Latin folk group Tayua takes inspiration from the past with a dash of the present as it creates for the future.
The members of the six-person band said they are influenced by what their parents listened to, their music reflecting a past generation while drawing influences from contemporary music.
What they’ve done is take a traditional sound in a new direction for a new generation and showcased it in their self-titled Spanish-language debut album released last May.
Humber Bachelor of Music graduates, Daniela Garcia, 22, and Arianna Rueda, 22, met in high school. Eventually they began covering folk songs found on YouTube. After a few performances at Thrive Café, they decided they needed a fuller sound.
Along with the Humber alums, the band has Bryden Chernoff, 23, on percussion and Michael Murray, 23, on guitar, as well as two current music-program students: multi-instrumentalist Nico Frangini, 26, and Marina López, 18, on back-up vocals and bass.
The band’s Latin-inflected musical fusion reflects the mixture of different musical backgrounds of the band members themselves. Additionally, the music they make is drawn from past generations while also mixing current North American sounds.
“A lot of stuff that we’re doing is pretty much a reflection of previous generation. In between there are certain elements that help the folklore movement,” said Frangini, the band’s multi-instrumentalist.
“It became a inter-Latin-American fusion thing.”
“What we try and do is take it a step further and maybe add jazz, some North American stuff in it. African stuff as well to take it in a new direction as a new generation,” Frangini continued.
Tayua fits into the folk scene in Toronto, but Frangini said no other band in their age group is doing what they’re doing with it.
Rueda added that writing their songs in Spanish allows for deeper and more expressive lyrics.
“The language in Spanish, how you write, is more free. You can say many things that don’t sound the same in English, and use many metaphors,” she said.
“Especially, most of our songs are very influenced by imagery. It’s almost like you’re telling a story but it’s very picturesque,” Rueda continued.
Garcia said a lot of the writing of the album had to do with self-realization as young people with influences of magic realism.
Although the Internet and social media now play a major role for most musical acts, Tayua is still as focused on live shows. Since their time together, they have played all over Toronto and recently in Stratford, Ont., with each show a stepping-stone to new opportunities.
They were even approached by a team member of NDP candidate, Olivia Chow, to record a jingle in Spanish and English for Latin radio for her Toronto mayoral campaign in 2014.
Tayua’s focus right now is to plan a tour for next summer.
“Our music keeps evolving,” said Chernoff. “We keep writing more songs, growing with more influences. Ideally, we’re trying to target not just Latin Americans but North Americans as well because our music is quite beautiful and could speak to all demographics.”
Their debut album is now available for purchase on their website www.tayua.com.