A multi-talented force of nature with Puerto Rican roots, Nicolas began singing along to Michael Jackson’s music at age six and within a few years, he was attending the School of Rock in Manhattan, developing his vocal talents as well as his skills on piano, guitar and drums. While enrolled at School of Rock, he was also working on his formidable dance moves as a tap and ballet student at the prestigious Ailey School, the official school of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, which offers world class dance training to students from 3 to 25.
Nicolas attended both for two years before becoming part of Menudo. Nicolas is also a talented actor, having appeared on NBC’s Law & Order and in the upcoming film Dumb Money featuring Seth Rogen. Shailene Woodley, Paul Dano and America Ferrera, who plays his mom. His favorite music artists include Steven Tyler, Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC.
Always a larger-than-life personality, Ezra began performing at age four at his aunt’s wedding, performing an entire dance to “Uptown Funk.” He performed in his first play in second grade, and while falling in love with theatre, he also began dancing and singing more formally. While living in the Bay Area of California, he performed in numerous musicals at Mugglebee Theatre & Teambuilding (including Frozen and Annie) and San Carlos Children’s Theater. When Ezra’s family moved to Miami a few years ago, he got an agent and enrolled in the Barclay Performing Arts Acting & Musical Theatre Studio, where he performed in numerous shows, including playing the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. He also shot a commercial for an electric car that gets played on the scoreboard at Miami Heat games and on ESPN, which delighted him as a lifelong basketball fanatic.
Ezra has also appeared on three shows for Cartoon Channel, including being a spokesperson for two game shows. He has taken acting, hip hop and voice lessons with Broadway actress and vocal coach Jodie Langel. His musical influences include Bruno Mars, Marc Anthony and the band AJR. Earlier in his life, in addition to his performing endeavors, he played basketball for three seasons and his team won the West Boca Basketball championship. Ezra is also an avid reader, loves comedy (SNL is a favorite), a gamer, a yoyo lover who loves performing tricks and a budding (mostly vegan) chef specializing in many cuisines.
Born in Coro, state Falcon, Venezuela, Gabriel began his career as a model at age six after his dad uploaded photos of him through social networks showcasing his engaging personality. In 2017, he was offered his first opportunity to do a recording with a song titled “Cuentame,” whose video received 48K views on YouTube. He became a popular and prolific artist over the next few years, releasing numerous singles and appearing in ten music videos, in addition to singing live with the Falcon Symphony Orchestra in his hometown of Coro. He also performed regularly in schools, parks and concerts. Gabriel, who moved to the U.S. in 2022, is also a talented soccer and volleyball player whose favorite soccer team is Real Madrid. He has said that when he grows up, he wants to be known as a “singing footballer.”
Andres says he started his performing career mostly for fun, dancing at his sister’s quinceañera celebration in Venezuela when he was seven. When his family moved to the U.S. in 2016, he began acting, appearing in a short film and on Telemundo’s nationally broadcasted TV show “Don Francisco Te Invita” on the segment “Soy Yo!”
He discovered his innate singing talent when his mom enrolled him in the World of Music Academy near Miami. Andres was self-conscious when he sang his first song, “Sucker For Pain” from the Suicide Squad Soundtrack, but then found his groove with “Despacito.” He soon discovered a passion for musical theatre, classical singing and opera, and began studying opera at the New World School of the Arts, where he was enrolled in the music and choir programs and sang arias. He later immersed in musical theatre at another school, the SAH Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and traveled to Panama to attend the Sono Arte singing academy. Among the musicals Andres has appeared in are Fame (the musical), Aladdin, Elf and Beauty and the Beast, the latter which he performed at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami. Andres is also heavily into sports, and when he was younger, he participated in swimming, learned karate and played tennis.
A native of Venezuela who is skilled at skateboarding in addition to rapping and dancing, Alejandro started dancing at four and at six enrolled in a program at Academia de Baile Anita Vivas in Caracas. He stopped performing briefly to play soccer, and after his family move to the U.S. when he was 11, he spent two years in a musical theatre program at Miami Children’s Theatre, where he sang, danced and acted in the shows Matilda Jr., Frozen Jr. and Aladdin Jr.
Alejando later attended the SAH Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, performing in three shows (including a holiday show and Elf) and taking part in numerous performance competitions. He is a fan of Pink Pantheress and counts Bruno Mars/Silk Sonic and rappers Mac Miller and Vince Staples. Alejandro performs the group’s rap on “Mi Amore.”
Long before New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98 Degrees and One Direction were a thought in their creators’ minds, Menudo exploded on the pop music scene, conquering the hearts of music fans of multiple generations throughout the U.S. and Latin America and ranked as one of the biggest Boy Bands of all time – and the only Latino group on the list - by Billboard, US Weekly, Seventeen, Teen Vogue and other influential publications.
Formed in Puerto Rico in 1977, Menudo became one of the most popular teen musical groups of the 80s and 90s, selling over 20 million records and releasing 34 albums and 24 singles between their launch and 2009. As older members aged out, others joined the fold – and along the way, the group gave rise to future Grammy and Latin Grammy winning superstars Ricky Martin and Draco Rosa, both members in the mid-80s.
Now, thanks to a passionate behind the scenes team that includes veteran music industry executive Paul Tarnopol (President of Miami-based Menudo Productions) and TV personality (and massive Menudo fan since childhood!) Mario Lopez, Menudo is back with its most dynamic ever lineup of five multi-talented singers, dancers, performers and all-around personalities.
After an extensive audition process that began with 600 video submissions and callbacks in Puerto Rico (briefly interrupted by Hurricane Irene), Los Angeles and Miami, it’s time to meet Gabriel Rossell (14), Andres Emilio (15), Alejandro Querales (15), Ezra Gilmore (13) and Nicolas Calero (11), who collectively form the new generation of Menudo. Though the original open call for online video submissions requested an age range of 12-16, the team was so impressed by Nicolas’ multitude of talents that they made an exception. All five were chosen from the Miami callbacks, and Lopez personally told each boy the good news.
Menudo has been an inescapable, exciting pop culture presence since “The Big Reveal” March 20, when the group performed their infectious, brass-fired and highly danceable English and Spanish language single “Mi Amore” (released that same day) on Good Morning America after an intro by Lopez. They followed with appearances on Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Access Hollywood and various shows on the Spanish language networks Univision and Telemundo including Despierta America, HOYDIA, En Casa con Telemundo amongst others. The colorful, kinetic video for the track amassed over 4M views in its first three weeks.
As they gear up to release their debut EP “Un Nuevo Comienzo” (A New Beginning) on October 20, 2023, the new Menudo is working with some of the industry’s hottest up and coming songwriters and producers. “Mi Amore” was written by Warren David Meyers, Moonchild (Jonas Zekkari and Jordan Alexander Myles Fairie and produced by Meyers for Audiofreaks Music UK. The vocals were produced by renowned vocal coach Jesse Chirino for Menudo Productions. Their second single dropped May 12, “Feelin’,” an all-Spanish song written by Andy Clay, Yoel
Henriquez, Luis Salazar and Carlos Humberto Dominguez Kemzo and produced by Latin Grammy winner Orlando Vitto and Renzo Bravo for VrB Tunes has already surpassed 10.5 million views on YouTube.
“Deciding on the final five was harder than we ever imagined because there was so much great talent to choose from,” says Lopez. “The five boys we selected gelled together instantly, and the music they’ve created has exceeded all of our expectations. I think we have several massive hits, and I was honored and more than excited to introduce these boys to the world.”
The members of Menudo have insightful thoughts about what makes the chemistry between them work so well. Nicolas says, “Our friendship has had so many opportunities to grow because we are together having fun and working four to six hours every day.” Andres adds, “We all have a great work ethic and are dedicated to improving our singing, dancing and performance skills every day. All of this is valuable for us because we all want to have long careers making music.”
Ezra notes that, “We’re all so different, and opposites attract. We’re not the same but we all like the same things. We realize we would not have met had it not been for Menudo. Like all brothers, sometimes we bond and sometimes we fight, but everything comes from a spirit of love and commitment to our passion for music.” Alejandro adds that “besides the amazing camaraderie with the others, one of the most special aspects of having the honor to carry on the Menudo legacy is meeting so many wonderful, talented people who are committed to helping us grow as artists.” Gabriel is “very excited about our future, not only the great music we’re making but the opportunity to perform and share these experiences with my wonderful new friends and fans.”
Paul Tarnopol has been at the forefront of music marketing, distribution, technology and label administration for nearly three decades, rescuing and resurrecting his dad Nate Tarnopol’s classic 60’s and 70’s soul label Brunswick Records in the 90s and releasing a series of classic bestselling compilations and musical novelty products through his companies Mars Entertainment and Spy Music Group. His history of groundbreaking successes, and his ongoing interest in the cultural phenomena of boy bands and their ability to capture millions of fans in multiple generations, gave him the confidence in 2016 to take over the Menudo brand and form Menudo International, LLC for the purpose of purchasing the rights to the Menudo trademark and reactivating the massively popular group concept.
Menudo is currently preparing for their third single release “Tu y Yo”; a high-octane track that will have you dancing non-stop. The song will be released on the same day as the long-awaited for EP “Un Nuevo Comienzo” (A New Beginning) which includes 6 songs plus a bonus remix track of “Mi Amore”.
In addition to promotional visits to all major media outlets in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico and Miami, Team Menudo is currently setting the stage for their upcoming tour in 2024.