With their passionate fusion of timeless hooks and tropical grooves, Solero is a Pop act like no other. Hailing from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, brothers Jean and Jonathan Solero write and produce all their own material, instilling each song with a musical depth that draws on their expansive backgrounds. And though Spanish is their native tongue, the duo sings entirely in English—a rare dynamic that makes their heartfelt lyrics and soulful vocals all the more powerful.
On the title track to their forthcoming debut EP Green Light, Solero combine smooth harmonies with intense beats in a dance-ready number. Showing the scope of their sound, Green Light blends live performance and electronic music to offer everything from bittersweet ballads (the acoustic-guitar-laced “Seasons”) to blissed-out love songs (the shimmering “Paradise”) to beat-driven powerhouses (“Radar,” whose blazing guitar solo nods to Thriller-era Michael Jackson). But whether they’re working with French electro or classic funk, Solero always deliver heavy grooves and huge feeling. “We’re from the Caribbean so we like to move, but at the same time it’s got to have that soul,” Jonathan points out.
As heard on their recent duet with Jennifer Hudson for the film Sandy Wexler—a track penned by legendary hitmaker Babyface—Solero possess a stunning vocal command first honed while singing gospel music in church as little kids. With their pedigree also including six years of classical training at a specialized music school (where Jean studied guitar and piano and Jonathan focused on bass), the brothers grew up in a music-loving family who raised them on salsa and merengue (“If you didn’t dance, then you weren’t part of the family,” says Jean). While they spent time in several Gospel groups that gained major popularity throughout Puerto Rico, Jean and Jonathan ultimately decided to strike out on their own and, in 2010, started making music as Solero.
After taking time to sharpen their songcraft and refine their artistic vision, Solero began building major buzz with a series of Spanish-language covers that showcased their masterful vocals. Upon releasing their soul-stirring version of Charlie Wilson’s Grammy Award-nominated hit “You Are” in late 2011, the duo caught the attention of P Music Group, who promptly signed Solero. By the following summer, Solero had joined Wilson onstage at the 2012 Essence Music Festival for a Spanish-English rendition of “You Are” (an appearance that triumphed over the likes of Aretha Franklin and D’Angelo in Billboard’s ranking of the night’s best performances).
Relocating to L.A. in September 2015, Solero soon launched Acoustic Fridays: a beloved series in which the duo posted a new acoustic cover each Friday morning, taking on artists like Rihanna and The Temptations. Unlike most acts in the YouTube world, Solero produced and arranged the musical aspect of each cover. They also filmed the videos on their own, choosing locations like L.A. River, Big Bear, and Vasquez Rocks. “We had this idea that, instead of just singing in front of a microphone, we’d go down to Venice Beach or go up to a rooftop downtown,” says Jean, noting that Solero shot and edited each video themselves. “It was cool way to get to know L.A. and to give people something more special than what they’re used to.”
After several months of Acoustic Fridays sessions, Jean and Jonathan holed up in their home studio and got working on Green Light. Although each is involved in every facet of the creative process, Jonathan tends to take care of the lyrics and melodies while Jean handles the more technical side of production. “Producing has always fascinated me, so I started to teach myself at a really early age,” says Jean. “My brother and I are both very curious guys, and it’s in our nature to try to learn as much as we possibly can.” Throughout Green Light, Jean’s production skill reveals itself in the EP’s finely crafted sound. “So many producers get to where they are by working with a major producer first, but Jean figured everything out by himself—and not at a time when you could just go on YouTube for a tutorial,” says Jonathan. The brothers collaborated with fellow Puerto Rican natives, writers and producers Giovanni Rios, Jorge Resto and George Ladkani Nieves for the debut EP.
In the past year, Solero have brought their magnetic presence to live performances at events like the opening ceremony for Best Buddies, a nonprofit supporting people with disabilities. (“It’s a very important cause to us, because our little brother Joseph has special needs,” says Jonathan. “In our minds, we’re supposed to be a trio, and so much of our inspiration comes from wanting to help kids like Joseph any way we can.”) Both live and on record, Solero continually build on the potent chemistry that drives their creativity. “My brother and I don’t just share blood—we have a connection that’s deeper than that,” says Jean, who describes the duo as “inseparable.” “Even if we don’t have a specific project we’re working on, we’re always coming up with new songs together,” adds Jonathan. “We just love the process of creating music with each other, and the feeling it gives us is like nothing else in the world. It’s really kind of like magic.”