Though Banda Los Sebastianes has become a mainstay of Sinaloa's banda popular scene since 2014, few outside the world of Mexican Regional Music know that the Mazatlán group has been recording and touring together since 2004. This large, ever-evolving large band came together under the direction of composer, singer, and songwriter Armando Paul Celis. He assembled the group from a large cast of top-flight veteran musicians from other acts who all shared the desire to inject new energy into the banda movement. Due to that modus operandi, personnel has shifted almost constantly.
After rehearsing and playing a few gigs, Banda Los Sebastianes cut their independent debut, Que Hago Yo, to sell through local shops and at shows. They played anywhere and everywhere they could, opening for other touring acts in and around Mazatlán as well as weddings and festivals. They followed it in 2007 with No Te Olvido Yo. It included two locally popular singles -- now considered among their greatest hits -- "A Ese Ladrón" and "El Mmm." Radio airplay increased and they began to play shows outside Sinaloa. In order to keep fresh material in front of the public, Banda Los Sebastianes issued a series of digital and YouTube singles including "En la Cima del Cielo," "Estoy Sangrando Tu Amor," and "Un Loco." 2010's full-length Corridos Adictivos widened their reputation nationally and garnered interest from radio and the internet from the Southwestern United States.
2012 proved to be their Mexican breakthrough. They released third album Empire, and its first single, "Piénsalo Bien," launched the album into the Monitor Latino Top 40. They followed it with the Espinosa Paz-written single "El Rock del Triste," which also charted. The quickly recorded fourth album Aferrado hit the Top 20 in January 2013, followed by the single "El Que Sigue de Mi," which cracked the Latino Monitor's Top Ten. Substantial radio airplay came their way and the video for the single "Vas a Sufrir" went viral. Banda Los Sebastianes issued their fifth album, Gracias a Ti that same year, behind the single "Sinceramente." (Celis even underwent surgery on his vocal cords as a result of all the activity.)
2014 began with a bang: They released the hit narcocorrido single "La Captura del Chapo" followed by "Hoy Toca," that featured vocalist Liz Clapés in a guest role. They were nominated for both Premios Bandamax and Mejor Banda Juvenil awards and signed with the major Fonovisia. At the very end of that year, Celis enlisted 17-year old singer Rafael Kelly Diaz as a third co-lead vocalist with himself and Paul Ortega -- no doubt to reduce the wear and tear on his own voice. The effect on their profile was electrifying. In the run-up to the release of their label debut Indeleble, the title track single landed inside the Top 40 of the Billboard Mexican Songs Chart, and the video racked up hundreds of thousands of views. The band toured the U.S. Mexico, and received massive acclaim for the recording, which also featured a pair of team-up tracks with Los Titanes de Durango. In June of 2016, they issued their seventh album, Luces, Camara y Accion. The title track was released as its first single and landed inside the Top 20. It remained there for more than 18 weeks. The band's prolific run continued into 2018 with the release of the 22-track En Vida album. ~ Thom Jurek