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ulab music

Is singing in Spanish in Trump's America considered a political act?

In this week's U-LAB Podcast, Helado Negro talks about being part of a new wave of artists who express their Latinx identities unapologetically and against stereotypes.
15 May 2017 – 11:35 AM EDT


The artist Roberto Carlos Lange records and performs under the name Helado Negro. He recently released an expanded version of his 2015 album 'Private Energy' and contributed original compositions to the critically-acclaimed S-Town podcast.

He spoke to U-LAB's Nuria Net about his choice to sing in Spanish, even though he's a first-generation American (his parents are Ecuadorian) catering to an English-speaking audience. "I speak two languages, like so many people here, it's natural more than anything," says Lange. "It's political for people who don't and may be political for people who are exposed to a traditional industry in music."

For Lange, he's just expressing himself and his Latinx identity as he is, just like other Latin artists (Xenia Rubinos, Buscabulla, Lido Pimienta) are doing nowadays, Trump or no Trump. "We're working against a stream, this cliché that has been established, the steretotype of being a Latino artist or whatever," he says. "We're not trying to break anything, let that be what it is and let there be something new. I'm just doing what I do."

Also, Lange told us a funny story about crossing paths with Residente in college years ago (they both went to Savannah College of Art and Design).

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