With little fanfare, Calle 13, one of the most important Latin American musical groups of the past decade, has apparently just performed its last concert together. Following Saturday’s show in Toronto, the Puerto Rican band is going on indefinite hiatus while its members work on other projects, according to sources close to the group.
Calle 13, which won a record-breaking 21 Latin Grammys and three Grammys during its 10-year career, has produced five critically-acclaimed albums. As recently as last week they were packing stadiums around the world.
Though the band has not announced an official breakup, it seems they’re at least taking an extended pause to work on individual projects that are already underway. Calle 13 frontman René Perez, better known as “Residente,” has been tweeting about a musical project he’s doing in Russia with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under the name Residente. He's also hinted he wants to release rap songs in English. On Friday afternoon, he changed his Twitter handle from “@Calle13oficial” to “@Residente,” announcing his new presence with the message: "New project, new name!"
Meanwhile, Residente’s brother and Calle 13 co-founder Eduardo Cabra, aka “Visitante,” has been producing music for other artists, including his wife, Cuban singer Diana Fuentes, and Colombian indie folk band Monsiuer Periné. On Saturday he started a new Facebook page under the name “Eduardo Cabra - Visitante (Residente also opened a solo Facebook page last week.)
Fusion reached out to Calle 13’s management and publicists, but so far nobody is offering an official comment on the band’s status. But based on the members’ own social media feeds, something appears to be up.
Here's how the other band members have apparently marked the end of an era and said farewell to their fans on social media:
Eduardo Cabra aka Visitante (co-founder/songwriter/producer)
"Many thanks Toronto! And thanks to those who at some point jumped with us for the past 10 years"
"To those who are here…and who at some point joined us on this journey. Seguimos!"
Ileana Cabra (vocals)
"Up to here this first chapter without end. Thanks to everyone!"
Ismael Cancel (drums)
“Our last stage and our last audience as Calle 13. Thanks to everyone who felt it”
“#Calle13 says farewell…until next time”
Arturo Vergés (trombone)
“Goodbye to Calle 13”
Andrés Cruz (percussion)
“Thanks for 10 years of music”
Franda Fuentes (percussion)
Maikel Vistel (saxophone)
"Thanks for these great years of so much music"
Mark Rivera (guitar)
"Toronto 2015 last show of C13"
Calle 13’s guitar player, Mark Rivera, is raising funds to open his own bar- restaurant in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Ileana Cabra, aka PG-13 (half-sister to Perez and Cabra), has been featured in songs by artists such as Kevin Johansen. Last year she did a series of performances covering classic boleros in Puerto Rico, and for the past five years her brothers have been hinting that she will do a solo album. Residente’s personal security detail, Brian Rodriguez, also thanked the band on Instagram for 10 years of “family” and the opportunity to work with them since the beginning.
Calle 13 was formed in 2005 when step-brothers Perez and Cabra released their self-titled debut album, a mix of reggaeton and hip hop tracks that immediately broke the mold with their offbeat, satirical lyrics that made fun of popular reggaeton stars and touched on everyday idiosyncracies of growing up in Puerto Rico. Even though the band was signed to big label Sony music for their first four albums, their politically charged lyrics and eclectic style did not sit well with mainstream radio stations. The group never enjoyed massive record sales or radio plays, but toured heavily throughout Latin America, the U.S. and Europe.
Nuria Net is a founding editor at Fusion and now Social Storytelling Editor working on our Snapchat Discover channel. Co-founder, former editor-in-chief of Remezcla.com. Net is her real last name; Lechuga is her DJ name.