Juntos la vida es mejor – “together life is better” sing Gina Chavez and Nancy Sanchez in their new release Juntos Together, a song that could not be more appropriate for today”.
In their hands the Alex Bendaña song gleefully celebrates our freedom to once again sing, hug and dance together, delivering an anthem for what is hopefully a new age of community that treasures being as they sing, “cerca de ti” – near you.
I have followed all three collaborators separately for years – the two singers and the songwriter/producer — and am delighted to see them team up. I first saw Chavez live almost 7 years ago in a small club in San Francisco and was hooked. I knew immediately that she was a star and a world changer. I discovered Nancy Sanchez about the same time and have joyfully attended her concerts and positively reviewed her music, including her extraordinary album La Gran Civilization – which is now my standard for bilingual pop and rap. And of course, I went to see Alex Bendaña and La Santa Cecelia every chance I got, from the tiny stage at the Grammy Museum in LA to the Hollywood Bowl.
Juntos Together is an important step forward for all three artists. Even the song’s bi-lingual name signals a timely message of diversity by joining two languages together in one title. Deftly combining Mexican accordion by Jose “Pepe” Carlos from La Santa Cecelia, a jaunty beat, flowing harmonies, English and Spanish lyrics, Sanchez and Chavez have given birth to an anthem that is also a danceable earworm with memorable hooks – no easy feat. The voices work perfectly together: Chavez’s signature melodic urgency intertwining with Nancy’s jazz-honed crystal clear notes as counterpoint in the verses and blending in the background vocals.
The production by Alex Bendaña hits the mark, filling out the song written by the three of them with his own bass, vihuela, tres, synth, keys and guitar work. He blends it all with programmed drums and percussion to give the song its bouncy movement and hooky beats. Which is one reason Target is using the song as the music for its new ad campaign “Lo Que Valoramos; No Debe Costar Mas” promoting diversity and community. As they sing, “It’s a new day/It’s a new age/You and me will find a way to communicate, you know that is the answer.
While the Delta variant of Covid-19 is causing a pullback in some of our gatherings, when we listen to Juntos Together we feel the lyric “la electricidad fluir por mis venas” – the electricity of human contact that flows through our veins. Juntos Together is truly the right song at the right time to bring community back. Chavez and Sanchez and Bendaña are exactly right: juntos la vida es mejor – life is better together.