Remmy Valenzuela is a chart-topping singer, songwriter, and accordionist who has been wowing audiences with his savvy recordings and impressive stage show since he was 15 years old. A progenitor of the alternative corrido and banda movements, he embraces and expands upon the rich traditions that permeate the music of Northwestern Mexico. While he began self-releasing his recordings in 2008, his first chart and radio hit was the 2013 single "Te Olvidare," which landed inside the Top 40 at Regional Mexican Songs, paving the way for his number four smash "Te Tocó Perder" a year later, which opened the gateway to success on streaming charts as well. In 2014, De Alumno a Maestro went all the way to number one on both the Top Latin Albums and Regional Mexican Albums charts and earned a place in the Top 200. His next album, Mi Vida en Vida, also topped the charts during the same year. The complexity of his arrangements, denoted by shifting time signatures, virtuoso accordion playing, and fronted by his festive, slightly reedy tenor voice proved an irresistible combination at radio where he quickly became a standard bearer for corridos and bandas. He delivered album number five, Mi Princesa, which included the cross-charting single "¿Por qué Me Ilusionaste?" that registered with many critics in Latin America and the United States (including Ben Ratliff of the New York Times) as one of the best Latin songs of the year. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best Norteño album category, though Ariel Camacho won. By age 22, Valenzuela had cheated death twice, the first time in a horrifying car accident, and the second after being caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between Mexican Federales and gunmen from a drug cartel where he was shot in the intestines and kidney. Emergency surgery saved his life but left him without one of his organs. Undaunted after a long recovery, he jumped right back into work, touring, appearing on television, and of course, recording. His 2016 date Con Tololoche registered six weeks on the albums charts and climbed to number four. Valenzuela dropped the pre-release single and video for "Mendiras" in February of 2019. The video rang up millions of views while the track landed inside the Top Ten on Mexican Regional and Latin streaming charts.
Remigio Alejandro Valenzuela Buelna was born in 1991 in the town of Guasave, Sinaloa. He began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12 -- drums are especially significant because of the often-shifting time signatures in his songs.
Valenzuela began playing the kit with other youngsters in a band called Los Estudents, in which he was the youngest member. It was with this group that he began to establish a name for himself as a vocalist as well as a drummer. Astonished that he could get paid for doing what he loved, he photocopied the first check he received as a musician.
At age 13, Valenzuela began teaching music in the city school he attended. He sat in with older musicians and began working with his own groups.
After relocating to Los Mochis, he also took up the accordion. Still in school, he and some classmates independently recorded the single "Amandotes," which received local radio airplay and was eventually heard throughout the region. After appearing in dozens of local song competitions and talent shows sponsored by radio and television, he established a reputation across Mexico that reached into the Southwestern region of the United States.
His accordion playing reached the level of virtuoso before he was 20. As a songwriter, his clever knack of combining street-savvy, romantic themes, fashion sensibilities, party themes, and humor, combined with his playing and unusual manner of mixing banda, norteño, and cumbia, made him a favorite. He cut his debut album, 15 Corridos de Alto Novel in 2008; it was issued independently and followed by a pair of live albums. His next studio offering, Fondo Profundo, was issued in 2011, followed by La Fiesta del Tamarindo, and Mi Vida en Vida in 2012. His title video for the lead single for 2013's Te Olvidaré became a hit single in Mexico, and received significant attention in the United States as well as Central and South America. He was signed to Fonovisa later that year. In early 2014, his first single for the label, "Te Tocó Perder," cracked the Billboard Mexican Regional Songs and Airplay charts. It was followed by the album Alumno a Maestro in June, which hit the top spot on Billboard's Mexican Regional Albums chart within two weeks of release. Just three months later, his label released Mi Vida en Vida, a compilation of his romantic hits that also hit the top spot. Valenzuela was off to the races. Mi Princesa followed a year later, eventually garnering a Top Five spot at Mexican Regional Albums and Top Latin albums and netted him a Latin Grammy nomination. Meanwhile, his concert appearances became sold-out attractions. 2016's reissue of 2010's Con Tololoche appeared in June in greatly expanded and remastered form, and peaked at number six; it spent more time in the Top Ten than his previous outings. A live album, 10 Años Para Ti en Vivo, was released the following year as Valenzuela continued touring and making media appearances. In the spring of 2019 he dropped "Mentiras," his first single in three years. Its video garnered millions of views and the track registered inside the Top Ten on radio and streaming charts. In the spring of 2019, Valenzuela joined singer Marc Antonio Solis on-stage during the latter's tour of Mexico. ~ Thom Jurek