Building Bridges, Not Walls

This Spanish-speaking Canadian musician is connecting fans worldwide with his band’s brand of sunny world music

Canadian recording artist John Welsh recently stopped in Playa del Carmen for a rest after a five-day press tour of Mexico City. It included 35 interviews with some of the biggest media outlets in the country. The Abbotsford, BC-based musician was in Mexico to promote his new album Vamonos Mi Chica! which was released in Canada in May. It debuted #2 on the Canadian iTunes World Music Charts.

Mexico has fallen in love with this band thanks to their music video Sayulita, which has gone viral on Facebook with over 1 million views since April. Their album is a perfect mix of both English and Spanish lyrics, blending reggae and Latin music with a healthy dose of upbeat folk and rock. Fans in this country appreciate that it shows Mexico and its people in a positive, happy way, without mentioning the troubles with Donald Trump. John quotes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he says “We are building bridges, not walls.”

John is a fluent Spanish speaker. At the age of 19, he spent six months learning the language in Guatemala and later perfected the language with Mexican friends at university. The Mexican media were pleasantly surprised when he spoke Spanish.

The band performs at musical festivals in Canada and the US, but thanks to their new fans in Mexico, they hope to tour here shortly. John is influenced by artists like Rastrillos (a Mexican reggae band), Gypsy Kings, Bob Marley, Sublime, and musician Manu Chao.

The John Welsh Band’s percussionist Courage Eigbike has also influenced the band by bringing West African vibes to the group. Together they bring their version of world music to audiences all over North America. The John Welsh Band are committed to making music that makes people sing along and dance, regardless of language. “It is about bringing all ages and cultures together,” said Welsh.

We look forward to seeing the band on tour in Mexico next year. Until then, put a smile on your face by checking out these tunes.  


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