Musician brothers Raul and Mexia grew up watching their dad's band perform on 'Sabado Gigante' -- Univision's longest running program, and the world's longest running variety TV show. Los Tigres del Norte (their dad's band) was a family affair compiled of brothers and cousins that became the biggest regional Mexican band on either side of the border.
Despite their father Hernán Hernández hoping that Raul and Mexia (real name: Hernán) wouldn't follow in his footsteps, his sons indeed became musicians. "When I was 12 years old I was embarrassed of norteño music. My dad would pick me up at school and he'd be like in his tejana and boots and everything and people would be like 'That's your dad dude?' and I'd be like 'Yeah' and get into the car real quick," Mexia, the older of the two brothers says.
Mexia remembers a time when his father and he couldn't agree on anything musical. "I started writing raps and show them to my dad and he didn't really get them. And to me, all his music sounded the same (he imitates the beat). But once I started understanding Spanish I was listening to more music and understanding the feeling and I started appreciating the music. Once I started recording in Spanish he was like 'Oh crap, that's pretty good.'"
The brothers released their album "Arriba y Lejos" this past February, but their performance on 'Sabado Gigante' is a big moment. To them, this is like a rite of passage. "We've been following Don Francisco for a very long time. I remember my mom would gather us around the TV when my dad would perform on there. So it's kind of a family tradition at home. Don Francisco is like our Santa Claus I guess," Mexia says.
At the Univision dressing rooms, the brothers are received by the wide (and I mean wide) variety of guests lingering the hallways, everyone asks about their father. It seemed like everyone there had grown up listening to Los Tigres Del Norte. The guys were honored.
Raul was amazed by this one little boy who he said looked like a miniature version of his dad. "It's like he was put in 'Honey I Shrunk The Kids'," he says, "He's identical." It was only a matter of minutes before the little boy's father recognized the brothers and asked them if his kids could pose for a picture with them. Raul was the most excited person in the room. "I've never been more starstruck in my life," he says after the photo.
After the pictures, makeup, interviews, harmonizing in the dressing room, and watching their assigned dancers choreographed dance, the guys performed "Las Escondidas" in front of Don Francisco and his usual screaming audience.
Considering how much Raul and Mexia talked the hours before their performance, it was surprising and perfect that the only thing they had left to say walking back to their dressing room was, "It was surreal."