Fuerza Regida are a media-savvy, chart-topping Mexican regional quartet. They are progenitors of the "requinto urbano" style, alongside their Rancho Humilde labelmates Legado 7. This is acoustic music played in rural style with gritty urban lyrics. Their narrative folk-ballad approach, with acoustic guitars and lead and harmony vocals and brass, has played an iconic role in the Mexican cultural canon since the early 19th century, but Fuerza Regida's topics focus on the hardships, the bawdy joys, and the sufferings of the city streets. Fronted by the charismatic and outspoken Jesus Ortiz Paz (aka JOP), they create sweet melodies but also offer raps atop funky dance tunes played by spiky requinto guitar vamps. (The requinto is a higher-acoustic guitar. It is often a lead 12-string as it is in this band's music, backed by a rhythm-playing six-string.) Though they are originally from Sinaloa, they reside in California. The band's sound is unique, but so is their approach to creating a public image: Long before they played together, Fuerza Regida developed a sophisticated social media strategy centered around YouTube.
The quartet formed in 2017 with the lineup of vocalist Jesus Ortiz Paz, lead guitarist and second vocalist Samuel Jaimez, rhythm guitarist and harmony singer Khrystian Ramos, and a tuba player who goes only by the name José. Ortiz's evocative baritone is at once declamatory and vulnerable as he relates believable tales of urban life. The band began posting videos to YouTube almost immediately. They charted millions of views before they released a record. By the end of the year, they had signed with Rancho Humilde, a label at the forefront of the requinto urbano sound. Their debut album, En Vivo Puros Corridos, appeared in January of 2018, followed by another slew of video singles including "Radicamos en South Central" and "Ya Se Fue Manuel" that had 100 million views combined. Fuerza Regida toured Southern California and Northern Mexico, and their bouncy, outlaw stage presence, consummate musicianship, and youthful good looks got the quartet massive exposure on radio, television, Instagram, and Twitter. Their video for the song "Sigo Chambeando" also included musicians from Legado 7, and it racked up more than 100 million views on its own that November.
Fuerza Regida kept the flow of videos and streaming singles up as 2019 commenced. In the spring, they delivered a six-track EP of love songs in Las Romanticas Favoritas. In July, Rancho Humilde issued the band's sophomore long-player, Del Barrio Hasta Aqui. It debuted at number one on Billboard's Regional Mexican Albums chart and peaked at number eight on the Top Latin Albums list. In the spring of 2020, the quartet released their third full-length, Adicto, which included features from Grupo Codiciado, Natanael Cano, and Herencia de Patrones. The LP again bowed at number one on the Regional Mexican Albums chart and debuted at number four on Top Latin Albums. ~ Thom Jurek