Latin performer Adrian Crush learned at a very young age that success isn't given, but earned. Indulging his passion meant starting out as a member of his father's band at the age of 6. What better way to develop his craft and his talent than to constantly work at it?
He grew up on a stage, music already was in his blood, but because of his strong work ethic, this ambitious young man has accomplished more in his 27 years than most people do in a lifetime.
Crush has become a master of self-promotion, traveling across the country to places like Las Vegas, Miami and Mexico, with his publicist, Tony Estrada of T Rocks Entertainment, in tow, appearing on radio and television shows to get the word out about who he is and what he can do. With all the competition out there, Crush has found a way to stand out from the crowd.
His life is like his music — constantly moving forward, never stopping too long so everything is always fresh and new, delivered in his own unique voice. At the same time, he blends tradition with cutting-edge sounds, balancing his Mexican roots with his American upbringing. He has composed and recorded songs in both English and Spanish.
He has released five independent pop/Latin albums, including two CD releases in Japan and a management deal with Sony from 2009-2012
Crush, a.k.a. Adrian Garza, is from Indio, California, and by the time he was 9 years old, he was the lead singer and accordion player for Tercera Generacion, his family's Tejano band. Then he started to follow his own musical path with influences like Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake (because he also loves to dance).
Now he has come full circle, returning to his family and their musical roots yet incorporating his vision for his newest evolution, Adrian Crush E-Lab Banda (Adrian Crush and the band).
We talked with Adrian Crush about his career, his music and the show he brings to the Avi Resort & Casino for the first time. Here's his take…
Talk a little about your upbringing.
My interest in music started when I was really, really young. My father and his brother and my grandfather had a band and they would practice all the time in the living room. Me, and my brothers, grew up listening to music and watching how it was all done. I mean, we had instruments all over the living room, so we would jump around from instrument to instrument and my dad started seeing who was really taking this seriously. My dad started testing us out as far as which instrument we wanted to play. I showed interest in the keyboard, very, very young and at the age of 6 is actually when I started playing in my dad's band. They would play a lot of private parties, weddings, sweet sixteens, quinceañeras, and family parties. At the age of 9 is when I picked the accordion — because it was a heavy instrument, and I was too small at the age of 5, or 6. I started practicing and that's when we formed the band that we're actually still in.
Returning to the fold with big ideas…
The band I'm in now consists of my two brothers, Jose on bass guitar and vocals, Alejandro on Bajo Quinto and keyboards, my dad, Lupe on keyboards and accordion, and our drummer, Peter Cancino, has always been like our brother. So you're going to see a family show in Laughlin on the 20th. That's the band we started back when I was 9 years old. Our style of music at that time was Tejano music 'cause we were playing a lot in Texas, so it was Tex-Mex music. My dad's really a Tejano at heart, so we played and rocked that style which is like that of Selena Quintanilla y Los Dinos. So from 9 to 17 we were rocking all the Spanish stuff, and I started doing more of the English stuff, and released five albums, independently. When we were doing the English stuff, I was really able to establish a new style and that's when I was able to highlight my dancing, with dancers and the whole choreography. That ended up leading me to a management deal with Sony from 2009 to 2012. We did many shows with Pitbull, and with different big artists and Tejano artists at the time. So professionally, since the age of 9, to where we're at now, we've been hitting it every weekend, every weekend, every weekend…
Indulging your ambition…
Fast-forward to 2016, when we launched the project we're getting known for now, which is moving the style back to the Latin market, not the Latin genre. It's a mix of what we started doing in the band — we were called Tercera Generacion in 2009 — now it's Adrian Crush E-Lab Banda I started with the song "Dame Mas Mami," which was my first single. That's kind of how it all began, and it's been going really, really good for us. That year, we were able to win an award — in Los Angeles, they have this awards show called "La Creme de la Calle" and we took the award for Artista Urbano de Año, or "Urban Artist of the Year."
Working on the Adrian Crush brand…
We launched the project and we launched it strong, coming out as if I was a signed artist although I was an independent. We were doing these big things thanks to my publicist. We started working on it and just growing year after year. The following year, we released "Fuego," which was my second single. It's within the genre I call "urbano cumbia" which has an urban feel because it has been merged with the Reggaeton sound that's kind of hitting right now. I wanted it to be fused with something that's honestly like who I am, that's my blood. Mexican music was the first thing I started performing on stage, and I really wanted to go with that cumbia sound so we merged the two.
Explain "Reggaeton" a little bit. Reggaeton, right now, is being played on English stations. It's crossing over into their market, you're hearing it from artists like J. Balvin, Maluma, and so many others. Luis Suarez has a song "Los Bajitos" that's a collaboration with Justin Bieber — that style is called Reggaeton. It's pretty much the rhythm, and a style that comes from Puerto Rico. It's known worldwide now. It's a genre, but it's getting known as a feel and as a rhythm.
Describe your music for people who are not aware.
I categorize it as music. I don't set boundaries, I don't like to set boundaries, because in our show, you will hear, not just Reggaeton and cumbia, not just songs you can dance to, but we'll play a romantic song, we'll play something that maybe my dad will grab the accordion and show his talent. I'm still on the stage singing, but he's playing his songs. It's more like Tejano music, so it sounds like Spanish country, I guess. We perform a little bit of everything that we've done. We don't like to just give people all the originals and stuff like that. That's cool too, but we pretty much use the platform of being able to perform different styles of music, but also use that platform to promote my music and what I'm trying to get known for. We're a full versatile Latin band. You'll hear a little bit of everything, just so we can please everybody in the whole crowd. We engage with people, people can relate a little bit more to us if they actually hear a song they know.
Obviously you compose some of your own songs, but you also produce your own music. Talk a little bit about that.
Me, and my brother, Alejandro, we call him "Einztein," bought a lot of studio equipment when I was like 16, and he was 18. We wanted studio equipment so we could make everything and start to learn to produce records and make records. We set up shop in one of the rooms at the house and that's where our recording studio was, and that's how we started to get familiar with it. Now, today in my house, I have my own studio, and he has one in his house. The singles I have released, those were all produced by me, written by me, and I have a couple other writers I work with.
When I find the time and music comes out of my brain as inspiration, it's based off of emotion, but not emotion that happens at the time. Everybody goes through the ups and downs of a relationship, we've all gone through a lot of stuff, we don't let it out and we hold it in, or it's still in our brain, but it doesn't actually come out at that moment. My writing method is I get on the piano and I start making the music and that is what brings out the lyrics and the concepts. I usually go through two or three concepts for the beat and I'll just stick to the one I feel is appropriate for that beat.
What's down the road?
We're actually getting ready right now to release our new video. It's called "Suavecito," which is my latest single, and for that single, we're going to Mexico City, New York, Miami, to do a whole promotion. In addition to my publicist, we've met a lot of people along the way who have helped us, and from there other doors have opened. It's been one of those things that year and year, we've just been growing and building, growing and building. Our popularity, especially at casinos has been growing a lot.
I've always kept going and going and going. It's just who I am, there's no stopping, ever. I look at my dad and my grandfather and they're still doing it. Whether it's a stadium or a club that fits 50 people, I'm always gonna be doing this. We're excited to be coming to Laughlin. We're a show band, we don't just stand there. We try to connect with our audiences, to get them dancing and having a fun time.