New York (AFP) – Long an advocate for rural communities in her native Mexico, singer Lila Downs is now adding inflections of cumbia and electro to her signature brand of folk — and taking on the hot-button issue of immigration.
The Grammy-winning Mexican-American’s just-released ninth studio album offers a defiant celebration of diversity while challenging US President Donald Trump’s hardline stance on immigration, something Downs calls a “responsibility.”
After performing with the likes of folk legend Joan Baez on the US-Mexico border to raise funds for migrant refugees, Downs decided to cover the iconic song “Clandestino,” an immigrant anthem originally by indie darling Manu Chao.
“If we don’t fight for children, what will become of us?” the 50-year-old says in her cover of the hit, referring to the White House’s immigrant detention policies that saw children separated from their parents.
“Immigration must always be looked at from a human point of view,” she told AFP while in New York to promote “Al Chile,” her album that dropped Friday.