The extended Montaner family’s musical journey has been regularly reported over the past couple of years. It starts with patriarch Ricardo Montaner, the iconic singer/songwriter with a breathlessly powerful voice who has transcended across more than three decades, placing 22 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart and earning a Grammy nomination for best latin pop album last year. He is currently No. 43 on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Latin Artists chart.
Two of his sons make up the sibling duo Mau & Ricky Montaner, whose fresh brand of pop laced with urban beats has translated to two top 10s on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart and one No. 1.
Daughter Evaluna Montaner is a rising star with a translucent voice. The most recent addition to the family is her husband, Camilo, who frequently writes with the Montaner siblings and his father-in-law. But the family had never collaborated in a recording, until now.
“Amen,” released on Wednesday (Dec. 23) just in time for Christmas, brings together Ricardo, Mau, Ricky and Evaluna Montaner, together with Camilo.
“We wrote it all together and yes, it’s the first time we all collaborate together,” said Ricardo Montaner, speaking from the family kitchen, where the extended family was preparing for the 5 p.m. release of the song. “It’s one of the richest professional –not to mention personal—experiences I’ve ever lived.”
“Amen” is an anthemic appeal for help and closure. Although the Montaners are devout Christians and Ricardo Montaner in particular often has religious connotations in his songs, the chorus of “Amen, Amen, take away my pain”—can be applied to many situations.
“Amen is a universal word that has the same meaning in any language; it’s the word that unites everything. When you believe in something with certainty, you say ‘Amen,’” says Ricardo Montaner, who produced the track with Richi López.
The accompanying video, directed by Montaner’s wife Marlene Montaner (Evaluna is also a video director), was shot in a single take and shows the five family members standing side by side, the difference in musical styles apparent in their outfits, and extending into the music. It’s powerful, and beautiful.