Jaime DeAnda Discusses Release of First-Ever Solo Album ‘Volando Solo’

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Jaime DeAnda, joined by Next Gen Latinx Records CEO Mike Torres III, talks with Tejano Nation

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With his talent, innovation and drive, Tejano music veteran Jaime DeAnda has transformed the way people perceive the accordion, accordion players, and even Conjunto music. Since his start more than 40 years ago, the popular accordionist/vocalist always captivated the crowds as he literally jumped out at you from the stage with his unique flair, high-energy dancing and overall exciting showmanship.

Now, after a storied career that included a surprising split from his longtime band, Los Chamacos, in 2018, and a major health crisis in December 2021, DeAnda celebrates a first with the release of his debut solo album, “Volando Solo,” which refers, of course, to his status now as a solo performer. In addition, DeAnda has joined with a new label, NextGen Latinx Records, led by CEO Mike Torres III and John Ontiveros, both members of La 45.

“We did some interesting songs on this CD,” DeAnda said, during an exclusive interview with Tejano Nation.

Courtesy of NextGen Latinx Records

With 10 tracks, “Volando Solo” serves as the perfect segue from DeAnda’s decades as the leader of Los Chamacos to his current solo career. The album is produced by the Grammy Award-winning Chente Barrera and overseen by Next Gen Latinx Records exec Ontiveros, also a Grammy-winning producer. “Volando Solo” includes several remakes of hits DeAnda performed during his days with Los Chamacos, such as, “Pretty Baby,” “Tu Prieto,” and “Mala.” Among the new tunes, includes a collaboration with Barrera, titled, “Dulce Para Amar.”

As always, DeAnda’s remarkable accordion skills shine on this new album. His voice, deeper now, than from the higher-pitched voice of his youth, adds a richness to the songs, and his stellar band completes the successful formula.

Both DeAnda and Torres understood the significance of this production, but as a team, they believed in and supported each other.

“Everybody knew that this was going to be the first solo album so it had to showcase not only where he’s at, but where he came from,” Torres said. “I think a lesser band, a lesser musician, might have a lot of pressure, or feel a lot of pressure, like, ‘Oh man, this has got to be good.’ And these guys came in here and it was just easy and magic. It all stems from Jaime.”

In addition to feeling some apprehension as he hoped to please his fans with the new album, DeAnda said he felt excited about his return to the studio. DeAnda appreciated Ontiveros’ assistance with the recording process, which can often prove stressful.

“We got the beat down,” DeAnda said. “We got the arrangements. The guys hit the studio. John, too, he’s the engineer. He had a lot of patience to help us.”

Chente Barrera and Jaime DeAnda | Photo: Facebook

DeAnda also praised the leadership of Barrera, who not only produced the album, but appears as a special guest on drums, percussion, and back-up vocals. Barrera also collaborated with DeAnda on the ranchera and first track, “Dulce Para Amar.”

“It’s a classic song, of course,” DeAnda said. “When we started playing the song, we did it real simple…And then, Chente (Barrera) just said, ‘Look. No, Jaime, be yourself. Remember, let’s get that old drive back.'”

DeAnda said Barrera’s straightforward words lifted his confidence.

“I appreciate the fact that he was willing to make me feel like, ‘Okay, I could still do this. I could still do what I love to do best,'” DeAnda said.

Barrera is also responsible for Track 9 on “Volando Solo,” which is the bolero, “Mucho Corazon,” and a type of song that DeAnda does not usually record.

“I got to try to do something different, because, I felt, ‘I haven’t done something like that,'” DeAnda said. “Even Chente said that, ‘You know what’s missing?’ I said, ‘What?’ We had nine tracks done.”

“‘You’re missing a bolero,'” DeAnda recalls Barrera saying. “I think that would be the final touch.”

They decided on “Mucho Corazon,” after some searching and experimenting.

“This one, I think, was really, really different. And, I liked it,” DeAnda said. “‘I liked it very much. So, wait until you hear it!”

Band Members

The band also played a crucial part in the album’s success, not only with their musicianship, but DeAnda said he fed off of their energy. The band includes: Stevie Ray Vavages on bajo sexto and bass guitar; John H. Ramirez on bass guitar and back-up vocals; and Carlos D. Martinez on drums.

“These guys were fans,” DeAnda said. “They were fans back then, they tell me. So, what’s exciting is when we were picking songs and thinking about songs, they were like, ‘Oh yeah! I remember that one. That’d be cool. Oh yeah, I remember this one.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t. Help me.'”

While he was partly joking, DeAnda did express how much he valued his current band members.

“They’re giving me that energy again to go on stage and make the fans feel like, ‘Man, we’ve gotta go see him. We’ve got to go enjoy. Through all the years, he can still do his best,'” DeAnda said. “And, that’s what I try to do.”

Music Legacy

In the album’s liner notes, the last section acknowledges “my former bandmates for the experiences and collaborations we shared throughout the years.” DeAnda writes that “the creative energy was invaluable” and he continues by saying he will “carry the lessons and memories from my past into this new chapter of my musical career.”

When asked if he was referring specifically to Los Chamacos, DeAnda responded that it’s best to leave certain situations in God’s hands and to focus on the positive.

“I wish everyone well,” DeAnda said. “Like I said in the CD, I parted ways from everyone else, and if that was meant to be, then I feel that maybe it was a blessing in disguise.”

As for his fans who felt disappointed by DeAnda’s departure from Los Chamacos, DeAnda compared it to when your favorite TV show suddenly changes the actors, and you’re left wondering what happened. But, he said the important point to remember is that both he and his former band kept moving forward.

“They continued,” DeAnda said. “They continued to do what they love to do. And, that’s what I was doing.”

On the question of whether or not DeAnda was the face and the star of Los Chamacos, he was hesitant to respond, but Torres spoke up with his opinion.

“The history that he has with so many people, it’s beautiful,” Torres said. “Everybody has their place in history, and there’s room for everybody to continue to do what they’re doing.”

“But, this project is showing that yes, he was doing what he did before, but now, this is where he’s at,” Torres said. “And, now, going forward, he’s going to be able to show his talent, his voice, his songs, all these things that he’s been doing all this time anyway. And now, it’s just getting to do it with a new set of friends and a new set of musicians.”

And his new album, “Volando Solo,” will let fans hear Jaime DeAnda on his own and doing what he loves, and it sounds like he’s having fun making the music his fans will remember and cherish.

Both DeAnda and Torres expressed much excitement about the next projects in the works, but could not divulge details just yet, only tease with vague comments.

“Like Jaime said, ‘We can’t say too much,'” Torres said. “But, it’s always going to be Jaime DeAnda. The sound, the accordion, the voice that you love, but I think people are going to be very surprised at the next projects at what we’re going to be able to do. And I know they’re going to love it.”

DeAnda agrees.

“Believe me, I hear the CD over and over and over, and I still, I love what I hear,” DeAnda said.

“Volando Solo” will be available on all digital platforms on April 5, but fans who want it now, can order it online at either: nextgenlatinx.com or jaimedeanda.com. Order the digital version to receive immediately or order it for delivery.

For the complete interview, where you can hear every topic we discussed, click on the video at the top of this page, to watch.

Check out Jaime DeAnda’s social media on Instagram and Facebook, or his website, for upcoming performance dates.

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