Entertainment

AB Soto Is The Queer God With Absolutely No Time For You Machismo On His Schedule

Abraham “AB” Soto is here, queer and unapologetically Mexican. Having grown up in East L.A., Soto has channeled his experiences, culture and love of fashion to make bold, in-your-face statements. He really gives no f*cks what you think about him or his fusion of Mexican and gay culture because that’s who he is. PREACH!

First, AB Soto wants you to know that he is his own person and has no time for your machismo, Latin-men-should-do-this BS mentality.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I think there’s a lot of homophobia within the Latin community, and I think that there’s a specific ideal of what a man should be,” Soto told mitú. “There’s a specific role of what a Latin man should be, should look like, should act like, should dance like, and I’m not really interested in that. I’m my own person. If I want to wear a cowboy hat, and I want it to be pink, and I want the quebradita outfit to be sparkly sequins, get into it.”

And, yes, he does have a pink cowboy hat with a matching, sequined quebradita outfit, and it slays, honey.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I can be masculine, and I can be feminine, and I’m comfortable in my own skin, and if you have a problem with that, that’s kind of your problem with it,” Soto said. “If you want to leave a comment [laughs] in the comment section, go right ahead [laughs harder ?]. But, like what RuPaul said, ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.'”

Soto is addressing those who are offended by him wearing mariachi outfits – and he’s not biting his tongue. He wants the world to know he’s embracing what it means to be LGBTQ and Latino.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“They’re [haters are] like, ‘Oh, well, you’re making fun of our culture.’ And I’m like, ‘How so? I’m proud of my culture so I’m wearing it, but this is about homophobia,” Soto said. “Just because I’m gay, you don’t like me wearing it and, in your own words, I’m not a man because I’m wearing the mariachi outfit? But if I was straight, there would be no problem with it.”

But his social commentary goes much deeper than just his outfits.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

Soto, who studied fashion at Brooks College, can definitely put a jaw-dropping outfit together with no problem, but he also uses music to push his message. It isn’t just about embracing his Mexican background. His music and artistry also offers him a platform to get his culture out to the world.

He is using his name and his fame to let everyone know that you can be as Chicano and queer as you want, hunny.

There is nothing wrong with opening up and accepting all of your identity. Whether or not other people accept you is none of your concern. Just follow the energy and words of AB Soto and own your identity. By being a beacon of queer Latinos in the U.S., AB Soto is opening a pathway for so many other queen Latinos to follow him. That is a legacy worth fighting for and something we know will make life easier for so many people.

He stands up for and is a fighter for all of his communities.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

AB Soto navigates the same identity as so many queer U.S. Latinos. One where people have to determine what it means for them to be American, yet Latino. From a culture that is hyper-masculine, yet being a part of a community that is all about sexual freedom, liberation, and fluid identity. The constant pull between all of the different identities is something that so many people relate to and can see themselves represented in the performer.

“I was listening to a melting pot of music,” Soto recalled of his childhood in East L.A.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“Whether it was house music; whether it was Selena; whether it was my dad playing Vicente Fernández, corridos, charros, cumbia, like, everything, I was watching MTV and listening to pop,” he added. It was this melting pot experience that would later encourage and guide Soto to become the entertainer he is today. He has connected his two cultures and identities into one unapologetic, badass persona.

Soto, inspired by his life in East L.A., and decided it was time to try his hand in music, still tearing down machismo-enforced walls.

After trying rap and banjee ballroom music, Soto decided to go back to his roots.

“Making music, for me, isn’t really like a vain endeavor. It’s another paint brush for people to listen to my message,” Soto said. “So I said, ‘What area of music really needs a make over, really needs a voice?’And I, literally, was just like, ‘Well, I want to embrace where I come from and my Latin roots. So, I think that I need to, like, jolt this area of music that needs, like, a makeover.’ That, and also I wanted people to know that I’m [dramatic pause] Mexican!”

And it isn’t just the Latino community’s mind Soto is trying to open. This fierce Mexicano is also challenging the LGBTQ community’s thoughts on masculinity and beauty.

Yaasssss!!!! For too long, men within the queer community have tried to control what is and is not sexy for the community. There has been a toxic focus on masc for masc and an overwhelmingly accepted idea that “no fats, no blacks, no fems, no Asians” is just a preference. However, that is unacceptable in a tolerant and accepting society. Calling someone too fem shows a deep-seeded issues with gender norms and constructs, Soto argues.

He is constantly flirting with the line between masculinity and femininity through his dancing and clothing.

Credit: absoto / Instagram

“I want people to think. It’s like, I’m the same person, these are just articles of clothing, and if an article of clothing turns you off, there’s something there,” Soto said. “It might be homophobia, it might be your own fear of a drag queen. I want to jolt people into feeling these uncomfortable feelings.”

“Anything can look hot,” Soto said. “It’s just more of, like, the energy.”

“We’ve been trained that if you have the right outfit that you’ll have confidence,” Soto said. “If you have the right amount of muscles, you’ll have confidence, but it’s the other way around. Everything else is just drag for lack of a better word.”

AB Soto’s authentic and unapologetic sense of self and music has taken him far and wide, like to Tokyo, Japan.

Who would have guessed that there would be a bigger audience for queer, Latino music outside of the U.S.? Honestly, AB Soto is deserving of the global recognition and love he has received for his music. He keeps things real and never shies away from defending his sexuality and his background. He is the strong queer Latino lead so many younger queer Latinos can look up to.

Watch AB Soto’s hit music video “Cha Cha Bitch” below!

READ: 9 Things Only #Gaytinos (Gay+Latino) Understand

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Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía” is Becoming a Global Hit Thanks to TikTok

Latidomusic

Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía” is Becoming a Global Hit Thanks to TikTok

Through the power of TikTok, Kali Uchis is taking her song “Telepatía” to the top. The Colombian-American singer is sitting comfortably in the top 10 of Spotify’s Top 200 chart in the U.S. thanks to a TikTok trend.

This isn’t the first time that TikTok brought new fame to songs.

TikTok has proven to be quite the catalyst for today’s top hits. The app assisted in getting Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” to the top of Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remains. TikTok also reinvigorated interest in Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” last year thanks to Doggface’s viral video. Now Uchis is getting her long overdue shine with “Telepatía.”

“Telepatía” is becoming a global hit thanks to the same phenomenon.

At No. 7 on the Spotify U.S. chart, “Telepatía” is the highest-charting Latin song in the country. Bad Bunny’s “Dákiti” with Jhay Cortez is the next closest Latin song at No. 14. “Telepatía” is also making waves across the globe where the song is charting on Spotify’s Viral Charts in 66 countries and in the Top Songs Charts of 32 countries.

There’s also plenty of “Telepatía” memes.

Uchis is turning the viral song’s success into strong sales and streaming. On this week’s Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, “Telepatía” debuts at No. 10, marking her first top 10 hit on the chart. There are also memes circulating on other social media apps that are contributing to the song’s virality.

“Telepatía” is one of the key cuts on Uchis’ debut Latin album, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios). It’s the best example of her translating that alternative soul music that she’s known for into Spanish. The song is notably in Spanglish as Uchis sings about keeping a love connection alive from a distance. It’s timely considering this era of social distancing that we’re in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uchis is currently nominated for a Grammy Award. She’s up for Best Dance Recording for her feature on Kaytranada’s “10%” song.

Read: You Have To Hear Kali Uchis Slay This Classic Latino Song

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Organizers Hire Mariachis To Play In Front of Ted Cruz’s House After Fallout From Cancun Vacation

Things That Matter

Organizers Hire Mariachis To Play In Front of Ted Cruz’s House After Fallout From Cancun Vacation

Photo via JackTheRiot/Twitter

You know the old saying: “If Ted Cruz can’t go to Mexico, bring Mexico to Ted Cruz.” At least we think that’s how the saying goes.

After catching major blowback from both sides of the aisle for going on vacation when his state was in crisis, some Texans don’t feel like accepting Sen. Cruz’s apology.

On Sunday, a Texas man hired a mariachi band to play in front of Ted Cruz’s house.

A crowd of Cruz’s neighbors gathered around the band while they played beautiful traditional mariachi songs. A group of protestors stood in front of the band, holding up signs that read “Cruz’s lives cost lives” and “Smash fascism!”

As a recap, Ted Cruz drew the ire of the entire country when he left a snow-drenched Texas to vacation in Mexico while his constituents were dying. According to reports, an estimated 32 Texans have died due to the freezing temperatures and continuous power outages in the state.

Once his trip went public, Cruz quickly returned home and placed the blame on his school-age daughters.

“It’s unfortunate, the fire storm that came from it. It was not my intention,” he told ABC13. “In saying yes to my daughters to somehow diminish all the Texans that were going through real hardship.”

Later, texts between Cruz’s wife and their neighbors were leaked. The texts showed his wife, Heidi Cruz, describing their house as “FREEZING” and asking the group if anyone was up for an impromptu trip to Cancun. She proposed they all stay at the Ritz-Carlton.

The man that organized the protest, Bryan Hlavinka, tweeted out a video of the protest with the caption: “There was a little fiesta in front of la casa de @tedcruz today.”

He posted another video of the band arriving at Senator Cruz’s house. “Just a typical Sunday. Mariachi band in tow,” said Hlavinka. “On our way to Ted Cruz’s house because he feels so bad about missing his vacation.”

Another similar page raising money for a Thursday mariachi visit to Ted Cruz’s house was also recently posted on GoFundMe. The description of the fundraiser is not without its fair share of sarcasm.

“Senator Cruz, being an amazing dad, dropped off his family in Cancun in the middle of a major crisis and came back to Texas to continue serving his constituents,” wrote the page’s organizer, Adam Jama. “We want to thank Senator Cruz for his leadership and pay for an amazing Mariachi band to perform for him. No one should go to Cancun and not listen to Mariachi.”

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