Camilo Lara / Mexican Institute of Sound
Camilo Lara was simply creating holiday mixes for friends but they convinced him to take his songs into the studio. At the time, he was busy working in the music business and doing musical supervision for films such as “Y Tu Mama Tambien” which lead to his first Grammy nomination, but found time to start recording at night and through those humble beginnings, Mexican Institute of Sound (M.I.S) was born.
Thanks to the critical and commercial success of his breakthrough albums ‘Pinata’ and ‘Soy Sauce’, the accidental rock star now tours the world performing at major festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza. While early M.I.S. songs combined a variety of vintage samples into instrumental tracks, ‘Politico’ features entirely original songs recorded with a live band and vocals. Camilo is currently working on his next M.I.S. Album.
In 2012 Camilo was asked to produce an album for Los Angeles Azules that was to include their greatest hits spanning their 30-year history. The album, “Como Te Voy a Olvidar” went to #1 in Mexico for 79 weeks and was nominated for a Grammy. Camilo is currently in the final stages of producing another Los Angeles Azules Album.
One of the most interesting cultural phenomena in pop music is the rabid devotion of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to the music of Morrissey. Camilo was one of such devotees and together with Sergio Mendoza (Calexico and Orkesta Mendoza) he re-wrote Morrissey’s lyrics into Spanish and re- imagined some of Morrissey and the Smiths’ most iconic tunes, giving life to a project aptly named “Mexrrissey”. The album ‘No Manchester’ charted top 15 in the US and the UK and the Mexrrissey touring group featuring an all-star lineup of Mexican artists has since sold out 4 tours in the UK alone.
Camilo also runs the label Casete which has distributed albums from artists such as Radiohead, Bjork, Jamie XX and Nick Cave as well as overseen music supervision for more than 80 films including the Oscar winning “Birdman”. He DJs events of all kinds and was selected to curate the “East Los FM” radio station for the game Grand Theft Auto V set in Los Angeles, he continues to work in the studio as a producer and remixer (projects include Johnny Cash, Morrissey, Placebo, and Beastie Boys), has been a TED Talk speaker, and was recently named by El Pais Newspaper as one of the top-20 most influential Spanish-speaking persons.
As if Camilo did not have enough on his plate, he and Toy Selectah undertook creating a new album that has 90 collaborators and is appropriately named ‘Compass’. With Red Bull’s help, they recorded the album in 7 cities around the world. The project was a massive undertaking and includes Ana Bárbara , Sly and Robbie, Toots & The Maytals, Gogol Bordello (Eugene), Nina Sky, Money Mark, MC Lyte, N.A.S.A., Kool AD (Das Racist), Kurt Masta, Chrome Sparks, Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill), Tanto Blacks, Chedda Helado, Negro Kita, Kaine Notch, Maluca Mala, Benjamin Lozinger (Mø), DJ Lengua, Matty Rico, Tiombe Lockhart, Angela Hunter… and the list goes on.
Most recently, Camilo worked some crazy projects including a Beck Remix called WoW, he produced the next Los Angeles Azules Album and served as a music consultant to Pixar’s new feature film called Coco. This was all done at the time of recording his 5th Mexican Institute of Sound Album – Disco Popular. Produced by Camilo Lara, mixed by Mario Caldato Jr. It includes collaborations by Sly and Robbie, Toots & the Maytals, La Yebros, Adan Jodorowsky, Calexicoand Lorna
To say you have now discovered every side of Camilo Lara as an artist would be incorrect. Those that have tried to put him into words call him “a real connoisseur of music who knows about all kinds of weird stuff” (Mike D of the Beastie Boys) or “The Mexican Herb Alpert” (Ed O ́Brien, Radiohead because to simply call him a musician is to underplay him, the scope of his work, how his work continues to surprise and expand.