Los Angeles-born narcorrido singer and songwriter Larry Hernandez likes to keep things simple when making music. “My inspiration comes from the people,” he says in Spanish over a phone interview. “Even the news on TV is a source for me.” His oft-controversial tunes are usually recorded live in the studio, with no overdubs or studio trickery. “When I write a song, I think about everyday life, and I focus on its realities, he explains. “When I say that I am a ‘friend of the people’ (as described on his MySpace page), it has to do with the characters in the songs. I make music thinking about the people - I don’t write as an artist, but as a regular person.”
Originally born in Los Angeles, Hernandez was raised in Culiacán, Mexico, where his family relocated when he was four years old. Many of his relatives were musicians, which inspired him to write songs from an early age. “My greatest influences were the traditional melodies I heard from my family,” he recalls. “I learned to play them on my guitar, and soon I started writing my own tunes.” He also claims late singer Chalino Sánchez as a source of inspiration.
Hernandez began playing professionally while still in high school, when he formed a band called Los Amables del Norte. ”After that, I moved back to the United States, where I started selling my material,” he says. “I started working with a recording company out of California, and kept working hard on the music, placing the records with radio programmers. They told me that such personal music was not exactly what they wanted to hear, but thank goodness, the public received it well when I played live, and things moved on quickly from there.”
Though he focuses his efforts within the Hispanic market, he has noticed that his music is also appreciated outside that circle. “There are people from non-Hispanic countries who listen to my music,” he says. “They might understand some of the language, and [I guess] they hear my work in their own way. I have encountered a few fans who don’t understand Spanish who are fond of Mexican popular music, and I’m glad to have this kind of recognition.”