New York – La Cuneta Son Machin’s first ever concert was during a street festival in their native Nicaragua in August 2009. They were hanging out at Carlos Mejia’s house in Managua when a procession of the city's patron saint, Santo Domingo, started approaching and they quickly decided to put on a show.
Every year they commemorate their anniversary with a free concert. This August, however, they could also be celebrating as Grammy winners.
The cumbia-metal-rock band received this year Nicaragua’s first ever Grammy nomination for their third album, “Mondongo,” in the hodgepodge category Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.
They are up against Pitbull’s “Dale”; “Amanecer” by Bomba Estereo (who released a remix with Will Smith last year); “Hasta la Raiz” by Natalia Lafourcade (who got four Latin Grammy awards in November); and Monsieur Perine’s “Caja de Musica.”
“It was a surprise for the band and for the country,” band member Carlos Mejia told Fox News Latino on Friday. “We are presenting our music and our country to the world and the stories that we are telling.”
The band is made up of Mejia, who is the son of famed Nicaraguan folkorico singer Carlos Mejia Godoy, his brother Augusto Mejia, their cousin Carlos Guillen, and friends Cesar Rodriguez, Fabio Buitrago and Omar Suazo. They are all young but seasoned musicians who grew up playing everything from jazz to rock and folklore.
They combined a mixture of cumbias with metal and rock before incorporating more hip-hop and "folkorico" sounds that began captivating an audience in Nicaragua who wanted more than traditional sounds or electronic music from abroad.
“We come from a generation that was in transition from political music to the new thing. We preserved the necessity to tell a story,” Augusto Mejia told LA Weekly. “Instead of rejecting what people call ‘popular music,’ we’re trying to incorporate those rhythms into our own sound. In Nicaragua, despite all its problems, there’s an interest in telling the story of our country through music quality enough to compete on an international level."
Carlos Mejia echoed his brother, saying that the younger generations were “turned off” by the traditional music of Nicaragua, but by adding the new sounds, the band was “able to break the prejudices against cumbia music.”
For “Mondongo” – also the name of the title track named after a tripe soup – the band made a great effort to make a quality album, traveling to San Francisco and working with famed Latin music producer Greg Landau.
“For this album we really tried to do a good job and being all together for the entire process – because some of the band members have ‘normal jobs’ – made us closer as a band,’ Carlos Mejia said.
As for the Grammy nomination, the band is anxiously waiting for the results on Monday night, even though they know that they are the underdog against the heavy-hitters in Latin music.
“We are full of energy now to record a new album,” Carlos Mejia told FNL. “We are celebrating – although we are going to take the award home.”
The 58th Annual Grammy Awards air live from Los Angeles at 8 p.m. EST/ 5 p.m. PT on CBS.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.
Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang