Entertainment

If You’re Struggling With Mental Health Problems, J Balvin Wants You To Know You’re Not Alone

J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. His ‘Arcoiris’ tour, which holds a partnership with arts collective “Friends With You,” stayed true to its name, bringing light, color, and positivity to every city it stopped in. The tour of the US started in September and ended just a few weeks ago in LA’s Staples Center. The Colombian reggaeton icon kept up his signature high energy and used the tour as a platform to shine a light on a very taboo subject in the Latino community; mental health.

J Balvin used his tour as a platform to talk about mental health issues.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

The Colombian singer’s “Arcoiris Tour” officially launched Sept. 11 in Atlanta and then headed off to Miami, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Tulsa. The itinerary also included visits to Phoenix, El Paso, San Jose, and Las Vegas before wrapping up in Los Angeles on Oct. 26 and in all of those stops Balvin took a moment to talk about immigration, mental health issues, love, and compassion. 

Arcoiris was a bright and energetic show that shone a light on issues close to the singer’s heart.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

The Arcoiris Tour, or “rainbow” tour in English, stayed true to its name as every night, a venue was covered with neon lights, dancers dressed in elaborate costumes that ranged from walking clouds to mushrooms. All the while, the performers were accompanied by a huge cloud-shaped screen and two smaller screens that displayed colorful graphics throughout the night.   

J Balvin performed his big hits and paid tribute to other icons of the genre.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

Balvin performed some of his biggest hit songs like “Bonita” and “Ginza,” as well as iconic songs by fellow reggaeton singers, such as Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakata” and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” He would later move on to perform “La Canción,” which is part of Balvin’s collaborative album with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, titled “Oasis.” 

The singer then came to a halt to share his important message.   

During ‘La Cancion’ Balvin took a moment during the interlude to first speak on the importance of addressing one’s own mental health, encouraging people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and letting the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

The singer also addressed immigration issues, by sharing his own story. 

J Balvin explained that eight years ago he came illegally into the U.S. where he painted houses and fixed roofs for a living. “Vine con ese sueño de echar para adelante y seguí soñando. Después de pintar casas, pasé a pintar mis sueños.”  

“I came with a dream to move forward,” Balvin said in Spanish. “I followed that dream and after painting houses, I started painting my dreams.”   

The fact of the matter is that Latino culture tends to disregard mental health.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

Balvin highlighted this by reminding the audience that as much as we can trust God to pull us through difficult situations, we must be more willing to seek out professional help when we need it.

In fact, only 20 percent of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns, and only 10 percent contact a mental health specialist, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. J Balvin took the opportunity to raise awareness about how both depression and anxiety affect Latinos and emphasized on the need to address it. 

In social media, Balvin highlights the fact that even artists who seemingly are on top of the world, struggle with mental health issues. 

Balvin has been very transparent with fans about his mental health struggles in recent months. While the hugely successful reggaetonero is having a major moment in his career, he hasn’t remained immune to depression or anxiety. This is why Balvin has used his platform as an urbano superstar to normalize experiences of mental illness for his fans. 

In recent social media posts, the reggaetonero has shared his own experiences as an example of how help and recovery are possible. 

In a video posted on Instagram, J Balvin revealed that he is feeling better now, only after receiving professional help.“I want to thank you all for the good vibes. After two months, I’ve left this chapter of anxiety and depression. Thanks to God, thanks to the professionals, to the medication, and thanks to you for the support. Definitely, sometimes we don’t prioritize these things, but we can always learn to,” he said in the video.

He’s also taken to Twitter to share his evolution with mental illness.

Credit: @JBALVIN / Twitter

In a recent tweet, the singer expressed that these two months have been “hell,” but he is now feeling on top of the world. “Seek professional help,” he wrote, “Anxiety and depression are real.” If you struggle with depression and/or anxiety, seek help by reaching out to a trusted friend, relative, teacher, or counselor. You can also reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contacting the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

READ: Everyone Is Talking About Who J Balvin Partied With Before His LA Concert And We Get Why

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Mariah Carey’s ‘Save The Day’ Video Pays Homage To Black Lives Matter And Breonna Taylor

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Mariah Carey’s ‘Save The Day’ Video Pays Homage To Black Lives Matter And Breonna Taylor

Mariah Carey says it’s powerful to be Black.

The beloved singer-songwriter with a five-octave vocal range is calling for the use of that power with her latest music video for her new song “Save the Day.” The song which features Lauryn Hill summons her fans to take action this year and vote their hearts out. The new single comes from Carey’s new two-disc compilation album, The Rarities which is available now and is a reminder that when it comes to our future “it’s up to us.”

And while the message behind “Save the Day” is getting quite a bit of love for how powerful it is, really it’s its drive to elevate Black Stories that is getting attention.

The animated music video for “Save the Day” dropped on October 22 and rhapsodizes the song’s theme “of citizenship—more important than ever in a tumultuous era marked by a global pandemic, political and social uprisings, and a looming presidential election.”

To create the animated music video, Carey partnered with ​PushBlack​, a non-profit media organization that produces Black stories, to honor Black influencers. Kerry Washington, PushBlack’s Julian Black, and the agency Maestra’s De’Ara Balenger and Zara Rahim worked to produce the film. Throughout the animated video, portraits of important Black people and essential workers come across the screen.

The video pays tribute to Black Lives Matter inspiration Breonna Taylor, Congressman John Lewis, Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglass, and trans activist Raquel Willis with powerful animations. The video also features essential workers.

The beautifully drawn portraits are drawn by artist Molly Crabapple who also illustrated A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 2019 Emmy award-nominated video about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This isn’t the first video created for “Save the Day.”

Carey issued another version of the video for the song at the opening ceremony for the Women’s U.S. Open. The animated version however works to illustrate the song’s themes in a way that works as a call to action to all watching to do their part in restoring our democracy.

“Our country is at a critical moment in history, and I felt compelled to do what I could using my platform of music to encourage us all to take action,” Carey said in a statement about the video. “My hope is that the ​’Save The Day’ video will serve as an inspiring message and spark meaningful dialogue and action across the country, for each of us to do our part to save the day.’ The lyrics of this song are all about doing your part to make a difference and highlighting the impact that each of us can make. Whether you’re an essential worker, a protestor, a student, a young parent making it work, or a first-time voter, we each have a duty to support our communities.”

Speaking about her daughter’s appearance in the video, Tamika Palmer issued a press announcement.

“Breonna’s life was tragically and wrongfully taken from her, but her death cannot be in vain,” Palmer stated. “There is so much at stake and we all must do our part. Having my beautiful daughter featured in the video is a testament to our people coming together in the face of tremendous adversity.”

Check out the Lyrics to “Save the Day” below

[Intro: Mariah Carey]
We’re all in this together
You’re my only hope
And it’s too divided, too deep to understand
But if we don’t do it, tell me, who will?
Oh, we always say these words that don’t mean too much
I wonder, where is the love?
It’s curious
The fear still holding us down
One day, will we look up?

[Verse 1: Mariah Carey]
You got a right to your own opinion
But when it comes to the world we live in
Isn’t it time that we start rebuilding
All of the things that have basically crumbled?
We all tend to forget that
We all cease to exist if
Wе all live for ourselves
If nobody bothеrs to find a solution

[Chorus: Mariah Carey]
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day

[Verse 2: Mariah Carey]
We’re all in this together
You’re my only hope (Only hope)
And it’s too divided, too deep to understand
But if we don’t do it, tell me, who will? Yeah
Always say these words that don’t mean too much
I wonder, where is the love?
It’s curious
That fear still holding us back
One day, will we look up?
It’s up to us

[Chorus: Mariah Carey]
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh
(To save the day, to save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (Come on, come on)
(Will we?) We won’t ever learn to save the day
(Ever learn, no)

[Bridge: Mariah Carey & Lauryn Hill]
La-la-la, la, la-la, la
Woah, la
Woah, la (Ah, ah, ah)
La
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh (To save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (And she won’t)
We won’t ever learn to save the day, woah, oh (I’ma have to learn to save the day)
If he won’t, and she won’t, and they won’t, then we won’t (All God’s children, all God’s children)
We won’t ever learn to save the day (All God’s children, to save the day)

[Outro: Mariah Carey]
We gon’ learn, we gon’ learn
Said we gotta learn

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As A Latin Music Fan, Here Are My Picks For The 2020 Latin Grammys

Entertainment

As A Latin Music Fan, Here Are My Picks For The 2020 Latin Grammys

Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Last year’s Latin Grammys caused an uproar on social media after the nominees list was released. Many fans and artists noticed the lack of representation of the Reggaeton music genre. “Sin reggaeton no hay Latin Grammy,” read many of the posts on social media, but this year seems to be different. 

This year’s nominees accurately represent the changing culture in Latin music as it shifts more towards the reggaeton genre. Here are my top picks for some of my favorite categories. 

Record of the Year

Record of the Year is always one of the toughest picks as many of my favorite songs are included in this category. This year it seems pretty competitive as Bad Bunny’s Vete competes with Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s Tusa. Karol G is competing against herself with the song China by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Featuring Ozuna and J Balvin. But at the end, Tusa by Karol G and Nicki Minaj should take the win as the overall production of the song is what makes it so great. From the rhythm to the lyrics, Tusa deserves the Grammy. 

Album of the Year

In 2019, we had a lack of reggaeton nominees in this category, but this year the list includes two reggaeton superstars: Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Both are nominated for their joint album OASIS and their solo albums, Colores and YHLQMDLG. To me, it’s clear that the winner of this category will be Bad Bunny with YHLQMDLG. The 20-song album delivered Latin trap with a variety of moods, whether it was a post-breakup heartbreak, our on-pause summer anthems, or the heartfelt thank you at the end. This album was highly anticipated and it delivered.

Best New Artist

The top contestants in this category are Anuel AA,  Rauw Alejandro, and Cazzu. While Rauw Alejandro has had some big hits this year, such as “El Efecto,” “Tattoo,” “Elegi,” and “TBT,” it is very likely that Anuel AA will take the Grammy home. Anuel AA was snubbed from a best new artist nomination last year, but he has been very successful since then which shows his growth as a new artist. 

Song of the Year

While there are many great songs nominated in this category, “ADMV” by Maluma stands out the most. The song was released during quarantine and was written by the artist as a dedication to all the people in his life that he loves. The song, which touches upon love and growing old with one’s significant other is a very heartfelt balada and one that gives us a whole new side to Maluma. The lyrics of the song and the overall composition gives us all the feels and reminds us to hug our loved ones a little tighter and tell them that we love them. 

Best Regional Song 

The top nominees in this genre include Christian Nodal with AYAYAY! and Natalia Lafourcade con MI RELIGIÓN. While I am a huge fan of Natalia Lafourcade, Christian Nodal will most likely take the win with this upbeat and modern song. What makes the song work for Nodal is that it is still rooted in the regional genre. 

Best Short Form Music Video

If you haven’t seen J.Balvin’s video for Rojo, please do yourself a favor and watch it now! But be prepared with tissues, this video delivers pain, acceptance, and even a message to its viewers. The video starts with Balvin receiving the news that his daughter was born, as he rushes to the hospital on the phone with his mom, he crashes and dies. But he is not conscious of his death and his spirit makes it to the hospital. The rest of the video shows Balvin following the life of his daughter as she grows up. This video delivers an exceptional story in less than 5 minutes and is a grammy-winning performance. 

To see who will win be sure to tune in! The 21st annual Latin Grammys will air on Univision, Nov. 19, 2020.

READ: Maluma Is Keeping Us Up To Date On His Life In Quarantine And I Couldn’t Be More Grateful

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