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Mario Marichalar releases new single ‘Bella’ from upcoming album, shares latest on lawsuit over streaming royalties

The former lead vocalist and bajo player for Ramon Ayala for over 27 years plans to release a full album with his own band in 2022.

Mario Marichalar is known as the longtime lead vocalist and bajo player for Ramon Ayala Y Los Bravos del Norte, but the singer and musician, who left the band over a legal dispute, is working on his own music and released his latest single, “Bella,” while lawyers work out the lawsuit over streaming royalties with Ayala.

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“I was with compadre Ramon for 27 years and I had to leave the band — terrible situation there — so I’m on my own with my brother,” Marichalar tells Tejano Nation. “We’ve been doing our recordings and getting work here and there and we have five songs out and we’re going to do another seven or eight so we can have 12 or 13 on this CD.”

Marichalar has teamed with Albert Ramirez and Isaias Ramirez of Massizo to produce his new music and highly-anticipated album. The debut single was the successful “Entre Copas,” released last summer, now the follow-up single is “Bella.”

RELATED: Mario Marichalar speaks out over digital royalties legal dispute with Ramon Ayala

“That song, the writer is a guy from Monterrey (Mexico), se llama Angel Tamez. Two years ago he sent me like 10 songs, all good, but I liked that one the most,” said Marichalar. “I was going to record it the way he sent it to me as a cumbia, and then when I showed it to Albert Ramirez, he wanted to make it a ranchera instead of a cumbia. It kind of sounds like a cumbia but it’s a Norteño ranchera and when I showed it to the writer, he really liked it a lot. It’s a cool song. I like it a lot.”

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“Bella” and four other songs recorded by Mario Marichalar Y Los Bravados del Norte are part of an EP available on all digital music platforms and look for the full album later this year.

Lawsuit over streaming royalties

Ayala sued his longtime singer and guitarist in August 2020 over music royalties worth millions of dollars after a claim by Marichalar to SoundExchange, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties for sound recordings, stopped royalty payments to Ayala.

Ayala says he is the sole owner of those royalties but Marichalar believes he deserves his share of the payments.

“We’re still going through this lawsuit with compadre Ramon, it’s in the lawyers’ hands. He had a lot of time to fix this but he never wanted to, you know, I tried talking to him,” said Marichalar. “I didn’t want to do this but his brothers Fidencio and Jose Luis, the one that passed away, they told me, ‘Hey Mario, you have to do this because we’re doing it.’ A friend of mine told me to get a lawyer and he kept insisting so I had to get one and they’re working on it, you know, what’s fair is fair.”

Ayala has recorded 105 albums, won four Grammy Awards, and taken part in 13 films during his career, according to court documents.

Marichalar says he contributed to 21 albums and approximately 270 individual sound recordings since joining the group. He is asking for 25% of those digital royalties which amounts to $1 million, according to Marichalar.

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