Leopoldo Méndez Alcayaga is a Chilean-Swedish DJ, singer and producer, known by his stage name Méndez, formerly DJ Méndez. He won the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica Awards for Best Southwest New Artist.
Méndez was born in Valparaiso, Chile on 21 July 1975. His father was a political dissident, who left the country after the Chilean regime began monitoring him. In 1986, Méndez, his two brothers and mother left for Sweden; they lived at various places before settling down in the suburb of Farsta in Stockholm. He went to school in the Larsbodaskolan, in Farsta Strand, joined a gang and was small-time criminal, though he always had the goal of making it in showbusiness. After several run ins with the police, he focused on beginning his career.
After joining a counseling institution called Fasta and meeting sound engineer Jordi Fuste, DJ Méndez started his career as a Latin rapper, making his live debut in a local festival. Mixing hip-hop and traditional Latin American rhythms, and he was able to get a record deal, soon climbing charts in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and even Russia with his first hit "Chiki-Chiki", featured in his debut album Latino for Life. He had met the producer Robert Wåtz while working at Toys R Us. The emerging interest for the Latin American music in Europe was one factor in the acceptance and music like this Chilean market as closed as the Scandinavian market, which until recently were only local artists and popular English-speaking. Some of his songs like "Estocolmo", show-through a Latin song the attitude and opinion of Latin American migrants to lands so different from theirs as the Scandinavian countries.
In March 2001 he visited his native country, carrying out a successful promotional tour.
His songs are in Chilean Spanish with a mixture of English, was produced in conjunction with the popular DJ's Rob'n'Raz, have melodic choruses made by singers such as Emmanuel Contreras, Martin Thors, Pablo Javier Gonzalez Cepeda or (better known as Yei) choristers who were both in their studio recordings and in each of the live performances he does. Today is one of the best representatives of Chilean rap and hip-hop and one of the Chilean artists with greater international influence. Has accomplished many milestones and participated in several music festivals, highlighting 1 Award MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica Awards and 1 MTV Europe Music Awards, second place in Melodifestivalen Sweden 2002, the gull of gold in the Song Festival of Viña del Mar, participation in the famous festival Son Latinos in the Canary Islands, Spain with 350,000 people, a concert for more than 250,000 people in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, and participation to more than 100,000 people in La Pampilla of Coquimbo. He is currently managing his own label, Macabro Records, where he supports young emerging music, and together with his brother, DJ eMe, own school of DJ's largest in Scandinavia, Dj Macabre School.
In 2009, Méndez is working in his upcoming album and the first single of the album titled "Lady" was recently released on radios in Chile.
He currently is working in his politics campaign as a mayor for Valparaíso as an independent candidate. He won the primary elections to become the official candidate for that city representing the Nueva Mayoría coalition, which elections will take place in November.
Méndez met his former wife, also Chilean-born, in his teens, and together they have three children. He is Roman Catholic, and has a tattoo of Jesus Christ, among many others. Later in life he met Marcela Duque and together they have one child, he also has 2 other children with another woman. In total, Méndez has six children.