Origen is a Spanish pop/rock band formed in 2001 in Miami, FL. The three member group consists of lead vocalist María Isabel Rueda (aka Mirs), guitarist Hector Velásquez, and drummer Antonio Couto.
Origen began collaborating and recording in 2007 with Grammy-nominated producer Carlos de Yarza and Henry A. Otero. They signed a record deal with their producer's independent label BinaryStar Music and in 2008 released their self-titled debut album Origen. "We come from different countries and cultures and it reflects in our compositions." ..."It gives our music an original flavor." Creating the album was a collaborative effort, with all members writing music and lyrics.
Due to the band's interest in social issues, they have taken part in activities such as "Piedra, Papel, y Tijera" a DirecTV initiative in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Microsoft aimed at transforming the physical infrastructure of schools and educational centers while promoting the development of low-income communities throughout Latin America.
In April 2008, following their contribution on "Piedra, Papel, y Tijera" Origen was invited to participate and perform at The Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank Board of Governors (the Bank's highest policymaking body, consisting of finance ministers and central bankers). There the band had the opportunity to share with other artists like Shakira, Ricky Martin, Juanes, Alejandro Sanz and Juan Luis Guerra that were part of the forum "Yo Amo América" in which Origen participated.
Origen gained significant national exposure during the summer of 2008 as they performed in the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City at the BMI showcase. Since that performance they have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, USA Today and were dubbed "a gateway drug into rock in Español" by the press. They also took part in Univision's Premios Juventud where they expressed their continued support for environmental conservation.
On August 4, 2008, they were the featured band on Telemundo's Caso Cerrado, a court-like TV show seen in United States, South and Central America. The 12th of August, Origen made a special appearance on the award winning news program Al Rojo Vivo hosted by María Celeste, which also airs on Telemundo. September 4, the band made its first appearance on Galavisión's Acceso Máximo; a live interactive program where viewers choose their favorite music videos and artists by text messaging or online voting.
In September 2008, keyboardist Carlos Leal decided to leave the band citing personal goals that interfered with the band's schedule.
In March 2009, Origen filmed the music video for their second single "Coexiste", which was released in the fall of 2009 at an Mtv Staying Alive benefit event. The video was deemed a bit too risqué for certain Hispanic morning shows and a few sections were edited for tv.
Univision.com included the band in their "new talent" series, calling them "a multicultural band with Latin spirit".
June 18, 2009 Origen opened for the international pop/rock band Camila at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles. Part of that performance aired nationally on LATV.
In June 2010, the band went on their first media tour outside the United States, visiting Ecuador, the home country of lead singer Mirs. El Universo newspaper called them "a group with positive themes." El Diario wrote "They say that when passions meet, no nationality or origin can stop you". El Popular wrote about the band's first performance in the country's capital Quito. Origen reached the Top10 at Alfa Radio in Ecuador due to fan requests and were featured in Metro Ecuador
September 21, 2010 Origen opened for Latin Grammy-winning band Reik and Latin Grammy-winning reggaeton recording artist Daddy Yankee at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.
In November 2010, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to help finance a portion of the recording and manufacturing costs of their second album. The project was successfully funded on December 30, 2010 raising a total of $4,642.
The band spent the majority of 2011 composing and recording what would become their sophomore album "Mentiras En Estéreo", once again collaborating with Grammy-nominated producer Carlos de Yarza and Henry A. Otero under the BinaryStar Music label.
On October 2, 2011 Origen opened a second time for pop/rockers Camila but this time at the Fillmore Theater in Miami Beach.
The band's second studio album Mentiras En Estéreo was released on June 19, 2012. A video for their first single Disfrutas Fingir was filmed in 2013.
Mirs - lead vocals (2001-present)
Maria Isabel Rueda was born in Quito, Ecuador. She studied at "La Presentación" where she became known as MIRS as it was shorter than saying her full name. As a young girl, her passion (inspired by her father) was sports and she excelled in basketball and gymnastics. At an early age, Mirs fell in love with music and enjoyed her parents preferred artists such as Rocio Durcal and the Gipsy Kings, which she would sing along to with her grandfather. She was exposed to a variety of genres thanks to her two older sisters but Spanish Rock was the standout for her. However, it was not until she turned 16 and was living in Florida, that she embarked on what is now her passion... Origen! She co-founded the band with high school friends who were all looking for a hobby that provided a creative, healthy environment and future.,
Antonio Couto - drums, percussion (2001-present)
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Tonio's interest in music began very early. He was influenced by his older brother and cousin who listened to and were part of the "80's Rock" movement. At 11 years old, Tonio joined the school band, this was the first time he played percussion. However, it did not last long as a year later the family moved to the United States. Though he quickly got used to a whole new lifestyle in the states, it took four years before he would pick up an instrument again. At 16, Tonio worked for four months at a grocery store to raise enough money to buy his first drum kit. At that point, he began playing with his church choir, as well as with friends and later formed what became Origen. Tonio has taken classes with Bob Marley's former drummer. Not just a drummer, Tonio takes part in the songwriting process and composes both music and lyrics.,
Hector Velasquez - lead guitar, backing vocals (2005-present)
Hector was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His interest in music began at 13 years old, when his father gave his older brother his first electric guitar. Though it belonged to his brother, he loved the way it looked and would pick it up from time to time. Encouraged by his mother, he started taking private guitar lessons all the while dreaming of playing major league baseball. The guitar started out as a hobby, but at 17, Hector began to take music much more seriously influenced by musicians such as Noel Gallagher, Gustavo Cerati, Carlos Santana, Slash, The Edge, Tom Morello. Soon, along with a couple of friends, he formed a band called Stereotipos in Caracas. Not long after, he moved to South Florida, where he joined the bands Trilogy, Symbiosis y Decibeles. Eventually, he becomes part of Origen thanks to Carlos Leal who was also a member of one of his previous bands. As lead guitarist for Origen, Hector began to develop as a songwriter, there is great chemistry and before long the sound we recognize today as Origen was born.,
Ruben Martinez - bass guitar, backing vocals (2001-2012)
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Ruben was always exposed to music as a boy and inherited his love of music from his father who is a guitarist. Although the guitar was the primary instrument played at home, Ruben was always looking for another instrument that would be more fulfilling. He finally found what he was looking for in the electric bass. Origen afforded Ruben the opportunity, for the first time, to be part of a band, where despite his limited experience he was fully embraced and began to grow as a musician as well as a person.