A multicultural vocal group fusing pop, R&B, dance music, and hip-hop in a breezy, user-friendly manner, Los 5 were formed by lead singer Juan Pablo Casillas and guitarist Ismael Cano, Jr. Casillas was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and relocated to Aurora, Colorado when he was 13 years old. After graduating from high school, Casillas moved to California and began pursuing a career in music. He began recording videos of himself singing and posted them online; he also began studying at Hollywood's Musicians Institute, where he crossed paths with Cano. Like Casillas, Cano was born in Mexico, in his case in Querétaro, and he and his family made their way to Los Angeles when he was 18. Cano studied music at the Crystal Cathedral Performing Arts High School before he signed on at the Musicians Institute, and after meeting Casillas, the two began writing songs together.
Matt Rey, the group's rap vocalist, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at age eight he and his family moved to Aurora, Colorado; he and Casillas got to know one another, and years later, when they crossed paths in Los Angeles, Casillas invited Rey to join his new project. Bassist Hector Rodriguez hails from Monterrey, Mexico, and he and his family pulled up stakes and made a home in Los Angeles when he was 15. Rodriguez and Cano are cousins, and when Ismael remembered that Hector was a talented guitarist, he persuaded him to switch over to bass so he could join the new band. With the addition of drummer Luis Gustavo, the lineup was complete, and the group began playing shows under the name the Wavelength.
Music business veteran Terry Anzaldo saw the Wavelength play a showcase; he was immediately impressed and struck a deal to manage the fledgling band. They soon adopted the catchier handle Los 5, and after Gustavo left the band, they brought aboard Tomas Slemenson, was was born in São Paulo, Brazil and came to California to study at the Musicians Institute when he was 19. The band landed a deal with Virgin Records, and they released their first single, "Mexico," in June 2014. The group struck out on their own for their second single, "Mañana," which was released in May 2016 on their own Los5 label. And in May 2016, they released a five-song EP titled Meet Los 5. ~ Mark Deming
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