Most people remember Steeven Sandoval as la primera voz del Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, or el güerito who played violin with that group for 14 years. Diehard fans who have followed the career of “La Voz del Mariachi” are familiar with the fact that he left Vargas five years ago to join Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, and then left that group to go solo. Texas fans will soon have the opportunity to catch Steeven in concert in San Antonio at his only Texas performance for the remainder of 2018, and here you can read about his plans for his upcoming CD.
Steeven will give a one-night-only performance on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, located at 226 N. St. Mary’s Street, in San Antonio. Accompanying him will be the award-winning Mariachi Azteca de América. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. His 2018 tour schedule also features performances in California, including the Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater in San José (April 13), Teatro Azteca in Fresno (April 14), Crest Theatre in Sacramento (April 20) and Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto (April 21).
Sandoval has recorded dozens of songs with both Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. His first CD as a solo artist was Cien Litros de Tequila (2017), which he recorded in Vicente Fernandez’s studio at his ranch Los Tres Potrillos. He is currently working on his second CD, which is scheduled for release later this year.
MariachiMusic.com recently reached Steeven by phone at his Guadalajara home, where he was gracious enough to grant us the following interview.
MariachiMusic.com (mm.com): Are you going to record your next CD at Vicente Fernández’s ranch as well?
Steeven Sandoval (SS): No, I don’t plan to record this next one there, but don’t worry, the quality will be every bit as good as that of my first album, if not better. I’m still in negotiations regarding the studio I’ll be using, but I plan to start recording soon.
mm.com: Are people still buying a significant number of your CDs, given that your music can be streamed on services like Spotify and Apple Music, and downloaded from platforms like iTunes and Amazon Music?
SS: As a matter of fact, the physical CDs continue to sell quite well at my performances, which is the only place you can buy them right now. I’ve sold over 8,000 copies so far.
mm.com: When will your new CD become available?
SS: November 2018 is the target release date. But before that, I plan to release each song from this new album one by one, as a promotional strategy. After the last song has been released, then I’ll launch the physical CD. I’m marketing my recordings independently on all the major digital platforms. The way the music business is now, I don’t feel any need to be signed to any record company.
mm.com: What kind of songs do your fans ask you to perform?
SS: Canciones campiranas and música ranchera have always been my forte. That’s what people most often request of me, and that’s the genre I plan to stick to, with occasional excursions into other types of music, just to break things up a little. But no matter what I sing, I try to give it my own personal stamp, which is what people seem to like.
mm.com: What kind of songs can we expect to hear on your new CD?
SS: Well, a little bit of everything. To start with, it’ll have two original canciones rancheras written by my son, Brian Sandoval, and I’ll sing Agustín Lara’s famous “Granada.” It’ll be a balanced mixture of songs by Mexican and non-Mexican authors, brand-new compositions and vintage mariachi classics. The accompaniment will be pure mariachi, except for the addition of an accordion on a couple of songs.
mm.com: What songs can the San Antonio audience expect to hear you sing on Mother’s Day weekend?
SS: I always open with my theme song, “La Voz del Mariachi,” followed by signature songs of mine like “A los Cuatro Vientos,” “La Noche de mi Mal” and “Sufriendo a Solas.” Besides those mariachi classics, that week I’ll be paying tribute to our precious mothers with songs like “A Esa Mujer,” “Las Mañanitas” and “Bella Mujer.” And I usually end my concerts with “Por Amor.” I’ll be singing a lot more songs, of course, and some special popurrís, but I don’t want to give all that away here. Come to my show and be surprised, and don’t forget to say hello afterwards!
Tickets to see Steeven Sandoval’s May 11 San Antonio performance are available at Ticketmaster outlets, including the Majestic Theatre Box Office, online at ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800.745.3000. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges and fees.
Serenata para las Madres is sponsored by H.E.B, United HealthCare and WellMed. Media partners include La Prensa Newspaper and KEDA Radio.
For more information, visit mariachimusic.com.