Friday, August 1, 2014

Cantando en el Whataburger

Juan Moya, Luz Garcia y Aaron Alberto Barrios. 
At the end of June was when I first saw it. A friend of mine shared it on my Facebook timeline, knowing I would like it. Then it began popping up throughout the Summer, from various friends and pages I followed online. When I was talking to a local musician recently, he eagerly asked me if I had seen it.

To those out there that know what I'm talking about, yes, "Cantando en el Whataburger" is awesome. To those that don't, let's start from the beginning.

The idea for the video came from Juan Moya, a fifteen-year old student of Roma High School, while he was browsing online.

"I was watching some videos on YouTube, of some guys that would go to Burger King," Moya said. "Los Hermanos Marias, but they would only play corridos. I wanted to play a song at Whataburger, but I wanted to play the order."

Moya has been picking at the bajo-sexto for four years. One friend he regularly plays with is Luz Garcia, an eighteen-year old who has been squeezing the accordion for ten years now.

The two first met four years ago.

"My dad era tapicero (was a upholsterer)," Moya said. "Y le tapizo unas straps for his accordion. My dad told his dad that I played the bajo-sexto. So my dad invited Luz to come to my house so we could play together."

Moya started pushing for his idea to become a reality a few days after Garcia graduated from Roma High School. Garcia felt a bit hesitant at first since it was near midnight, on a weeknight.

"I didn't want to go cause it was all late," Garcia said. "The next day I had to go to the Summer program, as a teacher's aide."

The two contacted Aaron Alberto Barrios, a twenty-year old who has been singing since the age of three. Barrios first met the pair while attending Roma High School.

After hearing Moya's plan, Barrios' reply was simple.

"Les dige, 'Pos vamos'," ("I told them, 'Let's go',") Barrios said.

The three got together that night, and started composing their food order in the form of a song.

How long did it take them to work on the lyrics?

"En un ratito nomás," ("In a short while,") Garcia said. "Just like 30 minutes, at most."

It was past midnight, and the musical trio hopped into a car to. Joining them was Joel Garcia, who was shooting one angle of the video. Barrios shot from a different angle on his cell phone.

They arrived to the Whataburger drive-thru in Roma.

"I guess we were nervous, I was nervous," laughs Garcia.

Moya, who was playing the guitar for this occasion, begins by requesting a number five. Garcia, with his accordion, and Barrios follow, requesting a number thirteen and number one respectively.

As their Spanish-song concludes, Barrios asks the Whataburger employee if she understood the order. She answers back with the total amount due.

When they drove to the window, they were informed that she wasn't the only one that heard their performance.

"They put it on the intercom, so everyone in the restaurant could hear," Moya said.

"Cantando en el Whataburger" was uploaded on YouTube by Barrios on June 4. The same video was then uploaded by many different users on Facebook's video service in the weeks that followed. Moya notes that it took two to three weeks for it to become a hit.

"All of sudden, people started sharing it," Moya said. "My mom didn't believe it."

As the video grew in popularity, Garcia looked for an explanation.

"I thought it was because it was on Aaron's page, and he gets a lot of followers," Garcia said. "But no, it was because I guess it was good."

Barrios was in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon when he found out the video had gone viral.

"Realmente, yo no me imagine que este video fuera pegar tan fuerte," ("Really I didn't imagine that this video would be such a hit,") Barrios said.

The one share on Facebook that took all of them by surprise was by musician and comedian Chingo Bling. Bling wrote, "These kids are my heroes! Best way to order at the drive-thru! JAJAJAJAJA #CHIDO #FERIATEAM."

"Nos hablo que esta interesado en nosotros, en hacer un video con nosotros," ("He called us saying that he's interested in us, in making a video with us,") Barrios claims. "Me senti bien orgulloso." ("I felt very proud.")

On YouTube, the video currently has over 51,000 views and 1000 likes. Since it was posted by so many, it's hard to tab how many likes, shares, and comments the video has received on Facebook. However, the one posted by Bling has over 17,000 likes, 16,000 shares, and 2,000 comments.

Past the talk of their video phenomenon, Garcia and Moya dream of recording their first CD in the future. Barrios, who has sung with Mexican music star Gerardo Ortiz, is currently working on finalizing a CD by the end of 2014.

Earlier this week the three, along with their tuba-playing buddy Roberto Garza, got in front of the camera once again for a new video performing "Mi Padrino el Diablo". Before Summer closes out, we might be seeing even more cool videos from these talented musicians in Starr County.

"Si le gusto a la gente, pos por que no?" ("If the people like it, well why not?") Barrios said, when asked if they are interested in shooting new videos. "Hay que seguir haciendo mas videos!" ("We will continue to make more videos!")

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