Building A Dynasty
Charro Azteca has grown and developed at an unprecedented rate, so much so that often I find myself reflecting on a question I feel is deeply important: What happens to Charro Azteca when I’m gone? Charro Azteca began as an idea, a right place at the right time kind of moment that later became my brain child. I aspire to create something meaningful, not just to me or my immediate circle but to everyone that carries that pride in their culture. Reading up on the Aguilar dynasty that began with Antonio Aguilar allowed me a moment of clarity. Allow me to explain…
Antonio Aguilar Barraza was a monumental figure for Mexican song, film and charreria. He worked alongside the greats and helped bring charreria and Mexican traditions as a whole to the international market. He later married another charreria icon, actress/songstress Flor Silvestre. Together they had two boys, Antonio Aguilar Jr and Jose Aguilar, the latter being better known in the music world as Pepe Aguilar, a musical icon in his own right. Pepe Aguilar was born in the U.S making him a Chicano, just like me. Two of his four children now have promising singing careers of their own, both in the traditional ranchera genre.
I guess I see part of myself in Pepe Aguilar’s story. He was the Chicano kid, born in San Antonio, Texas who was influenced by Pink Floyd and The Who. Antonio Aguilar reminds me of my father, a man’s man, a charro. Like Pepe, I didn’t think it was cool to be a charro. I distanced myself from that world and the harder my father pushed traditions on me, the harder I rejected them. I grew up in Los Angeles loving hip-hop and rock music and thinking rancheras were only cool for my parents. I got tattoos and took every opportunity to set myself apart from the image my parents had created, much like Pepe.
But like Pepe, with age came maturity and I feel we both learned the hard way that being true to yourself and your family should come before anything else. Who knew that I would find success by also finding the value in passing on traditions. You want the answer to living forever? You pass on your values, your traditions, your wisdom.
I’ve got little ones of my own now and you never truly understand the intentions of a parent until you become one. I want more than anything for my children to also take pride in the long line of charros we come from and to continue growing Charro Azteca into a dynasty like the Aguilar’s. Creating something that outlives you just isn’t enough. Creating something meaningful that creates an impact on the people who get you, that builds a community of support and adds value to the communities you grew up in: That’s what builds a dynasty. And Charro Azteca’s is just beginning.