In some ancient Polynesian traditions, "mana" represents supernatural power. For fans of the Spanish rock gods of Maná, their influence may not be mystical, but it is certainly magical.
Since its inception in 1986, Maná has made a career embracing its Mexican culture. Instead of remaining a local phenomenon, the veteran Latin pop group transformed into a world-beating powerhouse.
In fact, earlier this year, the band's global reach extended to both coasts of the United States in some very unique ways. In February, Maná became the first Mexican rock band to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a few months later, the bandmates celebrated Cinco de Mayo with President Obama at the White House and performed a nearly 40-minute set of their greatest hits.
It's only the latest in a long line of accolades. In addition to the band's immortalization on Hollywood Boulevard, over the course of its three-decade career, Maná has been recognized by the Billboard Latin Music Awards 15 times, the Grammys and Latin Grammys 11 times, and gotten airplay on MTV and nearly every Spanish-speaking media outlet in the Western Hemisphere.
Combining a sound that oftentimes is passionate and rousing old-school rock 'n' roll with the occasional sentimental ballad, Maná is an arena-rock band in that it can make thousands roar in a unified joy and fill every nook and cranny of even the most cavernous of venues with victorious thunder. It's a feat they will surely reproduce once again when they visit Miami at the American Airlines Arena this Saturday.
However, one invitation they most certainly won't accept is a return trip to the White House if a certain orange-tinted pumpkin man wins the office.
Republican presidential nominee and crybaby Donald Trump infamously said in a speech last year: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people who have lots of problems," before denigrating Mexicans as "rapists."
In response to these offensive and xenophobic remarks, lead singer Fher Olvera and Maná dedicated a song to Trump, "Somos Más Americanos."
As if to drive the point home further, the group's latest tour is called Latino Power, a nod to both the impact of Maná's music on generations of fans and the solidarity that arises when Latinos show their strength in numbers.
At a time when love is an effective weapon against hateful fear-mongering, Maná recently created a work of art that's universal. "Mi Verdad," the first single from the band's 2015 record, Cama Incendiada, is a wistful ode from a parent to a child that features Colombian pop star Shakira. It's a song so moving it brought her to tears.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
In an interview with Billboard, Olvera said, "She told us the first time she went to the studio to record, she couldn't do it because she was so emotional with the song... She told me: 'I wish I had written it.'?"
It's yet another example that in both periods of peace and those of discord (especially provoked by insecure bullies), Maná is a band for all peoples and all times.