The year may have started on the wrong foot, but 2020 is ending on a high note, thanks to Mau Y Ricky. The Reggaeton/Latin Pop duo, formed of brothers Mau (Mauricio Montaner) and Ricky (Ricardo Montaner), have just released their sophomore album, Rifresh, along with the first single, “Ouch.” In the music video, we get a divine view of scene after agonizing scene, each conveying a different interpretation of the song’s title. “When we were writing the song and thinking at the same time of what visually it could look like,” Mau & Ricky tells HollywoodLife, “we knew we wanted it to be something along the lines of a bunch of painful situations.”
The beauty of “Ouch” is only second to the song, with its infectious beat and smooth delivery from the brothers. It’s a marvelous pick to herald Rifresh, their second album (following 2019’s Para Aventuras y Curiosidades). The album features appearances by Karol G, Becky G, and Sebastián Yatra. The duo also teamed with JP Saxe for an English/Spanish remix of “Hey Stupid, I Love You,” and Ricky wrote songs for Sofia Reyes and Camila Cabello. This knowledge, obtained from collaborating with a range of artists, can be found on this new album.
“I feel like with Rifresh we were able to explore, I guess, a whole new phase or a whole new different side to what Mau Y Ricky are,” the band shares in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. During the chat, the band shares their favorite scene in the new music video, their personal “Ouch” moment of 2020, and who’d they’d love to collaborate with in 2021.
HollywoodLife: This song is insanely catchy. What was the inspiration behind it, and who came up with the beat?
Mau Y Ricky: “Ouch” is a song that we did at the beginning of quarantine. It was probably one of the first ones we did for this album. It’s a concept that I love because it speaks about something that is pretty common yet spoken in a very different way. It speaks about a relationship in which one of the two starts exploring somewhere else and starts looking to kind of cheat in the relationship. And then, while that person is distracted [with] trying to cheat, he realizes that the other person went ahead and cheated on him while he was distracted. And it’s kind of one of those karma situations.
And I just love the way that it is narrated and the beat. We did it with Tiny, whom we’ve worked with a bunch of times. But it’s always a pleasure because since we’re almost like family, it feels supernatural. And he understands perfectly what we’re trying to go for each time.
Despite the video being all these different painful moments, it looked like it was fun to shoot. Who came up with the idea for this video, and which is your favorite scene?
The video we did with Stillz, which we actually did every single video from this album with him. We feel like we’ve been able to create such a dope relationship with him [with] such cool chemistry and creativity.
When we were writing the song and thinking at the same time of what visually it could look like, we knew we wanted it to be something along the lines of a bunch of painful situations. And then when we were speaking with Stillz — we kind of spent a bunch of nights, for weeks developing these concepts together — we decided that we wanted to do this kind of super painful, ‘a bunch of situations’–themed video. But he came up with the idea of doing it all from God’s view, from kind of like the ‘shot from above ‘type thing.
And it was crazy. It was awesome because it was definitely a challenge where – we’re musicians. We’re not necessarily the best actors. We definitely had to prepare ourselves physically and for the roles and each one of the scenes. I feel like, the boxing scene specifically, we actually prepared physically. We had to get in shape and actually look like boxers.
We couldn’t be all weak in that scene. [laughs] So we prepared and everything. And I think that my favorite scene was probably the boxing scene. I feel like it was super fun to be able to do it with my brother and be able to shoot a scene where we’re kind of bouncing off each other’s improv and whatnot. So, I really enjoyed that.
Ignoring the obvious – the COVID-19 pandemic — what was your biggest “Ouch” moment of the year?
I think my biggest ouch moment of the year was probably when we were going to go on a 60-day tour, and we found out that, obviously, we’re able to do it. I know that it was said to ignore the pandemic, but the truth is, is that I can’t ignore it. That was something that I was looking forward to. And the people that follow us are such incredible people that our favorite part is being able to connect with them at a more personal and physical level.
I feel like in 2021, I’d love to continue exploring different sounds. I feel like with Rifresh we were able to explore, I guess, a whole new phase or a whole new different side to what Mau Y Ricky are. I would love to be able to work with artists that help keep pushing those boundaries. On the Latin side, I’d love to work with people like J Balvin, who’s a great friend I’d love to work with, and Ozuna, [Daddy] Yanqui.
But, then again, I also would love to keep working with our friends, with people that we’ve worked with in the past, or other friends that we haven’t worked with yet. And then I’d also love to keep exploring in the Anglo market, in the English-speaking side with people like The 1975. I would love to be able to work with someone like Ed Sheeran, obviously, and Shawn Mendes and Bruno Mars, a bunch of those people that we admire so many people that if it were up to us, we’d work with every single one of them. I feel like every time we do, we learn a bunch. So, it’d be great.
Rifresh is out now.