Javier Mendoza has become a pretty big deal at home in St. Louis. He’s built a loyal fan base that packs his club appearances to capacity, and local media have taken notice, showering him with deserved acclaim and appropriate accolades. Well, almost appropriate.
“I’ve had this stereotype because of my name, so I’ve gotten ‘Latin’ a lot. There were a couple of albums I released that were purely in English and all Rock and I still got Best Latin Artist, which made no sense,” the singer/songwriter/guitarist says with a laugh. “One year I won Best World/Reggae Artist, and I was like, ‘I guess we better start playing some Reggae now.’ The one that meant the most was when I got Best Pop Artist in St. Louis. It meant that people finally got it. It’s cool that people think I’m Latin, but understand that we’re not going to play Salsa.”
The media’s confusion, while misinformed, is not entirely misplaced. In fact, Mendoza’s latest album You, released last November, comes in English and Spanish versions, the latter titled Tu. But singing in Spanish doesn't make Mendoza a Latin artist. One listen to You/Tu reveals influences consistent with his Indie Rock peer group.
Mendoza plays the 20th Century Theatre Saturday with Nicholas Radina. Get show details and read the full interview with him here.