Mexico's Grupo Kual are a charting tropical-style band that have, since 2002, developed a unique panoramic sound that melds regional Mexican sounds with folk and pop styles from Colombian, Peruvian, Cuban, and Caribbean traditions. They've performed on stages across Mexico and the United States, and have scored chart success with the singles "Rumba Kimbumba," "Las Mujeres No Se Akaban," "Rumba Cha Cha Cha," "Soy Maraquero," "La Chicharrita del Kafé," and "El Pájaro Zinzontle." Their albums have sold in the millions.
All members hail from the town of San Juan de Aragón, located above Mexico City. They spent a year rehearsing and playing gigs, which included performances at high-profile venues such as La Plaza de Toros, El Estadio Azteca, and El Neza. The public's enthusiastic reception led to the production of their album and, more importantly, the single "Rumba Frenesí." Radio on both sides of the Mexican border picked up the song and the group played its first U.S. shows the following year in California (in front of an audience of 10,000 at Los Angeles Sport Arena), Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Phoenix. Their debut album, 2004's Reyes de la Cumbia Sonidera en Mexico, established their reputation across Mexico and the U.S. for its meld of rhumbas, rancheras, and cumbias. They capitalized on their success with the live Korazon Enamorado USA a few months later.
In 2006, a split album, Para Que la Cuña Apriete, with Grupo Kien, was followed by their own Para Que la Cuña Apriete, which included the hit "Cumbia San Juanera." All the while, Grupo Kual seldom left the road. The not only played shows but wrote and arranged new material even as they soaked up more influences from their travels. The band signed to Sony for 2007's Recargado, which netted the singles "Cumbia San Juanera," "La Pava Congona," and "Delirio de Amor." Grupo Kual continued to tour but didn't record for a decade. They took a long break, and the members all participated in other projects. In 2016, interest in Grupo Kual was rekindled when they were featured on the Discos America duo album Oro Sonidero with Telez, and they reissued their own Lo Nuevo y lo Mejor offering — essentially a re-recording of their hits. Discos America issued 22 Hits in 2017. ~ Thom Jurek