Quique Escamilla was born and raised to a family of six in the warm, tropical southern lands of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. He started singing at the age of four at his family reunions.
At the age of six in a crowded restaurant and accompanied by the in-house six-piece Mariachi band, he performed a full version of “El Rey” in front of an audience where he discovered for the first time the thrill of performing and the powerful magic of live music.
Today, Quique Escamilla is multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer living in Toronto. Since his arrival in 2007, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian music scene. In 2011, he was discovered by a CBC radio producer and has since become a favourite on popular CBC Toronto shows such as Here and Now, Metro Morning, Fresh Air and Big City Small World.
He has been a featured guest at special CBC presentations like the annual fundraiser Sounds of the Season —aired live from the Glenn Gould studio—alongside artists like Justin Rutledge, Sophie Milman, Jenn Grant and Michelle Wright. 2012 was a important and productive year for Quique in which he launched his self-titled debut EP, with a concert recorded for CBC’s Canada Live at Toronto’s Lula Lounge Arts Centre.
25 years of performing live have seasoned Quique to effortlessly connect with his audiences, be it in an intimate house concert setting or on Toronto’s venerable Harbourfront stage. He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music such as ranchera and huapango with modern sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other Latin American rhythms. His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression and Indigenous rights.
Despite the distance from his homeland, Quique remains strongly attached to his Mexican roots. He is honoured to be in Canada to share with his audiences a flavour of Mexican culture, heritage and traditions through his music and live contemporary performances.
You can catch Quique Escamilla at the Bella Coola Music Festival July 23 and 24, 2016.