical production. The album was released in
Spain, the U.S. and several Latin American countries.
“Como sé”, “De mis pasos” and ”Andamos huyendo” were among the songs that
came off from this record, with which JULIETA VENEGAS became internationally
renowned and took her placed as one of the most prominent rock music
With this debut album, JULIETA VENEGAS was awarded the Nuestro Rock prize
for “Best New Record” in 1997 and playing the accordion, participated in the
recording of the Enanitos Verdes’ “Tracción Acústica” album.
A year later, the MTV channel awarded Venegas the “Best Female Performance
Award” for the video “Como sé”, directed by Francisco Franco. She also went
on the “De viva voz” tour with Ely Guerra and “Aurora y la Academia”, which
gave her the chance to perform at several Mexico City area universities as
well as do shows in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez and
Chicago, gaining broad recognition from the public.
In 1998, VENEGAS also participated in the “Calaveras y diablitos” Tour,
performing on stage in Spain, where she played alongside the “Fabulosos
Cadillacs” and “Aterciopelados”, in cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca
In 1999, JULIETA VENEGAS participated in several major international
festivals: in June at the “Midem Americas Festival”, in Miami; in September
at the Festival Generación “Ñ”, held in Granada, Spain (where she shared the
stage with Enrique Bumbury and “Pastilla”); in October she performed at the
“Outdoor Rock Festival in Bogotá”, Colombia and at the “El Hatillo” festival
in Caracas, Venezuela.
Along with these performances, JULIETA VENEGAS, playing the accordion,
participated in the video version of the very Mexican song “Infinito”,
included on the Enrique Bunbury album.
VENEGAS was also invited by Spanish musician Mastretta to participate in the
recording of the “Luna de miel” album, to perform a song with the same name,
which was released in Spain by Subterfuge, the record company responsible
for the success of groups such as “Dover” and “Fangoria”. Spanish singers
such as Alaska (Fangoria), Ana Belén, Ajo (Mil Dolores Pequeños), among
others, also participated in the project.
This same year also marks the incursion of this young musician and
songwriter into the movies, composing music for the film “En el país de no
pasa nada”, directed by María del Carmen de Lara, in which she performs the
songs “Lo que perdí” (composed by VENEGAS, with musical arrangements by
Jacobo Lieberman),“Mala leche” (written by Liliana Felipe and Jesusa
Rodríguez and composed by Jacobo Lieberman) and “Ay” (by Julieta Venegas and
JULIETA VENEGAS wrote and composed the song “Me van a matar”, which she
produced together with Quique & Emmanuel of Café Tacuba, for “Amores
perros”, a movie by Alejandro González Iñárritu that won the Award for Best
Feature during the Critics’ Week in Cannes, France. This song was recorded
in Mexico City and mixed in Los Angeles by Joe Chiccarelli.
She stepped away from this type of activities in order to prepare for her
second album, which she worked on for a year, beginning in the summer or 99.
The album, “Bueninvento”, was cut in Los Angeles, California, and produced
by Gustavo Santaolalla, with whom VENEGAS teamed up once again. She also
worked again with Quique Rangel and Emmanuel de Real on production, and with
Toy Hernandez and Joe Chiccarelli, on mixing.
“Bueninvento” was recorded between October of 1999 and January 2000 in
Mexico City and Monterrey and then mixed in Los Angeles. The lyrics and
music are by JULIETA VENEGAS and include a very personal version of the song
“Siempre en mi mente”, written by Juan Gabriel.
The following musicians also contributed to this musical effort: Joe Gore on
guitar (Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and Lisa Germano), Joey Waronker on drums
(Beck, R.E.M, Smashing Pumpkins), Fernando Saunders on bass (Lou Reed), Rick
Boston, who played with Rickie Lee Jones and Steve Berlin on saxophone and
flute (Los Lobos).
In 2000, she performed for the first time in Italy, at Arezzo Wave, an
important alternative music festival, where other artists such as “Asian Dub
Foundation”, “Henry Rollins” and the Brazilian “Lenine” also performed.
She also participated in the “Revolución” tour with Jaguares, Jubo, La
Gusana Ciega and Lisa Flores. She was invited to participate on the
“Demasiado amor” soundtrack, by Ernesto Rimoch, singing two different
versions of “Acaríciame”, one arranged by the composer Joan Valent, the
other by Mastretta, who also participated in “Sueño del caimán”
(Spain-Mexico) by Beto Gómez.
She also participated in the fair at Hannover as part of Music Bridges
Around de World, which brought together composers from Egypt, the U.S.,
Chile, Australia and Korea to write songs and perform them at the Hannover
In 2001 along with Aterciopelados (Colombia), Gabriela Epumer (Argentina)
and others, she participated in the Fémina Rock tour performing in several
She was nominated for two Latin Grammys, in the “Best Rock Song” (“Hoy no
quiero”), and “Best Rock Album” (Bueninvento) categories. She also
participated in the tribute to Los Tigres del Norte singing a unique version
of “La jaula de oro”.
She was invited by Spanish songwriter Pedro Guerra to perform a duet for the
song “Niños” on his “Ofrenda” album. She was also asked by Spanish composer
Mastretta to sing “Música de automóvil” for the album with the same name.
In May 2002 she performed at the “Cubadisco” festival in Havana, Cuba. In
October of the same year she sang at the “XXX Festival Internacional
Cervantino”, a concert that paid tribute to the “Tigres del Norte”, along
with “Molotov” and “La Barranca”. In November she was invited by the ska
group “Los de Abajo” to perform the song “Skapate” on their “Latin Ska
She also performed on the “Sounds Eclectic Too” album by the prestigious
radio program “Morning Becomes Eclectic”, with a live version of “Casa
abandonada”, on KCRW in Los Angeles, alongside artists like Nick Cave, Dido
and Zero 7.
In 2003 she was invited to sing on several film soundtracks, among them:
“Asesino en serio” (México) by Antonio Urrutia, in which she sings “El
listón de tu pelo”, a duo with Pau Dones from “Jarabe de Palo”; “María llena
eres de gracia” (Colombia-US), by Joshua Marston, for which she composed “Lo
que venga después”; “Subterra” (Chile), by Marcelo Ferrari, for which she
composed “Lo que tú me das” which she sings as a duo with Chilean singer &
rapper Ana Maria Tijoux.
She was invited by composer/producer Víctor Manuel to play a part in “Entre
todas las mujeres”, a special tribute to Joaquín Sabina, together with
singers like Chavela Vargas, Rosario, Ana Belén and Pasión Vega.
In September she participated in the “El sueño existe” concert, a tribute to
Salvador Allende, at the National Stadium of Chile, together with Chilean
and international artists such as Gilberto Gil, “Los Prisioneros”, León
Gieco and Silvio Rodriguez.
“Sí” is the title of her third album, half of which was recorded in Madrid
and half in Buenos Aires. Coti Sorokin and Cachorro López produced this
effort. Julieta co-produced the entire project.
After it was released, “Sí” became an immediate hit. As of now, it has sold
more than 550,000 copies and the singles “Andar conmigo”, “Lento” and “Algo
está cambiando”, have occupied the top spot on Latin American radio.
In 2006, Julieta Venegas presented her “Limón y sal” album, co-produced by
Venegas and Cachorro López. Three songs, “No seré”, “De que me sirve” and
“No hace falta”, were co-produced by Venegas and Coti Sorokin.
“Limón y sal” contains 13 songs, most of them (both lyrics and music)
written by Julieta herself, assisted by de Anita Tijoux, Dante, Jorge
Villamizar and Coti Sorokin. The latter is the co-author of three songs
included on the album.
Besides being released in Mexico, the U.S. and Latin America, it has enjoyed
wide acceptance in Italy, Switzerland and Spain. The effort has sold more
than 850,000 copies worldwide, as well as gone platinum in Mexico, Spain and
Argentina and gold in Central America, Venezuela and Colombia.
At the end of 2007, Julieta Venegas released “Realmente lo mejor”, a
collection album, that brings together songs that reached the top spot on
radio charts and which, of course, were able to turn her into one of the
best Mexican musical artists of the last decade.
She released her album “MTV Unplugged” in 2008, recorded in Mexico City, which features important collaborations by Gustavo Santaolalla, Natalia Lafourcade, Juan Son, La Mala Rodríguez, and Marisa Monte, among others. Said record placed her in the Platinum Record category in Mexico, and she was able to establish herself as singer/songwriter, musician, and producer, all of which was undertaken with great passion by her for this project. She was appointed Unicef Embassador for Mexico on September 30, 2009. In 2010, she presented her production titled “Otra Cosa”, which had been directed and carried out by Julieta Venegas and Cachorro López. Said project reached high sales records in Mexico and abroad and enabled the artist to be present at numerous international events.
In 2013, she toured Spain and Switzerland with some of the tracks from the album “Los Momentos”, to be released on March 19. She is getting ready to present this record soon in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the United States. With this album, Julieta has become the first Latino artist to stream her music on iTunes, allowing her audiences to visit the digital store, listen to the record one week prior to its release in the Latin American region and Spain, and giving them the choice to obtain the record on pre-sale at a special price. The album reached the top 3 positions for the entire region and became number 1 in Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
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