Written by Angel Aguilar
Published on June 6, 2013
A firecracker of a vocalist fronts Wonderfox. Her name is Isabel Valencia; she’s a petite little thing with monstrous vocals. I came across her talent, and that of Wonderfox, a few weeks ago at the Los Globos Club in Los Angeles. I have to admit that I was there to check out another band.
At that point the only thing I knew about Wonderfox was that it had a residency going at the venue. I hadn’t heard their music, much less attended one of their shows. My interest that night was somewhere else. But all that changed as soon as Wondefox hit the stage.
You see, this band is one of those bands that get you through their live performance. Their energy is so magnetic that no YouTube video or audio stream serves them justice. And as unfair as what I’m about to say may sound, Valencia is a thriving force to that energy. Her vocals remind me of female performers like Pat Benatar, Janis Joplin, and Anne Wilson from Heart. She has that type of deep, strong voice that– much like the mentioned music greats, demands attention.
But Valencia not only has a great voice. She’s also a wonderful performer that masters her guitar with the energy of The Who’s Pete Townshed: dynamic, intriguing and gripping.
Growing up in Medellin, Colombia, Valencia’s exposure to any music remotely close to rock & roll was limited to ABBA hits. “It was the only music different from tropical Latin music,” she said. “My sister used to send me cassettes from the U.S. with a good variety of music and that’s how I was introduced to The Cure and Nirvana.” Soon after that she was exposed to Spanish rock bands like Soda Stereo, Duncan Dhu and Enanitos Verdes. Through friends she would later discover classic rock artists like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, and—her all time favorite, Bjork. “She’s the first female singer I loved,” explains Valencia. “I love how she can go from super quiet to shouting, and how she expresses a lot of emotion.”
She may not realize this now, but Valencia also conveys that same type of energy. With her performance at Los Globos, I was convinced that she was smart enough to do her homework and learn from her musical icons. One thing I find as intriguing as her musicianship is the story of how she became part of Wonderfox.
After being hired to play bass and guitar at a random gig where Brazilian producer Tiago D’Errico also performed, Valencia was asked to sing for the producer. That one song quickly turned into five. Then, other musicians grew interested in the project and piece after piece fell into place to form what is now known as Wonderfox, a Latin-influenced rock band formed by Valencia, Tiago D’errico, Freddy Aguirre (bass), Beto Marin (lead guitar) and guest musicians.
The band released its first album, Juegos Mentales, last year. Since then, Wonderfox has released the music video for “Final”, from the Juegos Mentales album, and has played local Los Angeles gigs in an effort to gain followers and spread its music.
Although the band’s residency at Los Globos is over, you can catch its music online here.
There are no current gigs confirmed for the band, so meanwhile, all you can do it take my word for it. Isabel Valencia and Wonderfox mean business. Catch the band at its next show and you’ll see what I mean.
*Fotos by Angel Aguilar.
– See more at: http://www.alborde.com/musica-section/isabel-valencia-wonderfox-business/#sthash.sJULfPn8.dpuf