For over 20 years, Conjunto Baraja de Oro has solidified itself as the “Baddest Conjunto Band in the Land” and the next generation of the family band from Red Oak, Texas, has a talented musician that will continue the music legacy for many years. Victoria Barajas is the bass player of Conjunto Baraja de Oro and she is the only female nominee for Bass Player of the Year at the 2nd annual Guadalupe Conjunto Awards this summer in Houston.
Barajas is extremely humbled about being nominated and is still in shock because she still considers herself a rookie in the game, even after being in the industry for 8 years.
“I was shocked,” Barajas tells Tejano Nation. “There’s a lot of bass players that I look up to. The first example that I can give you is my dad and he’s been playing the bass for over 20 years.”
This follows a nomination Barajas received during the first year of her musical journey. The South Texas Conjunto Association nominated her for Bass Player of the Year, however, she said that the first time she was nominated, she didn’t feel like it was deserved, but this one she hopes the nomination isn’t because she’s the only female in the industry playing bass, but because she’s earned for her musicianship and gives all the glory to God.
Conjunto Baraja de Oro includes her parents Mario and Betty Barajas, her brother Jordan, and drummer Rene Garcia. Victoria’s eyes light when she speaks about how incredibly proud she is of her family, especially her parents.
Each member of this talented group has been chosen this year as a Guadalupe Conjunto Awards nominee in their respective category plus for Song of the Year.
Victoria is not biased as she speaks about her parents working really hard to be recognized as one of the top Conjunto groups in the industry. Her dad, Mario, established the band in 2000 and her mom, Betty, supported the band, eventually joining as a vocalist.
Victoria revealed her mom, who won Best New Female Artist at the 31st annual Tejano Music Awards in 2011, is a big inspiration and says singing is something that she may try in the future.
“I’m nervous you know, because look at my mom and dad. My dad is actually a very beautiful vocalist, an astounding vocalist and that’s so hard because that’s a lot of shoes,” she said. “But, I’m thinking about it, that’s all I can say.”
Victoria’s demeanor and intelligence soar far beyond her youth. She believes that “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” which she credits to her dad for being a young man with an old soul. She recalls her dad bringing her a guitar around the age of 12 and at 14 she remembers wanting to play it and getting frustrated because nothing she wanted was coming out of the beautiful instrument and then she thought to herself, “God, you gave me this musical talent and I can’t find it, help me find it.”
Shortly thereafter, that’s when she learned how to play it on her own and realized that God gave had given her “this gift” as she calls it. She showed her dad what she learned so he’d teach her a little more and tell her that she was not going to play bass like a girl but as a seasoned musician. At that point, Victoria basically went from level 1 to level 20 real quick and is very proud of how her dad taught her to play.
I can’t help but look at Victoria with such admiration for strength as a musician because she had been crying during their performance because of the recent passing of her paternal grandmother, Julie, yet through her tears of pain the show must go on because that is what her grandmother would have wanted. Victoria reveals they didn’t choose this life, this life chose them, and her grandmother wouldn’t want them to cancel their shows because music is their therapy, their outlet, and God is their foundation to give them strength to go on.
Music fans won’t be disappointed attending a Conjunto Baraja de Oro performance as it’s evident their hard work has paid off with their many nominations and accolades. On stage, they will captivate you as a group, in sync as a band and as a family that’ll have you either on the dance floor or watching them in awe as they feed off one another’s energy and are tuned in with their many fans.
“There is definitely a lot of talent in our home and a lot of hard work,” Victoria said. “We’re blessed.”
Listen to the full interview with Victoria Barajas of Conjunto Baraja de Oro below.
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