What’s better than doing something you love for a living? Doing it with your sister. Vic and Gab Bunuelos are the stars of Milwaukee pop band appropriately dubbed REYNA, a spin off of the word reina meaning queen in Spanish. We had a chance to sit down and get to know Vic and ask how REYNA got started and how Milwaukee has shaped them.
Set a scene for us: if we were to encounter you in your ideal setting, what would the space look like, what song would be playing, what would it smell like, who would you be with?
I would be in Mexico, with my best friends from college, listening to Bad Bunny and playing soccer.
What are three of your quirks?
“I would say: 1. eye roll - I can't help myself haha 2. Whenever I am thinking of a word or just get stuck on a thought I always say "esteeee" which is a word in Spanish that basically means "hmmm" 3. Like many Mexicans I can never be barefoot, you'll always see me with shoes even at the beach /pool ;)
What are some of your favorite hobbies/interests?
“I love playing soccer, going on long runs, watching movies and reading books. I love to travel and visit new places.”
How did you get started with music?
“Since we were kids we always sang together and everyone would say "Omg you both sound so good singing together" so we would always sing everywhere we went. People called us "the singing sisters". Then we started playing the violin in 4th grade and played in a mariachi band. We picked up a guitar and bass around age eleven and we started writing songs about our day and getting in trouble with our parents. After many many songs written, we uploaded a song to a website and it got picked up by a music supervisor at MTV for the show Skins US. That's when we decided to take music seriously and make a career of it.
What brings you the most joy about music?
Writing songs actually. I find peace in writing, it's like therapy for me. It's like once I write about it it's easier for me to let go of the feeling whichever that feeling is.
What's it like playing with your sibling?
It's the best because I know that Gab always has my back and I have her to go with the ups and downs of not only life but work/music everything.
Since when and why do you call Milwaukee home?
We moved here in 2009. It definitely didn't feel like home until we started making music and getting out. We were initially very isolated because we didn't know anyone. But now I can say that Milwaukee is home because it's been so good to us. This is where we started our music career and where most of our dear friends live.
How do you think Milwaukee has shaped you?
I definitely drink more since moving here haha jk!
How has Milwaukee shaped the music you make?
When we first started playing music we realized that Milwaukeans like to go to a good show with lively music and have a good time. So even though we would write sad lyrics our music has always been upbeat and "happy". We wanted to make people dance and like I said that's something we noticed our Milwaukee audience enjoyed.
What makes you the most excited about Milwaukee and the music scene here?
The opportunities, I feel like Milwaukee is always growing and there are always programs or something cool happening for artists. I love all the genres of music that Milwaukee musicians are creating and I am thankful for all the opportunities we have had here and the love of the city.
Do you work on anything outside of music you’d like us to share? (other art mediums, projects, organizations?)
Gab is into film, she has made most of our music videos with her iphone and I think she's awesome.
What’s your favorite music venue in Milwaukee?
Gab and I both have a big place in our hearts for Cactus Club, it's the venue where we played our first Vic and Gab show and our first REYNA show. So yeah it's a big deal for us