The Brown Derbies head south for the winter

Singing on the beach!

SungYong Han and the Brown Derbies sing on a beach in Cancun.

No, this isn’t a photo from last summer’s vacation–it’s from a few weeks ago, when members of the Brown Derbies went to Cancun for ten days to sing a capella, practice for gigs and an upcoming album, and spend some time with sun and sand.

Derbies Matt Garza and Raghava Kamalesh caught up with BlogDailyHerald to tell us about their trip:

Some of our most fun gigs were at an International School (we had photo shoots after the concert for students to wear our Derbies!), impromptu singing on the beaches, at the Plaza Caracol Mall, and at this fancy shmancy Italian restaurant where some fans surprised us with dinner! We also rehearsed a ton to prep for our next recording session and the beginning of the semester’s events. On the fun side, we challenged everyone in our hotel to beach volleyball/water polo tournaments, lounged in the amazing weather, and went out to clubs like Senor Frogs and “Little Light Up Floor” (as we named it) in the hotel district! We also met up with one of the Derbies’ biggest fans–Jose Cuervo! When in Mexico…

Jealous yet? After the jump, small children in big hats! Plus, Matt and Raghava tell us more about their trip and what the group has planned for the future.

Q: How did you guys get to go to Cancun?
A: The Derbies go on tour every year- in past years we’ve gone to Texas, San Francisco, D.C., Los Angeles, & Las Vegas and we hadn’t gone abroad for quite some time. Since Winter Break is mad long, we decided that we wanted to tour during winter break and that an international tour would be super fly. We caught up with some of our Derby alums and also realized that we had connections in Costa Rica, Cancun, Shanghai, Dubai, & Seoul. In the end, we were able to get the most gigs/free accommodations in Cancun so MEXICO IT IS!

kids in derbies!

Students at the International American School get a visit from the Brown Derbies.

Q: Was the snow a big problem for lots of people?
A: OMG! Of course the “southern” Derbies had no trouble getting to Cancun without weather delays but most of the Derbies had quite the adventure with re-routes, cancellations, and delays. Luckily, the airlines were super cooperative and we had an action plan in place for Derbies to get to the hotel via a shuttle service if any of their flights were off schedule. If anything, the snow storm nightmares made the white sand beaches infinitely more satisfying once all the Derbies made it to Cancun!

Q: What moment (silly or serious) encapsulated your trip?
A: Derby tours are always ridiculous. Put 10 days of Cancun in the equation and we consequently have too many hilarious moments and adventures to recount. The number of times we were offered inappropriate services on the streets and discounts to “Coco Bongo” is definitely an ongoing joke with the Derbies. Towards the end of our tour, some of us started offering “Best Price” Derby CD’s to these likes! One day, we woke up at our hotel and went out to the pool before afternoon rehearsal and what did we hear on the sound system? Our last album “Ridin Derby” was playing! That was pretty amazing and silly for us. Aside from that, we got kicked off stages for dancing, were “encore-ed” WAY too many times, played copious amounts of beachside Mafia, met some pretty ridiculous people, and bonded a lot during our trip! Huge Success!


Rob Warner sings a solo at a gig in Cancun.

Q: What are the Derbies up to this semester? Any concerts or other trips coming up?
A: We have an awesome semester planned! We’re going to be having a “Hot Like Mexico” Arch Sing next Friday at 9pm (check out our facebook page for more info) and after auditions, we’ll be traveling to a few colleges and doing various gigs in the northeast. Once the weather turns up, we’re planning to host our sister group, The Smith College Smiffenpoofs, for a HUGE concert and KILLER after party! We’ll be taking a mini-tour to NYC in April and finishing the recording of our next album before Commencement 2011!

Q: We heard you’re recording an album. What’s going to go on it?
A: As much as we try to hide it, the millions of Derby Fan Blogs are abuzz and the rumors are true! According to “DerbyLeaks” we’re releasing our album this Fall and we’re stoked. We have new sound engineers and our producer is the same producer who mixes for the “Sing Off” so we can’t wait to release this next album! Not to give away too much, but we have some tracks laid down covering Boyz ii Men, Passion Pit, & Queen! We’ll be premiering 3 new songs from our album at our arch sing next Friday, so come check em out!

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