Country Duo Kat & Alex Bring a Latin Flair to the Grand Ole Opry: 'So Hard to Describe What This Feels Like'
It was 2019, and Alex Garrido found himself standing in the gift shop of the Grand Ole Opry, making one of the loftiest predictions of his life.
"I told my mom that one day in the future, I was going to come back and play the Opry," Garrido, 28, remembers during an interview with PEOPLE of the family vacation he took right before joining duo partner Kat Luna on American Idol back in 2020.
"Kat & Alex wasn't even a thing yet. I mean, at the time, I thought maybe Kat was going to be doing her own thing. But I knew that no matter what, I was going to fly her in from wherever she was to come and sing with me on the Grand Ole Opry stage."
Luckily, no airline ticket was needed.
Because now roughly three years later, Kat & Alex are not only a rising country-Latin duo who find themselves well on their way to stardom, but they also are now married to one another. And yes — when they finally did make their debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage on Oct. 8, they did it, in fact, together.
"It's so hard to find the words to describe what this feels like," says Luna, 21, who admitted to "crying like a baby" when she got the news they were going to play the Grand Ole Opry. "We're just so honored to be able to do this for a living because music has always been a passion of ours. The fact that we get to do it together is a blessing."
Indeed, their Grand Ole Opry debut was quite the family affair.
"The whole family tree is coming," laughed Luna in the days leading up to their Opry debut.
"Heck, they're basically uprooting the entire tree," adds Garrido, who originally hailed from Georgia but moved to Miami by middle school. "I've got my parents and my brother and a cousin that moved here with her husband, so it's going to be a good time."
Good times certainly have been in abundance for Kat & Alex as of late as they continue to bask in newlywed bliss, which has even included buying their first home together in Nashville.
"About three months ago, we put in an offer on a house, and we ended up getting a direct message through Instagram from the owner," recalls Garrido. "We had met his neighbor when we first looked at the house, and apparently the neighbor put in a good word for us because the homeowner basically told us 'if he wants you to be his neighbors, then you guys are going to be his neighbors.'"
And the house was theirs.
It's just one way that Nashville certainly seems to be welcoming the duo with open arms, seemingly welcoming their diverse backgrounds into the often far-too-tight restrictions of the genre.
"All the messages that we've gotten over the past year are people saying, 'thank you for representing us,'" says Garrido, who released their debut track "How Many Times" last year.
"People say, 'Now I can show my family country music. Even though they don't speak English, they can still understand what I'm listening to.' Much of this new generation speak both languages. But the older generation, not so much. So, it's almost like we're bridging two generations together and uniting them in a way thanks to our music."
Even their grandparents are thankful.
"I remember when my grandparents heard the Spanglish version of 'How Many Times' and their faces just lit up," says Luna, who along with Garrido both spoke Spanish exclusively until first grade.
"They finally were able to understand and connect to the story we were trying to tell. I remember that I started crying in that moment because I'm like, wow, I think we did it. I think we clearly were able to bridge the gap not only for our grandparents, but for family members of mine who don't speak English. And just to open that to a wider audience is incredible. We're blessed to get to do that."
"Whichever version you prefer is the one that you're probably singing in your head," adds Garrido, who recently posted a Spanish version of Brooks & Dunn's hit "Neon Moon" on their various social media channels. "Music is evolving in the best way."
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