The Caliente Column

Mojado: Angelitos Como Siempre
By Doug Shannon (

Whatever faults the members of Grupo Mojado may have, one thing is
certain--they don't drink or smoke.

This young, well-dressed six-man group from Matamoros, Tamaulipas is
signed to FonoVisa. We spoke with Felipe Barrientos, the group's
director and guitarist.

"We've never smoked nor drank ever since we started the group," he said.
"When we're performing or rehearsing we're always very sharp."

But what about the musicians who say that a little bit of liquor "never
lets them lose their place"?

"No, that's not true because you'll start losing your feelings," Barrientos
said. "Some drink when their throat is cold, but after a while it becomes
a habit and after a while longer it becomes an illness."

Mojado's newest CD is called "Pensando En Ti," and several of its songs
were writted by winners of a songwriting contest sponsored by Furia Musical

"These songs have worked well for us," Barrientos said. "It was the whole
group's idea to utilize amateur composers, those that have lyrics occur
to them at home. We'll do this again in a few more years so that the
people can participate."

One of the winning songs, "Tu Pierdes Mas," written by E. Chavez Marquez,
just finished a 3-month run on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks Chart where it
reached the top 15.

Some of the group's other hits include "Yo Ya No Quiero," "Te Felicito,"
and their two most famous cumbias, "Tonta" and "La Gorda." Mojado's
vocalist, Jose Luis Davila, likes to say that he prefers to dance with
gordas. We asked Barrientos where that notion came from.

"That idea was hatched by Alejandro Mixi, the composer from Matamoros.
who also wrote 'Me Gustan Gordas,' on our new CD."

Barrientos is also known for his songwriting talents--he wrote "Enamorados"
for PEGASSO del POLLO ESTEVAN and the hit "La Trampa" for ANA BARBARA.

"With 'La Trampa,' some have asked me, 'Wouldn't it have been better to
save it for Mojado?' since it's done so well. But Ana is my friend and
I've wanted to do something special for her for a long time," he said.

"She sang it with her heart--the song was about a situation that had
actually happened to her. She told me about it, I wrote the song, and
we took it from there."

But despite his popularity as a composer, he said he wouldn't consider
leaving the group to become a soloist.

"I don't have a pleasant singing voice," he said. "That's why, when
I started the group, I decided to look for a singer like Jose Luis
Davila, who has a very pleasant voice. We should progress as a group
and not be individualists. That's how a group should be."

Barrientos is 30 years old. He's been married before, but he is currently
single. He said that the group still hadn't decided what musical styles
they would use on their next album.

(Many thanks to Yrene Corona Soto for her help in preparing this article.)