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Elis Paprika
Background information
Birth name Erika Elizabeth Nogues
Born May 8, 1980
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Pop rock
Years active 2004–present
Labels Independent
Dragora Records

Elis Paprika (real name Erika Elizabeth Nogues; May 8, 1980) is an independent singer-songwriter from Guadalajara, Mexico. She has been an active and important part of Mexico's Rock scene since 2004. She has performed 3 times at Auditorio Nacional in México City, along with Julieta Venegas in 2007, Belanova in 2008, and Juan Gabriel in 2009. She has performed in three Vive Latino Festivals in México City, first in 2006, in 2011, and again in 2014. Elis Paprika has also performed internationally in North America, South East and East Asia, and Europe. She was named "Band of the Month" on MTV Latin America in August 2006. Musicians in her band have varied with the years, and her current live and recording band is called The Black Pilgrims. Elis started her career in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico.

She has released 8 records to date, Give Me Love with Suave Records and distributed by Sony Music México in 2006, EP2 in 2007, Express distributed by EMI Music México in 2009, Maldito with Dragora Records and distributed by Warner Chapell in 2010, Animal with Dragora Records, and Adiós with Drágora Records in 2013. She also released the singles "Love Love Love" in 2011, and "Now Girls Rule" in 2014 which were not included in any of her previous records, but are now part of "Black & White" a double EP released on June 10, 2016 through OneRPM digitally.; "Venganza" (2018), released independently on digital and vinyl. She was also a part of the tribute álbum Amo al Divo de Juarez with her versión of "Hasta Que Te Conocí" by Juan Gabriel, as well as the tribute album Tributo A: Ana José Nacho (Mecano) with her version of "No Tienes Nada Que Perder" by Mecano.

In popular culture

Elis Paprika is part of important soundtracks in popular culture, mainly, but not exclusively in Mexico. Her Music can be heard in the first season of the TV series Soy Tu Fan by Canana Films, and Once TV Mexico, with the song "Tarde o Temprano", presented on MTV, basic cable, and open air TV channels. Her song “Love Love Love” is the main theme of the Chilean Film Que Pena Tu Boda's soundtrack from 2011. Her songs "Happy", "Give Me Love", and "Texas" are included in the soundtrack of the Mexican film Amor Xtremo from Buenavista Pictures. Her song Mucho can be Heard as the main theme in Mexican film Llamando a un Angel’s soundtrack by Disney Pictures, Karma Films, and Fidecine, 2008. Her voice can be heard, recorded as part of the music done for the Mexican short film, winner of the Festival de Cine de Morelia (Morelia Film Festival), and shown at the Cannes Film Festival, Jacinta from director Karla Castañeda. Her song "Feliz" can be Heard in the soundtrack of Mexican film 31 Días from Goliat Films, 2012. Her song "Stupid Song", included in her record "Venganza", is part of the motion picture soundtrack of the Mexican film Plan V, released in August, 2018 and directed by Fez Noriega. "Stupid Song" was also selected by 2019 FICG (Guadalajara International Cinema Festival) to promote 2019's Maguey Award.

Music career

2002-2003: First demos

She interrupted her studies in 2002 and moved to London England for one year, where she began writing some of the songs she would later release as Elis Paprika. She held a job as a waitress during her stay in London. She returned to Guadalajara México in 2003 where she started a band called The Paprikas, with a local musician named Raul Velazquez (not to be confused with Raúl "Rul" Velazquez, who would later be Elis’ guitar player in The Black Pilgrims). At that point people began referring to her as "Elis from the Paprikas" or "Elis Paprika",the name that she would later adopt artistically. After a few tries with The Paprikas, Elis recorded a demo for the song "Sunny Day", working with Shaboomy and Eric Diaz, guitar player and bass player respectively from the band The Waitress from Guadalajara México. The Waitress was originally Elis’ first solo project. The name of the band was inspired by her time working as a waitress in London and Guadalajara before making music. Once she began to be recognized as "Elis Paprika" and making more music apart from her project, Elis left The Waitress. The other members of The Waitress continued without her.

2004: Enter Elis Paprika

In February 2004, Elis’ showed the demo of "Sunny Day", to Luke Castillo, who was then playing guitar and singing for the band Becker. Luke instantly liked what he heard and they decided to start working together, and this is where Elis Paprika was formally established, with Luke Castillo on guitar, Richo Acosta on guitar, Chumino on bass, and Chicho (also playing with the band Plastiko), on drums. With this lineup, Elis recorded the demo for the song "Give Me Love". Chicho left the band and Arnold Benz briefly became the drummer. They recorded demo versions of the songs "Bitch" and "Texas" with him. Arnold left the band and Richo Acosta called Willy Gonzalez, from another band he played in, to take over the drums.

Later, Jorge "Gordo" Miramontes came in on bass after Chumino left the band. At this point, and with this lineup, they all decided to work as a band instead of Elis being a solo artist. Elis Paprika Then became the name of the band. Their first live show as Elis Paprika took place in Guadalajara Jalisco México, on December 14, 2004 at the Hard Rock Café Guadalajara.

2005-2006: Give Me Love

Elis Paprika began playing in several venues and quickly ascended in Guadalajara's rock scene. They played Sol Radiante Festival, Zapopum Festival, and the Hard Rock Live at the Hard Rock Café Guadalajara on several occasions. It was during one of these performances that people from Suave Records became interested in Elis Paprika, signing them in 2005. Under this label, Elis Paprika released the record Give Me Love in 2006, produced by Luke Castillo and Richo Acosta, and was licensed to Sony Music Mexico for its distribution in Mexico.

The first single, "Give Me Love", had a very fast and very big acceptance, and consequently Elis was invited to play at the Festival Vive Latino in 2006 and Corona Capital, also in 2006. In August of that same year, Elis Paprika was named "Band of the Month" on MTV. After this, MTV invited Elis Paprika to perform live for a recording of the program Alerta.

The song "No Puedo" was released as the second single in October 2006 to an enormous reception by fans and critics. In November 2006 Julieta Venegas invited Elis Paprika to play on her first Auditorio Nacional performance in Mexico City.

As all of this was taking place, some contractual problems began to surface between Elis Paprika and her then record label Suave Records.

2007–2008: Contractual problems, EP2, and Juan Gabriel tribute

After the success of Give Me Love, problems between Elis Paprika and her then record label Suave Records got really bad, to the point where all the impulse they had come to a complete halt.

In early 2007, Elis requested Suave Records to let her go, alleging contractual violations when the label failed in some promotion, logistics and booking labors. A denial on behalf of the label followed which resulted in a lawsuit. At that point, and for the remainder of the lawsuit, Elis Paprika had to stop all promotion, and practically only had a couple of shows where she couldn't get paid.

Luke Castillo decided to leave the band to concentrate on his other band Becker and Ramón "Zacky" Velarde became the guitar player in his place.

Elis recorded her voice for music in the short film, winner of the Festival de Cine de Morelia, Jacinta from director Karla Castañeda, with music by Gilberto Cervantes. Jacinta was also shown at the Cannes Film Festival that same year.

Elis Paprika recorded her EP2 in 2007, but this second record did not see a formal and official launch due to the lawsuit with Suave Records. EP2 was released that same year, but only through direct download from the internet, exclusively and completely free for her fans, as her way to maintain some sort of continuity and to stay out there, since she wasn't able to formally promote and perform because of the lawsuit.

Early in 2008, Elis Paprika was invited to be a part of the Juan Gabriel tribute album called Amo al Divo de Juárez. For this, Elis prepared her own version of the Juan Gabriel song "Hasta Que Te Conocí". The record came out, with her interpretation of the song as one of the official singles, with an enormous positive response for Elis Paprika, and this made her regain some of the impulse she had lost in the past year.

Elis Paprika also played that year for a big Green Peace event in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on their campaign against the killing of whales.

It wasn't until late 2008 that Elis got released from her contract with Suave Records, which allowed her to, once again, concentrate on her band and her performances. She signed with new management under Zepeda Bros.

2009: Express

At the beginning of 2009, "Gordo" quit the band after a few differences, and was replaced, non officially, by “La Doña” on bass, who stayed with the band until early 2010.

Elis Paprika retook control over her career in 2009 and started again with new live performances and writing new songs, and in May of that year, entered the studio to record the songs that would eventually become her album "Maldito", produced by Guido Laris. Originally intended to be released as two separate EP's, the songs were recorded at Montecristo Studios in Mexico City, but once they were ready, the songs couldn't be released until some time later, due to differences with her management, on the way to handle their promotion, as an independent release or a mainstream release with a Label.

That summer, Sony Music México invited Elis Paprika to be a part of Tributo A: Ana José Nacho (Mecano), a Mecano Tribute record, where she recorded her version of the song "No Tienes Nada Que Perder".

Juan Gabriel invited Elis to perform live with him on one of his concerts at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, to sing her version of "Hasta Que Te Conocí" live.

After being denied to release the songs she recorded that May, Elis Paprika entered the studio once more in Guadalajara at Richo Acosta's personal studio, who was then the band's guitar player, to record new and previously unreleased songs. Express was released, produced by Richo Acosta, and licensed to EMI Music México for distribution, in October 2009, being this her first record to officially be promoted since Give Me Love in 2006. The first single from Express was "Tarde o Temprano" which received excellent reviews and public acceptance.

As Express was coming out, a few differences with the rest of her band began to surface.

2010-2011: Move to Mexico City, new band, and Maldito

As differences with her band escalated, Elis decided, in early 2010 right in the middle of promoting Express, that she wouldn't continue to work with the same musicians in her band. They went their separate ways and Elis went back to being a solo artist. This definitely interrupted the promotion of Express, and things once again came to a complete halt.

Luke Castillo came back to play and support Elis on guitars, and had a major role in putting a band back together. Luke invited Paul Richards to play bass, and two other members of the band Aurum from Guadalajara, Vela and Luis Angel, to play guitar and drums respectively.

In May 2010, Elis moved to Mexico City in order to continue and better the handling of her career and to promote future plans. Working with Zepeda Bros. Elis decided to finally use the songs that had been recorded a year before, and since these songs had been on hold for over a year, it was decided that they were going to be released as one LP, instead of the two EPs they were originally meant for. It was precisely because of all the time that these songs were put on hold, that She named the LP Maldito, which in Spanish means "Cursed". She would refer to this album as "being cursed", and that's why she hadn't put it out before.

Along with all of this, Elis began to make new acoustic performances of her songs in unplugged show, featuring Ernesto "Arbol" Licona from the band "Wapo?", and Ana Lía Perez (her best friend), both on guitar. Ernesto Licona has been constantly playing guitar on Elis’ unplugged performances ever since.

That August, Vela and Luis Angel retook their labors with Aurum, and Elis invited Raul "Rul" Velazquez to play guitar, and Jimmy Strike, from the band Cherry Strike from Guadalajara to play drums. With this lineup, Elis played the 212 Festival by RMX, in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, on September 12, 2010. This concert marked the beginning of her "Maldito Tour" in preparation for the launching of the new record.

That October, after a couple of shows, Jimmy leaves the band to retake activities with his band Cherry Strike, and Cachi Zazueta comes in to become the permanent drummer.

Maldito was officially released to the public in late November 2010 under Zepeda Bros., Warner Chappell México, and Drágora Records. It hit stores nationwide in Mexico and also on iTunes internationally. It quickly became a success, with good reviews by critics and great acceptance by fans, and became the number 1 selling record on iTunes México in January 2011.

The Maldito Tour went on until mid-2011, hitting practically every corner of Mexico. During this tour, Elis played the Vive Latino Festival for the second time, on March 8, 2011. Maldito, her "cursed" record, became the one to reposition her in Mexico's Rock scene.

At the end of the Maldito Tour, in July 2011, Elis ended her working relationship with, her then management office, Zepeda Bros. and continued as a completely independent artist, handling her own management and Booking office. Elis recorded the single "Love Love Love" at Suite 21 Studios in Guadalajara Jalisco, produced by Luke Castillo, which was officially released on August 4, 2011, initially as a completely free download through SoundCloud, as a "thank you" to all of her fans for the success of Maldito. It was later uploaded and sold through iTunes exclusively. "Love Love Love" is part of the Chilean movie Que Pena Tu Boda's soundtrack, as the main credits theme, and received over 10,000 downloads in the first week of the soundtrack's release in Chile, which allowed Elis to make an important debut in South America.

In October 2011, Elis along with Rul and Cachi, from her band, got together in her home in Guadalajara to begin bouncing around ideas, and, within a week, had the songs that would become the record Animal. That same month, they entered Suite 21 Studios in Guadalajara Jalisco to record the songs, produced by Luke Castillo, and Rul Velazquez.

2012-2013: Animal

Elis began 2012 with the release of Animal in February 2012 produced by Luke Castillo, and Rul Velazquez, under Drágora Records. For this record, her band since the Maldito Tour of 2010-2011, adopted the name The Black Pilgrims. The song "Animal" was launched as the first single.

In January 2012, Luke Castillo left the band once again, to concentrate on his studio work, and was replaced by Stepha Campbell, a personal friend of drummer Cachi, on guitars. In July 2012, Paul Richards also left the band. After playing with a couple of substitute bass players for a few months, Dylan Deville formally joined The Black Pilgrims in November 2012. By the end of 2012, Rul Velazquez left The Black Pilgrims to join Siddartha's band full-time. In January 2013, Cristian Hernandez officially joined Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims on guitars.

Continuing with the impulse they've had since promoting Maldito, Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims make their 2012-2013 "Animal Tour". on February 1, 2013 the official video for their second single off of the record ANIMAL, "En Mi Cabeza" was released.

On March 12, 2013 Dapuntobeat's record "I/O" was released, where Elis is featured handling vocals on track #9 "Interzona". On March 16, 2013 Elis sang "Interzona" live with Dapuntobeat at the 2013 Vive Latino Festival in Mexico City.

In early April 2013, Stepha Campbell left The Black Pilgrims and Elis announced the band was having auditions. After auditioning a few guitar players, Adan Ruiz landed the job, his first gig with the band being in Hermosillo Mexico on June 1, 2013.

2013-2014: Adios

During the summer of 2013, Elis began to give hints about her next record during interviews. This record would be a compilation, containing Singles from her entire career, as well as "a few surprises", and a couple of new songs. On August 27, 2013 the song "Canción de Amor Para los 3" was released as the first single of her record ADIOS. The official video for the song "Canción de Amor Para Los 3" was released on September 30, 2013. The record "Adiós" was officially released the night of October 22, 2013.

On December 9, 2013 it was announced that Elis Paprika, along with her Black Pilgrims, were officially part of the XV Vive Latino Festival in Mexico City, as part of her 10th anniversary tour in 2014. This marks her third appearance at Vive Latino.

The official video for the song "Adiós", the second single from the record with the same name, was released on February 13, 2014.

Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims began their "Adiós" tour on March 28, 2014 at the Vive Latino Festival in Mexico City.

Elis Paprika announced on October 8, 2014 that Cristina Mo was now the new bass player for her band The Black Pilgrims. Cristina Mo is also a member of the Mexican band Descartes a Kant.

2014-2015: 10 Years, and Now Girls Rule!

On October 20, 2014 Elis Paprika &The Black Pilgrims released a new single "Now Girls Rule!" that officially started her 10th anniversary celebration, and also marked the beginning of her Now Girls Rule campaign, promoting the work of women in the independent music scene in Mexico. The single "Now Girls Rule!" features Sandrushka Petrova and Cristina Mo from Descartes a Kant, as well as Renee Mooi, and Vanessa Zamora.

In late April and early May 2015, Elis Paprika and her Black Pilgrims embarked on their first tour of China, playing in Beijing and Hong Kong.

On September 2, 2015 Elis Paprika released the single "Soñador", which featured her first attempt at mixing a more "norteño" sound into her music, and was set to become a part of her 10th anniversary record.

2016-2018: Black & White, and growth for the Now Girls Rule movement

Elis began the year recording tracks for her double EP release "Black" & "White". These recordings feature bass player Vivien Larena. In February, Vans (the shoe and apparel company) announced they were contributing with Elis Paprika's Now Girls Rule movement as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016. As part of the activities for Vans' 50th anniversary, they prepared a House Of Vans Mexico presentation, with Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims, Ruido Rosa, and Italian Hip Hop artist Miss Simpatía in the line up on March 18. This concert featured Shaboomy Lozano from the band Azul Violeta stepping in on guitar for Cristian Hernandez who left the Black Pilgrims in early March, 2016. Vans also announced a "Camp" for girls 8 and up, featuring music lessons given by Now Girls Rule artists, held on March 19 and 20 at School of Rock Mexico City.

On March 4, 2016 Elis Paprika released the single "Sad Girl", being the first single of her double EP "Black" & "White". "Sad Girl" marks a new collaboration between Elis and Shaboomy Lozano and Eric Diaz, with whom she originally began her career. This song is part of her "White" EP. On April 4, 2016 the official video for the single "Sad Girl" was released.

The two EP's "Black" & "White" were released on June 10, 2016, featuring mostly new material, and the previously released singles "Now Girls Rule!", "Olvídame" (originally the B side for Now Girls Rule! single), "Love Love Love", and "Soñador, all of which had not been included in any of the previous records. Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims began their "Black & White" tour on June 11, accompanied on some of the summer dates by Mexican punk band Seis Pistos. On this tour, continuing with changes in the band lineup, bass player Majo Villaseñor became bass player for The Black Pilgrims.

On June 2, 2017, Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims released the song "Olvídame" as the second single off of their "Black & White" double EP, through OneRPM digitally, with an official video for the song.

Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims premiered an animated video for "All My Friends Are Dead", the third single off of their Black & White record on August 6, 2017. With this single, the band embarked on their 2017 international tour including cities in Mexico, The United States, South Korea, and Europe. The first leg of the tour in Mexico were the Circuito Indio tour organised by Mexico's Vive Latino Festival. Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims performed as part of the Zandari Festa 2017 lineup of international artists, held from September 29 to October 1, 2017 in Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea, making this their second tour to include Asia.

In late October 2017, Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims premiered the official video for their single "Fight". This month also marked the return of Cristina Mo playing bass with the band.

Elis Paprika began 2018 with the final leg of her Black & White tour with her band The Black Pilgrims. This final part of the tour from late January through mid February was done in the US, and also marked the first time Elis and the band perform in Canada, with a date in Vancouver BC.

2018-2019: Venganza

Elis began recording again in May, 2018 in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. This record, "Venganza" was produced in collaboration with Richo Acosta, one of Elis' original guitar players, at Train Studio GDL. "Venganza" marks her 8th studio recording, and the first single "Stupid Song" was releases on August 17, 2018 on digital outlets. "Stupid Song" was also debuted as part of the motion picture soundtrack for the Mexican film "Plan V", directed by Fez Noriega, and scored by Rodrigo Dávila, which premiered August 13, 2018 in movie theatres across Mexico. On September 10, 2018 the official video for "Stupid Song" was released. "Mi Corazón", the second single off the record Venganza, was released November 9, 2018.

Elis and the band began touring Venganza internationally, first with dates in South Korea, that included performances at Zandari Festa 2018, and Pohang Steel Art Festival in October 2018. They began 2019 with a US-Canada West Coast leg of the tour that actually began in northern Mexico with an appearance at the Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado in Alamos, Sonora, and worked their way up to BC, Canada for the second straight year. These performances saw the return of Ernesto Licona on guitar duties.

Elis Paprika's single "Stupid Song" was selected by organisers of the 34th annual FICG (Guadalajara International Cinema Festival), in Mexico, for the promotional commercial spot of 2019's "Premio Maguey" (Maguey Award), recognising LGBT performances and accomplishments in Cinema.


  • Give me Love (2006)
  • EP2 (2007)
  • Express (2009)
  • Maldito (2010)
  • Animal (2012)
  • Adios (2013)
  • Black & White Double EP (2016)
  • Venganza (2019)


  • "Give Me Love" (2006)
  • "No puedo" (2006)
  • "No me vas a callar" (2007)
  • "Hasta que te conocí" (2008)
  • "Tarde o temprano" (2009)
  • "Totally Kill Me" (2010)
  • "Feliz" (2010)
  • "Love Love Love" (2011)
  • "Animal" (2012)
  • "En mi cabeza" (2013)
  • "Canción de amor para los 3" (2013)
  • "Adiós" (2014)
  • "Now Girls Rule!" (2014)
  • "Soñador" (2015)
  • "Sad Girl" (2016)
  • "Olvídame" (2017)
  • "All My Friends Are Dead" (2017)
  • "Fight" (2017)
  • "Stupid Song" (2018)
  • "Mi Corazón" (2018)

Musicians in her band (The Black Pilgrims)

Current Members
  • Cachi Zazueta – Drums, Back up Vocals (2010–present)
  • Cristina Mo – Bass, Back up Vocals (2014-2015, 2017–present)
  • Richo Acosta – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2004–2010, 2018–present)
  • Diego Diez – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2018–present)
  • Ernesto Licona – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2010–2011, 2018–present)
Former Members
  • Raul "Rul" Velazquez – Guitar (2010–2012)
  • Luke Castillo – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2004-2007, 2010–2011)
  • Chumino – Bass (2004)
  • Chicho – Drums (2004)
  • Arnold Benz – Drums (2004)
  • Willy Gonzalez – Drums (2004–2010)
  • Ramón "Zacky" Velarde – Guitar (2007-2010)
  • Jorge “Gordo” Miramontes – Bass (2004–2009)
  • La Doña – Bass (2009–2010)
  • Vela – Guitar (2010)
  • Luis Angel – Drums (2010)
  • Jimmy Strike – Drums (2010)
  • Paul Richards – Bass (2010–2012)
  • Stepha Campbell – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2012–2013)
  • Dylan Deville – Bass, Back up Vocals (2013–2014)
  • Cristian Hernandez – Guitar (2013–2016)
  • Majo Villaseñor – Bass (2016-2017)
  • Vivien Larena – Bass (February–June, 2016)
  • Adán Ruiz – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2013–2018)
  • Shaboomy Lozano – Guitar, Back up Vocals (2016–2018)