Jesús "El Rayo" Mendoza is a charting singer and songwriter of Mexican regional music. He is part of a millennial generation that has brought new sounds and arrangements to norteño music.
Mendoza was born in Michoacán, Mexico, but was brought to the United States by his parents at age two. He was raised in San Clemente in Orange County, California. Music was his pervading interest from childhood on. His musical idols were Valentín Elizalde and Adan Sanchez. At 16, he scored his first gig. He borrowed $200 from his mother in order to cut a demo. Recorded in the home studio of a friend, it comprised traditional songs. He burned enough CD-Rs to sell at the merchandise table of the show. He went over so well that he recouped what he had borrowed, paid back his mother, earned an extra $200 to put into more product, and was discovered by promoter Alex Henriquez of the Perfect Touch Entertainment Company. He never looked back.
Mendoza and his new manager established a special media presence via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. He continually posted new music -- some of it original. He landed tracks on various compilations between 2013 and 2014, and played some high-profile gigs opening for and sharing stages with performers ranging from Roberto Tapia and Banda el Limón to Larry Hernandez and Banda el Recodo. To expand his artist's profile, Henriquez signed a promotion deal with Eddie Orjuela's Talent Uno and First Fila Entertainment. With assistance from the two entrepreneurs combined with his own work ethic, Mendoza's social media presence grew to include 15 fan clubs before he had a major-label deal. Fonovisa noticed the attention he was getting, but was even more interested in his original songs. They signed him at the end of 2014 and put him in a recording studio. His first self-penned single for the label, "Aún Te Sigo Amando," landed in the Top 30 of the Hot Latin Songs chart. He issued two more singles that year, including a remake of the aforementioned track with J. Alvarez. In 2016, in addition to working on an album and touring, he issued the single "Mis Inicios," which landed on several charts, while its video racked up more than half a million views. "Si Te Vas No Ye Regresas" was issued in January 2017, a pre-release for his debut album. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi