Music

Making Movies Team with Las Cafeteras for the Emotional "Tormenta" (premiere)

Photo: Luis Cantillo / Courtesy of the artist

Ahead of curating their fifth annual Kansas City-based Latinx music festival, Making Movies team up with Las Cafeteras for the emotional new video, "Tormenta".

"El frío me atormenta," sings Making Movies' lead singer Enrique Chi on track "Tormenta" - the cold torments me. A collaboration with Chicano group Las Cafeteras, the song tells a story at once personal and widespread. "It's an immigrant song," says Chi, "a song about longing for identity and sense of place." A new video finds the quartet - two brothers with roots in Panama, and two brothers with roots in Mexico - riding a tour bus in the middle of a chilly Kansas City winter and dreaming of warmer, more welcoming climates, literally and metaphorically.

While expressing wishes close to his own heart - to see his grandfather at Christmas, to feel warm water, to be in his homeland for carnaval - Chi reaches out to the larger immigrant community, largely inspired by experiences within the band. "There was this moment, the first time we toured Panamá," he recalls, "where Juan-Carlos [Chaurand, percussionist and keyboardist] was watching Panamanian folklore and realized how similar it was to the traditions in Veracruz, México. That epiphany started us on the path of discovery that eventually became the album ameri'kana."

An album that holds nothing back in depicting and decrying the human costs of social injustice, ameri'kana never shies away from difficult emotions, especially when it comes to melancholy "Tormenta". Side-by-side with Diego Chi's haunting, wordless falsetto, the song's chorus of "¡No quiero estar perdido!" - I don't want to be lost! - resonates, heartrending. On top of it all, black and white footage of children running and dancing, warm beaches, and Panamanian streets makes for a video with a focus on humanity.

The sense of pan-Latin American solidarity that serves as a source of strength in ameri'kana also comes through in the teamwork at the foundation of "Tormenta". "We felt lucky to collaborate with our homies Las Cafeteras," Chi continues. "Their jaranas, requintos, and voices elevated the piece beautifully." The groups' association doesn't end with their work on ameri'kana. On 7 September, Las Cafeteras are slated to perform at Making Movies' fifth annual Carnaval, a Latinx music and arts festival and fundraiser in Kansas City that brings together even more members of the diverse Afro-Latin-American arts community.

Like everything the group does, "Tomenta" serves to communicate and educate in a situation where both acts are critical to the world Making Movies proposes in ameri'kana, where division and xenophobia are relics of a distant past. By presenting individual points of view in music, the band builds more and stronger connections that reach straight from their mouths to each audience member's heart - a bond not to be underestimated in troubled times.

Ameri'kana is out now on 3/2 Recordings.

Tickets for Carnaval in Kansas City on 7 September can be ordered here.

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