Protests are going on all around the world from Hong Kong to Mexico, and right here at home. If you’re not pissed about something right now, then sorry to say this, my friend, but you are living with your eyes and mind closed. Just yesterday, people all over Latin America took place in a “cacerolazo” — a protest that involves hit pots and pans. According to several reports, people were protesting everything from “endemic economic inequality to violence against indigenous populations.” One of those lending their voice to an important cause worth fighting for is artist J Balvin.
On Nov. 30, J Balvin took part in a concert at the Anastasio Girardot stadium in Medellín, Colombia, that included performers such as Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Prince Royce, and Willy William. Colombia is at the center of several anti-government protests, and J Balvin, who was born in Medellín, could not remain silent on the issues. The reggaeton star voiced his concerns in between his songs.
“I tried to be prudent, and they called me lukewarm,” he said, according to Billboard. “Until I arrived in Medellín, I connected with my land. I listened to people in my barrios… I no longer lack anything, but I once did, and I understand the situation the youth in this country are going through. If they’re marching, it’s because something is not right… We need to be heard.” He added, “I never thought that after being an artist, I would become the voice of the people. And, it’s true, that sometimes we have so much power that we are more listened to than any president… [the country] needs support with education, with health. We are tired of violence.”
Here are six more artists that are also fighting important causes on social media, the stage, and their music.
Even though Bad Bunny has only been on the music scene for a couple of years, the rapper has never shied from speaking on important and controversial issues. One of the reasons he is the artist of the year is because Bad Bunny is on point whether it is speaking on gender fluidity, fighting against homophobia, and educating his fans about the issues in Puerto Rico. He was one of the people vital to the movement of the ousting of former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Roselló. Now, he, Ricky Martin, and Residente are releasing their song “Cántalo” that is all about that.
One of the best moments at this year’s Latin Grammy’s was seeing Chilean singer Mon Laferte on the red carpet topless. She wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement but rather bring attention to the violence people were enduring in Chile because they were protesting the government. Her chest bore the words “En Chile torturan violan y matan,” which translates to “In Chile, they torture, rape and kill.”
Colombian band Bomba Estéreo applauded Mon Laferte’s red carpet move. Lead singer Li Saumet took to Instagram to speak on the violence in their home country. “The grande @monlaferte, you and all the women who fight for our rights and shout the reality of our countries! Thank you for being a spokeswoman for many through art!” Bomba Estéreo also stated, “Yesterday was a relevant day for the country, a day in which he left for human rights, for social and indigenous leaders, for animals, for the environment, and for our home, yesterday we showed that in Colombia we are more good than the bad ones Let’s keep fighting peacefully and show that our nation is big.”
As we said before, Residente, who’s real name is René Pérez Joglar, has been a long proponent of fighting for justice. He is releasing a collaboration single with his fellow Puerto Rican music friends — Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin — that speaks to the recent ousting of former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Roselló. But he doesn’t just speak out about issues happening in Puerto Rico, he takes his platform to global problems. On social media, he has been sharing the story of Dilan Cruz, a Colombian protester who was killed in Colombia.
Ana Tijoux, a Chilean-French musician, has also spoken out against the violence in Chile. Her Instagram page is filled with important messages of the unrest in Latin America. Just yesterday, she wrote, “I was not born a Feminist, I became a Feminist just in that same path. By thinking and feeling my own experiences, hearing those of my companions soaking myself by opening my eyes of my thinking as big as I could and expanding the wings of my feeling so higher that all the souls from which they are no longer born again a thousand times. This is how Antipatriarca was born some years ago and now to see how other women interpret it from singing and dancing only fill with empowerment every time he sang it. Thank you beautiful @leonadhq and all her lionesses for the roar of strength and beautiful rebellion, dance, body, and sublime clarity.”
Another Chilean bringing awareness to important causes is music artist Javiera Mena, and not just in Chile but everywhere. In October, she protested alongside people in Madrid. “We are many who meet today in Madrid (about 400 people) to demonstrate in support of our people. We have to be far in this historical moment. A lot of strength from a distance, you feel your courage #chiledespertó. Always with you.”
All of this awareness through music and social media makes their work even that much more powerful.