The curious love affair between Latin Americans and Morrissey has been ongoing for years now, ever since Manchester’s sourest poet transplanted to Los Angeles. A new tour and recording project called Mexrrissey finds a group of Mexican musicians paying tribute to the icon of dissatisfaction in a variety of traditional Mexican musical styles, with stops across the UK, as well as New York and LA.
The idea was cooked up by Camilo Lara, aka Mexican Institute of Sound, and Andy Wood, a London promoter, for the UK’s The Year of Mexico cultural program, and includes musical contributions from artists Cesi Bastida, Chetes, Jay de la Cueva, Alejandro Flores, Ricardo Najera, Alex Escobar, and Sergio Mendoza and Jacob Valenzuela from the band Calexico, Southern California Public Radio program The Frame explains.
“I think that’s been the biggest challenge — translating his lyrics has been incredibly hard work,” Bastida said. “You don’t want to lose the meaning, the feeling of it, and then you realize that the way that he phrases things is so strange. Trying to translate it and at the same time make it fit properly that has been the biggest challenge. But musically it’s amazing.
Lara explained the project, and the love affair, to Billboard.
“There are a lot of shared feelings in Mexican music and Moz songs, so we thought it was a fantastic idea,” she said. “We Mexicans like to suffer and make people suffer. Melodrama, irony, sarcasm — we share those with Morrissey. If Mexico’s top pop art form are the telenovelas, you can see why Mexicans love Morrissey.”
Check out a couple of the songs recorded thus far below.