Julieta Venegas - Biography

Julieta Venegas is a multi-Grammy Award winning Mexican singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentlist, and producer. She was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California with her identical twin and four other siblings. Venegas began studying classical piano at the age of 8, also studying music theory, voice, and cello at La Escuela de Música del Noroeste and across the U.S. border at South Western College in San Diego.


In 1992, Venegas relocated to Mexico City and quickly became an emerging talent in the local music scene. Around this time, Venegas started writing music for plays and took up the accordion. She was an early  member of Mexican ska/punk band Tijuana No! and co-wrote the band's international hit, "Pobre De Ti." Later, Julieta started a band called La Milagrosa and recruited multi-instrumentalist Fratta and composer/arranger Rafael Gonzalez. Soon after, BMG offered her a record deal and she abandoned the idea of starting a band and began to work on her solo album.


In 1997, Venegas released her debut album, Aquí, a collaboration with Argetine producer Gustavo Santaolalla. In addition to writing and singing the songs on the album, she also played piano, guitar, and accordion. The album was released to critical acclaim in Spain, United States, and throughout Latin America. In 1998, Venegas was invited to perform on the De Viva Voz tour alongside fellow Mexican artists Ely Guerra and Aurora y La Academia. The tour saw dates throughout North America and soon after, Venegas supported Los Fabulosos Cadillacs on their Calavera y Diablitos tour which ran through major cities in Spain. Also, during the late '90s, Venegas contributed songs to various soundtracks including Amores Perros and En el País de No Pasa Nada. She is also credited with contributions to albums for artists including Spanish Alternative rockers Enrique Bunbury and Mastretta. 


In 2000, Venegas released her second album Bueninvento. This time around she assembled a backing band of veteran session players including Joe Gore (guitar), Fernando Saunders (bass), Joey Waronker (drums), and Rick Boston (sax, flutes), and brought back producer Gustavo Santaolalla. The outcome was a full-fledged rock en español album. The album's recording was split between Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Monterrey, Mexico. Venegas penned 13 of the album's 14 songs, including a tribute to legendary Mexican singer, Juan Gabriel.


In 2003, Venegas released her third album, Si , which was recorded in Buenos Aires and Madrid with Cachorro Lopez and Coti Sorokin handling producer duties. Venegas and Sorokin co-wrote six of the album's ten songs. The result was a fun, upbeat pop/rock album with big hooks and lush melodies. The album went triple platinum in Mexico, broke the top five on the US Latin Album chart, and spawned four big hits with three reaching numer 1 in Mexico and United States. Subsequently, Venegas earned a Latin Grammy for Best Rock Solo Vocal Album in 2004 and won MTV Music Video Awards for Best Solo Artist, Best Artist (Mexico), and Artist of the Year.


For her next album, Limón y Sal (2006), Venegas again collaborated with producers Coti Sorokin and Cachorro López, hoping to recreate the pop succes of Si. The formula proved right as the lead single, "Me Voy," spent 12 weeks on the Mexican singles chart, went to number one in Spain, broke the top three in Italy, and made the top ten on the U.S. Latin chart. Limón y Sal  spawned a string of pop rock hits ("Eres Para Mí," "Primer Día") that  topped the charts in Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Chile, and Central America. The album  went Top Five in Spain, Top Ten in Switzerland, and Top 200 in the United States. The popularity of the song "Eres Para Mí," helped introduce underground French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux to a global mainstream audience. 


In 2008, Julieta Venegas was invited to perform for MTV Unplugged. The performance aired June 5, 2008 and was the first to be recorded in Mexico. Guest performers included Juan Son, La Mala Rodriguez, Marisa Monte, Natalia Lafourcade, Gustavo Santaolalla and an orchestra of 15 musicians. The recorded album was also released in June and Venegas was named MTV Artist of The Month. Just one month after the release, the album was awarded platinum status for selling more than 100,000 copies in Mexico and gold status for selling more than 50,000 records in Colombia and the United States.


Venegas released her fifth studio album, Otra Cosa, recorded in 2010 with her longtime producer Cachorro López. Otra Cosa was another upbeat pop record full of clever lyrics and memorable melodies, and in classic Julieta Venegas style, an array of instrumentation was used including accordion, programmed beats, guitars and pianos.


On April 9, 2013, Venegas released her sixth studio album, Los Momentos. Much like her previous releases, Venegas covered a lot of ground lyrically, infusing social commentary with stories about rampant drug violence in Mexico. She also pulled from her own life experience with songs about motherhood. Despite some dismal content, Julieta managed to keep the upbeat pop feel she's known for by incorporating more dance production on Los Momentos. On April 16, 2013, Venegas performed to a very full house at Amoeba Hollywood. 

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