Growing up in New Mexico, brothers Enrique and Israel Jimenez remember music as a staple of their childhood. When the brothers were not busy writing songs, they remember their home being filled with the sounds of Mexican and Latin American musicians.
“It was a very regional Mexican sound when we were young and it really crept into everything we did,” said Enrique Jimenez.
This sound carried the Jimenez brothers to Denver, where they both pursued degrees in higher education in the arts. The Mile High City is also where they started their first band.
“We were surrounded by different types of music and we just grew from there,” said Jimenez.
After years of building relationships and collaborating with other artists, Enrique and Israel formed a second band, Altas, with current members Juan Carlos Flores, Meaghan Lillis and Amanda Krause. Altas is the Spanish word for heights.
“It’s been a long process and we feel very good about where we are at musically,” said Jimenez.
A self described instrumental electronic/post-rock band, Altas released its own album in 2014 to great reviews by critics in New York, Denver and the blogosphere. To take their career to the next level, Altas entered the Música Unsigned contest, an initiative created by Verizon Wireless and Cookman/Nacional Records to support local, independent artists. Altas was selected as one of 30 talented artists to compete, and is the only band from Colorado.
Each band received a Verizon Toolkit consisting of an HD camera, a tablet and Verizon Jetpack hotspot to create content to share on Música Unsigned’s website and social media pages.
“The Música Unsigned initiative connects artists with fans and music influencers by equipping artists with the essential mobile tools they need to promote themselves in today’s highly digital world, just like any major artist,” said Carolina Jaksch of Verizon Wireless.
Why create content? Because fans will determine who the finalists are in this competition.
The five acts that generate the most votes by the public/fans by Thursday, April 16th will become the finalists and will be eligible for the Grand Prize. At stake is two-day recording session at ZapBoomBang studios in Houston, TX, with an award-winning producer. A panel of judges including members from Verizon Wireless and Cookman/Nacional Records will select the Grand Prize winner from these five finalists.
“We’ve seen a quick rise in our ranking in this competition thanks to our fans,” says Jimenez.
“In Denver, the music scene can be divided,” said Jimenez. “Traditionally, Latin music is more underground, and the Indie rock scene is considered more mainstream. But (Denver) has been very accepting of what Spanish speaking artists are doing and we’ve been able to straddle both music scenes and stay true to our roots.”
Roots that have built an allegiance of fans that are helping to take this band’s career to the next level.
“The fact Verizon is involved in this competition will also give exposure on a national level and to larger audiences,” said Jimenez. “It’s a growth move for everyone, both artists and fans.”