Since the members of Conexión Divina first met on social media, the band has made massive leaps in the genre of sierreño music — a subgenre of regional Mexican popularized by the late Ariel Camacho. They are the first group of female Gen-Z artists to break out in sierreño and have done so with a lead singer who is openly gay, Liz Trujillo. And now, the band is a Best New Artist nominee at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Conexión Divina, whose name means “Divine Connection,” is booked by CAA and managed by Erick and Mariam Begazo at Crazyness Entertainment.
A few months after members Sandra Calixto and Ashlee Valenzuela — the latter of whom recently left the band to pursue her own career — started chatting on socials, Calixto relocated from Dallas to Arizona to start the band. Soon after, they connected with Trujillo on TikTok, the two hopping on a Greyhound bus to move to Los Angeles.
This year, the band performed at Coachella and took the stage opening for Becky G, released their debut album, Tres Mundos, and played in Mexico City at Festival ARRE HSBC. That set was a particular highlight for the group, with Calixto telling Pollstar, “The crowd was really good and the people were so nice to us. [The show] was like the Mexican version of Coachella.”
Conexión Divina is still wrapping their heads around the past year. “We never thought we were going to get this far so early on into our career,” Trujillo says. “We don’t have as much experience as a lot of other artists in the sense that we’ve only been doing this for a year and five months. I’m super grateful the Academy saw us for us and gave us this opportunity. I’m just really grateful that we’re nominated. It’s something that doesn’t happen to just anybody.”
In September, the band was joined by Daniela Santiago, who is currently in her third year at the University of Southern California studying classical guitar performance. Originally a fan of the band, she met the rest of the women during a show they played on her college campus, snapping a picture along with the rest of the group. She followed the group’s Instagram account and would occasionally message them.
“I reached out to her because I saw she had a lot of requinto [guitar] covers,” Trujillo says. “I wasn’t sure if she still played, the latest post she had was a USC post from 2020. Her other covers were from 2020 as well, so I was like, maybe she’s not doing music anymore. I sent her a message and then I unsent it. But, then she saw it and she texted me and I texted her back and we started having a conversation.
“We met Dani beforehand for a reason. Out of the entire time that we’ve been doing this, I’ve felt like everything happens for a reason.”
This year has been a whirlwind for Conexión Divina, and Santiago has been thrust right in the middle of it. Within her first month playing with the band, she performed on tour with Karol G. The group says that so far, it’s been going well, and they’re beginning to find their groove with one another.
“That last show in Los Angeles, I was like, ‘Woah, that’s crazy. I was really on tour with Conexión Divina and Becky G.’ That’s the best way to start,” Santiago says.
With so many major milestones achieved this year, the women reflect on the ones that have meant the most to them thus far. With Santiago newly in the band, they’re grateful for the opportunity to join Becky G’s recent tour, the trek allowing them to further refine their live performances.
“The Becky G tour is one of the biggest moments in our career in the sense that I’ve grown so much in my stage presence,” Trujillo says. “I’ve learned a lot about how to talk to people. I wouldn’t really talk to people because I started in the four walls of my room, playing music and doing covers on TikTok. So I think me and the girls have grown hella because of this tour. It’s taught us so much about being in a really nice group.”
Coachella also remains a highlight for the group. Conexión Divina made history as the first sierreño band to perform at the festival on top of Bad Bunny making history as the first Latino to headline the event.
While at the festival, the group had a moment where they learned just how much they have already impacted the music industry and their fans.
“There’s this one lady that came up to us, and she started telling us that we were representing a lot of girls like her daughters,” Trujillo says.
“She had an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old who looked up to us, and she started crying out of nowhere and held our hands. She was like, ‘Can I hold your hands? Can I do a prayer?’ And that was the first time that happened to us. It was one of those moments where we are kind of making it.
“People relate with us. That’s the biggest goal our group has. We want to make people feel like they can identify themselves through us. We’re representing a lot of the young people and a lot of them maybe don’t have somebody to express themselves through. That’s one of our biggest concepts.”