When Austin's cumbia-funk institution Grupo Fantasma went to record their seventh album at a studio in Tornillo, Texas, they had no idea that right next door was a tent city for detained immigrant youth operated by ICE. When they found out, they decided they had to do something. So they teamed up with fellow legends Ozomatli and Locos Por Juana to create a sinister funk tune with a message about the walls that divide us. On this edition of How I Made It, members of Grupo Fantasma break down the creative process behind their new song "The Wall."
A few weeks ago, student organization MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán) voted to change their name after 50 years—and that decision was met with a lot of commentary, especially on social media. Those in favor of the name change, argue that dropping the words "Chicanx" and "Aztlán" from the name, makes MEChA more inclusive. But others, including MEChA alums, say that those words are heavily intertwined with the 1960's Chicano movement, and a name change would erase that important struggle. On this edition of "The Breakdown," Latino USA dissects MEChA's decision, and reactions on both sides of the debate.
Celebrated jazz musician Arturo O'Farrill has dedicated his life to envisioning a future of inclusion and collaboration. His newest project, "Fandango at the Wall," was inspired by a festival he participated in on the U.S.-Mexico border. In the album, O'Farrill brings together the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra with more than 60 musicians. In this episode, Maria Hinojosa sits down with O'Farrill to discuss how he's not only crossing artificial borders, but erasing them.
In the U.S., the two fastest-growing ethnic groups are Asian and Latino—and those groups are not mutually exclusive. For centuries, immigrants from Asia have settled in Mexico all the way down to Argentina, and their descendants carry both Asian and Latin American identities. Inside the U.S., Asians and Latinos have lived side-by-side in heavily immigrant neighborhoods and have created lives together. In this episode, we'll hear from four Latino USA listeners, who discuss their own Asian Latino identity and how it has shaped their experience in the U.S.
Grammy Award-winning singer Miguel and Mireya of the Latin Grammy-winning all-women mariachi group Flor de Toloache have released a song that fuses bachata, mariachi and R&B. But most importantly, the song represents Miguel and Mireya continuing their family's musical legacy. Miguel and Mireya are cousins who met for the first time a little over a year ago. In this episode of "How I Made It," Miguel and Mireya reflect on their experience working together in the studio for the first time and the full circle moment of "Te Lo Dije."
Last year, a 65-year-old grandfather was attacked and fell onto the New York City subway tracks—which eventually led to his death. He was punched from behind by a young man with schizophrenia who shouted that he was the devil. This isn't the first time this has happened, a similar situation played out 19 years earlier. So why does the cycle continue? Latino USA examines how and why someone with serious mental illness falls through the cracks of the nation's mental health system.