Behind the scenes of the Montaner family: endless travel and tours, global fame and unlimited faith in God

For the patriarch of the Montaner family, Ricardo MontanerTelling his life, that of his family and what they have achieved in the musical world in a film has been a dream for decades. That dream took shape last Wednesday through a docuseries released by the Disney+ platform. Under the name of The Montaners —as it could not be otherwise— gathers the story of one of the most important families of musicians in Latin America.

With more than half a century of experience in the music industry, Ricardo Montaner (Valentín Alsina, Argentina, 65 years old) is one of the icons of Latin music. He started from the bottom as an opening act on humble stages in Venezuela and ended up achieving fame, like so many others, when he made the leap to the United States. There he finished forging a career that, among other achievements, has allowed him to sell more than 25 million records. He did it, largely against the criteria of music critics: almost reluctantly, crushed by the evidence that Montaner’s music has crossed borders, the Latin Recording Academy agreed last year to grant him his first Latin Grammy.

His career has inspired many musicians, but above all those of his own blood. Mau and Ricky, their two sons (Mauricio Alberto, 29, and Ricardo Andrés, 31), launched their own musical project after being part of Ricardo’s band, the former as guitarist and the latter as drummer, for years. Now, fame has also come to both of them with songs like unknown Y My bad and have been nominated for two Latin Grammys.

But the musical influence of the Montaners does not end here. Evaluna, Ricardo’s only daughter, has also made the leap into the industry. Together with her husband, singer Camilo, she has created hits like For the first time either Indigo —a song dedicated to their first and, at the moment, only daughter—. Camilo He was an unknown boy when the patriarch met him and only managed to sign his first record contract when his father-in-law persuaded the strongmen of the industry that they had a diamond in the rough before their eyes. Ricardo was convinced of Camilo’s talent and he was not wrong. At 28 years old, his son-in-law counts his songs by hits. His face, with their Dalinian mustachesis well-known on both sides of the Atlantic, and it is frankly difficult to find in America or in Spain someone who has not even once hummed songs like life of rich either tutus.

The idea for this documentary came about during a call between Ricky and the platform streaming of Disney during the confinement of 2020. “The call at first was for another commitment, but we ended up talking about how to do this project. When I hung up, excited, I called the family and they accepted,” Ricky himself tells EL PAÍS. The decision meant for the Montaners to start living surrounded by cameras and microphones for months, as can be seen in the first five chapters of the series, which have already been released.

Marlene Rodríguez Miranda, Ricardo’s wife since 1989 and mother of the three young Montaners, confesses that she became afraid of how far the producer would penetrate her life. “I didn’t know if they were going to have to go to the bathroom with me,” says Rodríguez in an interview with EL PAÍS, in which she states that her husband and children are used to fame but she is not, so letting the cameras in her house found it more difficult.

The series, which will have a total of 10 episodes, follows the day-to-day life of the family and intermingles, as a flash back, current images with family recordings that are part of the family’s personal archive. “The value of this is to leave a record of what our own family is. We don’t want more fame, we don’t need more haters”, affirms Ricky in a video call with this newspaper. His father agrees with this: “What motivated us to do this was thinking that we could inspire more people.” The first chapter begins showing the surprise birthday that the family organizes for Marlene on a boat in Miami and, from that moment, music, God and relationships are the main axis of the series.

One of the most characteristic features of the Montaners is that the whole family speaks spanglish, a combination of English and Spanish, the result of a life straddling Venezuela, Colombia and the United States. Thus, it is not uncommon to see a member of the clan start a sentence in Spanish and finish it in English with a strong Miami accent.

From the stage to life as a couple

The series portrays the family and how its members try to balance their musical commitments with the time they dedicate to relationships with each other and with themselves. “The partners of each one knew what they were facing when they decided to mess with my children,” says Montaner Sr. in the series. He alludes to Stefi Roitman, an Argentine actress and Ricky’s wife, and to Sara Escobar, a model and Mau’s partner, who often have to spend long periods without seeing them because of tours and the recording of new songs.

It is a wear that is noticeable. Far from presenting a sugar-coated image, several episodes reflect the consequences of a life devoted almost entirely to music. Especially striking is the episode in which, during a tour in Argentina, Mau and Ricky have to make seven presentations in six days, an experience that takes them beyond exhaustion. The series does not spare the discussions that this generates between Mau and Sara, who asks him to prioritize her family while she admits that she would like them to have a child. Finally, that baby has arrived: Apollo was born at the beginning of last October.

There is also room for celebration. Without a doubt, one of the moments that will delight fans is the wedding of Ricky and Stefi Roitman, held last January in Argentina. Theirs, says the documentary, has been a lightning love: one day Mau showed Ricky Roitman’s Instagram profile (with more than 3.7 million followers) and he, without thinking, wrote to invite her to his next concert. She accepted and, since then, they have not separated.

“I never would have imagined being surrounded by cameras at my wedding, but it was very nice, because it flowed. We didn’t want to stop enjoying the moment by thinking he had a microphone on me, but that never happened. Now we have a record of a very important day for us in a unique way,” Roitman tells EL PAÍS.

But if there is a romance that absorbs hours of the series It is Camilo’s and also the singer Evaluna, who met in 2014 when they attended the launch of a children’s shampoo in Colombia. Love has those things: from shampoo they went on to write, although the two had a partner. After a year, free him and free she, they resumed contact and, although at first they had to overcome the problem of distance, they finally got married in Miami in 2020 before 350 guests. The fruit of their relationship is their Indigo daughterborn in April and whose announcement of her birth came along with no less than four Latin Grammys under her arm: those that Camilo received in 2021 in Las Vegas to consecrate himself as one of the great artists of the American continent.

In any case, for Ricardo Montaner, family is far above success and fame. “The most important thing about this production is to be able to reach those who are at home watching us and inspire them to make an effort to have more loving relationships,” he reflects on the other end of the phone as he takes stock and realizes that something is missing inside his house. His children are now adults and are living their own story.

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Behind the scenes of the Montaner family: endless travel and tours, global fame and unlimited faith in God