Rising Above Adversity: How LAGOS Is Taking On the Challenge of Forming an Identity Together
The Venezuelan duo LAGOS’s latest single “No Se Acaba Hasta Que Acabe” has been a huge success, reaching the #1 spot in Mexico. The song is a romantic ballad that tells a story of two people who are still in love despite being apart. It was written from the heart and conveys a strong message of hope and resilience. The duo is currently preparing for an ambitious tour of Venezuela, where they will be visiting six cities. They have also released their latest music video with Danny Ocean called “Mónaco” which has already gained over 1 million views on YouTube.
LAGOS is an up-and-coming Latin pop duo that is quickly gaining recognition for their unique sound and heartfelt lyrics. With their latest single reaching the top spot on the all-genres chart in Mexico, it’s clear that this Venezuelan duo is here to stay. Their passion for creating music from personal experiences and emotions resonates with fans around the world, making them one of Latin America’s most promising acts. The message of “No Se Acaba Hasta Que Acabe” is that love will continue despite any distance or adversity. It is a song of hope and resilience that encourages people to keep fighting for the relationship and never give up.
The dynamic duo was formed when their publisher got the Venezuelan duo together to write for Ricky Martin in 2016 and 2017. Immediately, they clicked and realized they had similar tastes and criteria for writing songs. Although all the material they wrote got cut, their chemistry was undeniable. In 2018, Warner Music proposed that the pair form a project of their own, which scared Louise as he feared his rock fans would judge him for becoming more mainstream. After convincing him, they started writing and releasing songs under the name “LAGOS” in 2018 and have been gaining recognition ever since.
As a duo, LAGOS faces the challenge of creating their own identity while forming as one. Luis mentioned that they had an instant chemistry and criteria for what a song needed, making it easy to work as one. However, Luis is transitioning from his rock background to a more pop and danceable sound, which has been a new challenge for him. Mr. A On The Beat also shared that stepping in front of the camera for video clips and photoshoots was an unexpected challenge for the pair. All-in-all, LAGOS is learning to balance their individual identities while creating music together as a unified group.
Catch the full interview below with Contrast’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael D. Monroe.
Tell me the story on how you both formed LAGOS?
[Mr. A On The Beat] I mean, it was about 2016, 2017. We started writing songs because our publisher got us together to write for Ricky Martin. And we immediately clicked. We realized we had very similar tastes and criteria for writing songs, and we started working a lot together. And everything we wrote got cut, and we just realized we had this really good chemistry. And then in 2018, Warner Music came to us and suggested that we make a project just to put a name on it and start releasing songs. And at first we were kind of scared because we didn’t have that much free time as it was. And Louise came from a rock background. He has a very successful rock band and he was scared that his rock fans would judge him for becoming more pop. Like a mainstream kind of project. But yeah, we convinced him and then we started writing for LAGOS about 2018 and started to release songs.
Being a duo, what are the biggest challenges that you face as far as creating your own identity but also forming as one?
[Luis] Well, the good thing is the chemistry was even before we started the project. So even though we have different musical backgrounds and influences, we always have a very strong match and criteria, like how we read what a song needs and what a song is missing. So we already had that chemistry and it’s been pretty easy for us. We’re working as one actually. It was like the first thing we got. We were not a group and we already had like the dynamic going on. So that that part was pretty easy. And of course, there are different challenges for me, like getting out of my rock environment. Well, like playing the pop hat for a while. It’s something new for me and it’s a challenge in a way, and it’s also like more danceable music and oh, that’s that’s a new challenge for me.
[Mr. A On The Beat] Yes. Stepping in front of a camera, like for a video clips and photoshoots and stuff like that. I think for some weird reason we almost never disagree on musical things. It’s a very weird, unexplainable thing that we just mostly just do everything.
So that was actually my next question; whether or not you disagree on music and how you get past that. So, you guys always just see eye-to-eye as far as creative concepts go.
[Luis] Yeah, it’s weird because I think we can bring different solutions, but we almost always have the same lecture of the problems. Like maybe we, we can bring different solutions to the table, but we always have like a very similar taste and reading the song.
[Mr. A On The Beat] And I think, I think we have a very high level of respect. Support for each other, like we respect and admire each other a lot. So whenever he. Proposes a solution to a problem or we’re in the musical sense. I always see that solution as. As very plausible and acceptable because I respect him. Mm hmm. So much so it’s like, Yeah, I can see that. I can see how that would work. So I think it stems from that, from that respect and admiration.
[Luis] Yeah. And much. And that’s mutual actually. Like every time we’re writing a song or everything, every time I would say something like saying, this part is missing something like it’s really easy for me, like to take seriously old songs sometimes when that respect is not there, like it’s harder to listen maybe.
With the music that you both create together, what do you feel is the common message that you want to share to your fans?
[Mr. A On The Beat] I think our music would be lyrics that say the same old thing, the same old story, but we just like it fresh or a different take or like a twist or play on words. We’re always looking for ways to say the same thing, but with a different angle. We also try to always write from a very genuine emotion, even though the specifics of the song, maybe it’s a story, maybe the specifics of the story are not completely biographical, but the core emotion behind the song always has to be something that. Either one or both of us lived. We’re always pulling emotion from past experiences so that it feels genuine to the listener. I like that.
That’s one thing that I take away from music the most. Whenever the music is about something that is personal, then it’s real. It’s something that connects with the fans. What do you think is the most important element of making a successful live show?
[Luis] Hm, it’s a great question. I think there are many things now, but I think a show has to be dynamic. It’s like telling a story. You can see a movie or hear a song; it has to have its ups and downs and its balance also. It has to have balance.
[Mr. A On The Beat] Contrast.
[Luis] Contrast, yeah. It can’t be all the same songs, the same chords and the same tempo and the same beats all together. And then you end with a ballad. Also the connection is very important; the connection with the artists, with the fans. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s very hard. Like being a good showman, but, it’s more than playing the songs perfectly and not me. Not missing a note or being perfectly on tune. It’s important the connection, like when you interact with the fans and I think also like the magic in the show, it’s it’s is that human error also like not doing like exactly the same as the album. Like even if you forget the lyrics, people enjoy that instead of because they feel they’re they’re, they’re experiencing a unique moment and and I think that’s is the most rewarding thing of the show and like giving the fans moments, special moments and they can remember something that they feel that it’s unique and that no one else that it’s outside of that show will see it ever again.
Your latest collaboration with REIK has been on repeat, by the way. How did the song come together and what was it like working with them?
This song was written with Elena Rose, which is one of our favorite songwriters in the world right now. She’s awesome and we wrote it in October 2021, a long time ago. But we always felt something special with this song. It moved us in a way that few songs move you. So then we started working with REIK on different songs and other songs, and we always had this fantasy of showing them the song and maybe they would want to collaborate with us on the song. So we were waiting for the right moment to pitch the song to them. And then one day the three of them were in the studio. They were recording something for another song. And so we were very coy and shy about it like, “Um, we have this song that we really like. Would you like to listen to it?” So we showed them the song and they loved it. And actually the singer just wants to sing and just steps right up to the mic and recorded it right there then and there. And yeah, it was, it was pretty, pretty organic and natural. But I love that I see that growing.
How does Venezuela influence your music and your artistry?
[Luis] By many, many ways. Of course. All the things you live and experiences you have in life. They always find their way into your music, into your songs, into your influences. Also, our life decisions in Venezuela also has influenced our decisions like us. Coming to Mexico in part is because of the difficulties that Venezuela has had over the last 20 years or so. And it also is a country that doesn’t have a musical industry. So, there are many things that influence us to make the decision to go to Mexico and continue our careers here.
[Mr. A On The Beat] And I think I think our music has this nostalgic vibe about it, but it also maybe stems from the fact that we had to leave our country and we miss a lot of our families or friends and I think that seeps into like the mood of our songs that nostalgia.
[Luis] Yeah, there’s kind of a longing, yeah.
Do you ever feel pressure to come up with something new and different for your music?
[Luis] I mean, right now. Haha!
[Mr. A On The Beat] Yeah, it is. It is actually kind of very stressful because we want to, it’s very contradictory, because we want to be free to make whatever comes to mind, whatever we feel like. But at the same time, we’re constrained by certain parameters that sometimes we establish for ourselves. Like, yeah, the second album has got to be better, it’s got to be different. It’s got to yeah, I mean, I’ve got to…
[Luis] We have to write it faster.
[Mr. A On The Beat] Faster than the first one. So there’s always this pressure to perform and to deliver and I think sometimes it’s kind of ironic, but you have to let go of that pressure and you have to just relax and just enjoy the process of writing. And you can actually start being productive.
[Luis] I love when you look for it, you don’t find it. For a while forget about that pressure and just try to live the moment. Thinking about other people when thinking about what feels good to us, what we feel real, what we feel honest.
That makes sense because I find myself doing it all the time. Comparing myself to others. My grandma used to say, “A watched pot never boils,” you know, you watch a pot, it’s going to take forever. But if you leave the room and come back, it’ll be ready.
What are you currently working on that fans can look out for?
We are working on our second album. Of course, we’re very, very intensely focused on that. And also we have a tour coming up. Actually, we haven’t announced because it’s not final, but there’s probably going to be a tour of the East Coast and states. That’s very exciting for us. First time actually with us as headliners. But yeah, we have a tour in several cities in Venezuela. We are going to Colombia, we’re going to Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico City. We’re doing a very, very important show here in Mexico City at the Metropolitan Theater, which is like a very iconic theater here in Mexico City. So, yeah, lots of very exciting things.
The definition of Contrast is “to be strikingly different.” So what makes LAGOS strikingly different?
[Luis] I think it’s many factors, but when we tried to not look or listen to what other artists are doing.
[Mr. A On The Beat] We try not to look to the sides and see what other people are doing. We’re trying to stay in our lane and do our thing.
[Luis] We try to be ourselves. I come from a very different background and I’ve seen [Mr. A On The Beat], he’s more into pop, country, even urban sounds. I come from alternative and rock and somehow, someway we match and we work together and that combination. And in Spanish it’s very, very unique. Well, I haven’t listened to another project in Latin America that has that background. So even if we try to sound like the other projects going on right now, I think we can’t.
[Michael] I’m excited to hear the new music – whenever it is ready. I know you said you feel pressure every time to do it faster and faster, but if Rihanna can take 50 years, then it’s fine. Haha!