By Kevin Wilson
Music is a family matter for the Montoyas, so much so that it became the inspiration for their latest venture as the R&B/hip-hop group Unbreakable.
“That’s why we call it Unbreakable,” Mario Montoya said of the family connection with the three-man group, which released its self-titled debut about a month ago.
“Family, you can’t break apart ever.”
Mario is known as Cholo in the group, which is in its first foray since leaving its previous group, the Ride N’ Smoke Clique. His brother Gabriel is Phana*C, and cousin Tony Montoya is T-Loked.
It’s a family business throughout, with older brother Sammy Montoya as the manager.
“We’ve got the fans,” Sammy said. “We’ve got a big support group. You can ask around the state, and somebody’s bound to know who we are.”
The group is starting to increase its promotion of the album, on sale at Hastings in Clovis and La Frontera in Portales. Upcoming concerts include Saturday at the PrairieDogPalooza at Clovis Community College (they are slated to perform at around 4 p.m.) and during Cinco De Mayo festivities in Portales.
From then on, the plan is to average at least one performance each week across New Mexico and Texas — Tony lives in Odessa.
“We’ve got some low-rider car shows,” Sammy said, “and we’ve got a couple of gigs in Odessa.”
Matt Alvarado, an assistant manager for the group, said the group has several ranges, “from Baby Bash to something like Eminem.”
The group is about to send out radio-friendly edits of the album, with the hopes of increasing airplay. Primarily, the group is pushing the concert route as much as possible in an effort to sell the album.
“A lot of people haven’t had a chance to hear this CD,” Alvarado said. “This is their first concert since the CD came out. They want to hear it before they buy it.”
The group doesn’t stop with making music, though. Unbreakable is the first group on the Montoya’s record label, Underground Productions. The label has a studio in Portales, and is always looking out for talent. They’re especially on the lookout for female vocalists, either to help out on the next Unbreakable album (which they’ll start work on in the summer) or for a solo effort.
“We’re open to anybody,” Sammy said. “We’re willing to open the studio to anybody.”
Interested parties can contact the studio at 356-6875.
Family and friends have helped the group quite a bit, as employers have given them free range to perform their music. They appreciate the effort, especially since they feel it’s a lot harder to create publicity on their own.
“It’s a lot more difficult,” Tony said. “Nobody told us how to do things. We had to put our time and effort into it.
“(It’s) 24-7. It’s our life. It’s not just a job, it’s how we live.”