Amid the anti-Asian hate and violence in the last few months, a group of teenage girls went viral for calling out racism. The Linda Lindas, who are half-Asian and half-Latinx, performed “Racist, Sexist Boy” at the Los Angeles Public Library and their empowering rock anthem gained them fans across the U.S. Now the quartet has landed a record deal with LA punk label Epitaph Records, Variety confirmed. The band formed in 2018 at Girlschool LA playing punk rock covers and is made up of Mila (10), Eloise (13), Lucia (14), and Bela (16) and they’ve now also shined a light on the Asian Latinx community. They performed their viral hit in honor of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month which was inspired by their own experience with racism.
“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy came up to me in my class and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” Mila said when introducing the song during the show. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
Though their viral hit brought them success like never before, they’re no strangers to the limelight. They wrote and performed an original song for The Claudia Kishi Club, a documentary that premiered on Netflix July 3rd of last year. They opened for Bikini Kill at the Hollywood Palladium in 2019 and actress/director Amy Poehler was at that show and they recorded two tracks including “Rebel Girl” for her Netflix film, Moxie, which came out earlier this year.
Their meteoric rise has garnered them more than 200k followers on Instagram and elevated visibility for Asian Latinxs as well. The Library of Congress in Chile estimates that Peru is home to more than 60,000 Chinese, Venezuela more than 50,000, Paraguay 40,000 and Brazil more than 200,000 with plenty more scattered throughout Latin America. The Linda Lindas are just one example a much larger community that has such a strong presence in LATAM that is not acknowledged in the mainstream.
The group, whose name is inspired by the 2005 Japanese film Linda Linda Linda, about a group of girls scrambling to learn songs for a high school performance, have familial ties to the music industry. Lucia and Mila’s dad, Carlos de la Garza is a Grammy-winning producer-engineer who has worked with Paramore, Bad Religion, and Jimmy Eat World among others. Now they’re getting a taste of working the studio which Bela told Pitchfork feels “bougie” and they shared that now they’re embracing the power of “Racist, Sexist Boy.”
“Mila and Eloise wrote it over Zoom in five hours. It’s become so big that we’re trying not to make it about [the boy] anymore—it’s about how we can help prevent racist, sexist kids from becoming racist, sexist adults,” Lucia told Pitchfork.