Camilo Medina’s spiritual journey is a compelling narrative that deeply influences Divino Niño’s music. He was raised Catholic in Bogata and Miami, but he and his best friend and bandmate Javier found themselves involved in an “extreme form of Christianity” at the age of 14, which he later described as “culty and unhealthy.” This intense religious experience led him to reevaluate his spiritual beliefs. “For the past five years, spirituality has been more personal,” he shared, adding that he’s now more inclined towards “meditating and Buddhism.”
This transformation from organized religion to a more individualized form of spirituality has had a profound impact on both his personal life and his artistic expression. Last Spa on Earth was acknowledging our heritage,” Medina said, highlighting how his spiritual evolution has seeped into the band’s latest album, which explores themes of release, catharsis, and even spiritual healing. “We’re working on a new record to capture the energy of live performances,” he continued, “live performances feel less chaotic and more of a dance with the audience.” Medina’s ongoing spiritual journey not only shapes his own worldview but also adds a layer of emotional and thematic complexity to Divino Niño’s music.
The name “Divino Niño” itself is a nod to Medina and his best friend and bandmate Javier Forero’s spiritual background. The term translates to “Divine Child” (or “Baby Jesus”) in English, a figure revered in Catholicism. “Javier and I have known each other since we were four, and our name evokes a lot of childhood memories for us” Medina mentioned, emphasizing the deep-rooted connection that goes beyond just musical collaboration. The name encapsulates the essence of childhood bonds and spiritual undertones that have shaped both their lives. It’s a fitting title for a band whose music and members are deeply influenced by a tapestry of spiritual experiences, from organized religion to personal explorations of faith.
Their latest album, Last Spa on Earth, is a sonic departure from their earlier work, incorporating elements of reggaeton, electropop, and trap. This bold reinvention was born out of the isolation of the pandemic. Unable to go out and see bands that inspired them, Divino Niño turned inward. The music scene became just the four of them, and they leaned into electronic elements to keep the creative process going. The result is an album that feels explosive, spanning genres from bachata to punk to techno.
The album was written and recorded in two cabins—one in Northern Wisconsin and another in the Smoky Mountains. These environments played a significant role in shaping the album’s sound. The isolation was extreme, especially since they hadn’t seen each other for several months due to the pandemic. It was a time to get to know their new selves, have a little fun, and be as productive as possible.
The writing process for Last Spa on Earth was described by Medina as “unrelentingly collaborative.” Each member would bring an idea to the table, and everyone else would “spray musical graffiti” over it. They would deconstruct the music and mix and match intriguing sounds and spur-of-the-moment creativity bombs. This approach has evolved over time, especially after touring four times for their last album. Today, they are much more confident in their music, and while they’re still experimenting, it’s in a more refined and mature way.
Medina mentioned getting “disoriented by how creative they were” during the early recording sessions. The post-production phase was a six-month endeavor to make sense of the recorded chaos. But it’s a chaos that makes sense, much like a mountain sticks out, but still makes sense as a part of nature, as Medina put it.
The band’s shift toward more dancey tunes was influenced by their changing methods of entertainment. Before 2020, a night out would involve going to a bar like Empty Bottle to watch a band while holding a beer. Post-pandemic, they’ve embraced experiences way out of their comfort zone, including EDM and the queer dance scene in Chicago, which has been incredibly inspiring for them.
The influence of queer culture on Divino Niño’s music is palpable, especially in their recent shift towards more dancey, electronic tunes. “The queer scene in Chicago has been incredibly inspiring for us recently,” Medina shared during our conversation. He went on to explain how this inspiration isn’t just about the music but also about self-expression and identity. “It’s less about the partner that I have and more about the way that I can express my masculinity, express my femininity,” he said. The band’s engagement with the queer community has opened up new avenues for artistic expression, allowing them to explore different facets of their musical identity.
This influence extends beyond just the sound; it’s a part of the band’s ethos, their approach to life and art. “We’ve been not only going to these events but becoming friends with a lot of the artists involved,” Medina added. This sense of community and belonging has enriched their music, adding layers of complexity and openness that resonate with a broader audience. It’s not just about incorporating new musical styles; it’s about embracing a culture that celebrates diversity and freedom, values that Divino Niño clearly holds dear.
Their album artwork, graffiti-tagged, reflects their current attitude toward art and music. Medina, who is also a graphic designer, was inspired by the graffiti he saw in his neighborhood during the pandemic. It’s a form of expression that resonates with him and the band, much like their music.
With so many influences, and experimentation with Last Spa on Earth, I asked how he hopes people receive the music. Medina would love to hear ten different people interpret it in ten different ways. It’s the kind of art that’s open to individual interpretation, and that’s what makes it so compelling, a lot like the graffiti art he admires.
As Divino Niño gears up for their 30-day tour, kicking off at PYGMALION, they’re promising a high-energy set that’s sure to captivate. With a new album on the horizon and a fresh, eclectic sound that defies easy categorization, this is a band that’s not just evolving but actively seeking transformation—musically, personally, and spiritually. Whether you’re drawn to their music for its sonic innovation or its emotional depth, one thing is certain: Divino Niño is a band that invites you not just to listen, but to feel, think, and most importantly, to dance. So, if you’re looking for an experience that transcends the usual concert fare, don’t miss their set. It promises to be a night of not just music, but of communal catharsis and unbridled expression.
Divino Niño with Susto, Friko, and many more at PYGMALION
Rose Bowl Tavern (Outdoors)
F September 22nd, 10 p.m.