Bandana (pop band)
Bandana performing in Buenos Aires
|Origin||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Members||Lourdes Cecilia Fernández
María Elizabeth Vera
|Past members||Ivonne Guzmán
Virginia Da Cunha
Bandana is an Argentine pop girl group formed in 2001. Following the international trend of teen pop girl groups established by the Spice Girls, the five members of Bandana — Ivonne Guzmán, Lourdes Cecilia Fernández, Valeria Gastaldi, Virginia Da Cunha and María Elizabeth Vera — were selected on the TV show Popstars and were a carefully marketed product that became a phenomenon in the country, particularly among young girls. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2001 on Sony BMG Records, led by the hit single "Guapas", and was certified four-times platinum by the CAPIF. Despite being initially snubbed by many critics and artists, Bandana emerged as Argentina's best-selling act since 2001.
At the time of their disbandment in 2004, the combined sales of Bandana's three studio albums were estimated to be 450,000 copies sold. Their career was marked by several landmarks for Argentine musicians — specially bearing in mind the 1998–2002 Argentine great depression: 280 thousand tickets were sold to see them perform in the Teatro Gran Rex (with a total of 86 concerts in the venue); they performed twice for a total of 90 thousand people in the Vélez Sársfield Stadium; and released Vivir intentando, a film starring themselves that was seen by over 1 million people. In 2016, Bandana announced a reunion concert (without Ivonne Guzmán) at the Lola Membrives Theatre in Buenos Aires; due to the high demand for tickets, the group has added five more dates. The concerts sold out within an hour and a half. The band also released a new album, titled La Vuelta which contains new versions of some of their biggest hits. On January 16, 2017, the band released their first original song ever since 2003 entitled "Bombón". The following day, da Cunha announced her departure from the band.
The original group consisted of 5 girls:
- Ivonne Guzmán (2001—04)
- Lourdes Cecilia Fernández (2001—04, 2016—present)
- Valeria Gastaldi (2001—04, 2016—present)
- Virginia Da Cunha (2001—04, 2016—17)
- María Elizabeth Vera (2001—04, 2016—present)
When the band returned in 2016, Guzmán decided not to return, while the rest of the members did. Guzmán's role was not replaced. On January 17, 2017, da Cunha revealed through her Instagram account she had left the band to focus on her solo career. The rest of the members have also announced that they would not replace da Cunha and instead, would continue as a 3-girl group.
Formed in 2001 on the reality TV show Popstars, 5 girls were selected from 5,000's of contestants who had attended the casting. Their emergence coincided with a period of nationwide economic depression. As such, their success contrasted greatly with the general mood of the country, & one of the judges commented that "this was an opportunity to shine at a very downbeat moment for Argentina". The final line-up was unusual in the sense that the girls didn't conform to traditional ideas of beauty: Ivonne wore braces & Lourdes was known as la peti (shorty) due to her height. Judge Afo Verde noted that "appearance didn't matter to us, what each girl conveyed was most important".
Their first self-titled album, Bandana, was the best-selling album of 2001 in Argentina, turning platinum soon after release and achieving 4 platinum certifications. It spawned a number of hits including Cómo Puede Ser, Guapas & Maldita Noche. They also completed a successful tour, selling out Buenos Aires' biggest theatre, Teatro Gran Rex, more than 40 times during winter vacations (July). Later in 2002, they recorded a Spanish version of Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley (Muero De Amor Por Tí), for the Disney film Lilo & Stitch . In 2002, they released their second album, Noche (Night), which wasn't as successful as the first but it was still the best-selling album of 2002 in Argentina. In 2003, they released their third studio album, titled Vivir Intentando which was also the soundtrack of their film of the same name released during the same year. They also won Best New Artist—Southeast at the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America. In December 2002, they performed a joint concert with Mambrú in the Vélez Sársfield stadium with over 40,000 tickets sold.
In order to promote themselves internationally, they traveled to the USA, appearing in New York & Miami & also featuring on the cover of Billboard Magazine. This was notable for being the first time that an Argentine group had achieved this feat.
In 2016 they are back in order to do several shows and a tour around the country. They revealed through interviews that reuniting had always been a possibility, but it kept being postponed due to some of the members' pregnancies and other professional commitments. A new album, La Vuelta was released to celebrate their reunion, which contains revised versions of some of their biggest hits. The track list is also the set list of their tour.
On January 16, 2017, the group released their first original song since 2003 entitled "Bombón" featuring Puerto Rican rapper Wisin. The following day, da Cunha revealed she had left the band, hence why she did not participate in the recording of this song.
Following on from a trend established by the Spice Girls in the UK & internationally in the late 1990s, Bandana became a carefully marketed product which was especially popular among young girls. Many licensed products with their brand were available to purchase, and contributed to the heightened interest in the group, occasionally referred to as 'Bandanamania'. Their signature bandanas of varying colours were quickly imitated by the teen population, as were their lyrics & dance routines.
From 2001 to 2003, there was an official Bandana store selling lots of merchandisings. The store was located at Avenida Corrientes, right besides Teatro Gran Rex.
Vivir Intentando (Go For It)
In 2003 they released their first movie, Vivir Intentando, filmed on location in Buenos Aires. It premiered in Argentina on 14 June 2003, & met with mixed reviews. One critic claimed it a success "thanks to the competent technical aspects, precise use of emotion that plays with the audience, but above all, the atmosphere which it creates in the cinema". Others were less complimentary, commenting "their acting talents are just passable.....the songs shine due to the absence thereof.....& the script comes straight from the 'teenager dreams of being a singer' handbook". In spite of this, the movie grossed over ARS 10,500,000. and had a bigger B.O. than many international blockbusters.
Awards and nominations
- MTV Video Music Awards Latin America
- 2002: Best New Artist – WON
- Premios CAPIF:
- Fernández Bitar, Marcelo (16 August 2003). "Bandana Launches Multimedia Assault With Third Set". Billboard. Vol. 115 no. 33. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Se separan las Bandana". La Nación (in Spanish). La Nación SA. 15 February 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Bandana volvió al escenario" (in Spanish). TN. Clarín Group. 30 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "El sueño del estrellato veloz convertido en realidad" Página 12 Article Julián Gorodischer 01-11-2001
- Biography Music.com, Drago Bonacich 18-06-2004
- Best New Artist Southeast – Winners, MTVLA.com — MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica
- Biography, Music.com, Drago Bonacich 18-06-2004</
- '¡Las chicas en la tapa de Billboard!', Article, Terra.com.ar 15-08-2003
- Biography MTVLA.com
- IMDB Release Dates
- 'El espectáculo del año', Review - Zonafreak.com.ar, Ygnacio Cervio
- 'Una oportunidad fallida' Clarin.com, Review - Diego Lerer 26-06-2003
- IMDB Box Office/Business
- CAPIF Official
- CAPIF Oficial