Culture

From Corridos To Punk, Chulita Vinyl Club Spins The Music We’re Dying To Hear

Meet Chulita Vinyl Club, a record-spinning collective of mujeres who are gaining a foothold in the “boys-only” DJ scene.

Chulita Vinyl Club Austin
CREDIT: Chulita Vinyl Club Austin          Photo Courtesy of Chulita Vinyl Club Austin

Founder Claudia Saenz was just out of college when she created Chulita Vinyl Club in 2013.

Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook
CREDIT: Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook

Saenz was living on her own while working her first big job and, like many post-grads, was trying to make ends meet. “I didn’t have enough money for internet,” said Saenz, “so I started to grow my collection of vinyl as a form of entertainment.”

With the help of personal friends and growing social media connections, CVC was expanded.

Chulita Vinyl Club Austin / San Antonio
CREDIT: Chulita Vinyl Club Austin / San Antonio          Credit: Arlene Mejorado

CVC currently has 50 members spread throughout seven chapters: Austin, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego.

A passion for music is necessary, but previous DJ experience is not. Many of CVC’s members enter the collective without experience, but are taught how to mix and transition by their fellow chulitas.

Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook
CREDIT: Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook

Each member brings their own style and choice of genre to the sets — from soul and punk to reggae and corridos.  “[Chulita Vinyl Club] is all about empowerment for vinyl-loving girls,” said Saenz.

Representation in the DJing community continues to be a priority of Chulita Vinyl Club. Saenz explains: “If you don’t see yourself up there, you don’t think you could do it.”

Chulita Vinyl Club Los Angeles Photo Credit: Arlene Mejorado
CREDIT: Chulita Vinyl Club Los Angeles          Photo Credit: Arlene Mejorado

“We need to step up and show that we’re here and that we’ve always been here,” says Xochi Solis, 35, a member of CVC’s Austin chapter. She sees CVC’s existence as an opportunity of cultural connection and storytelling. “As I become more and more engaged with my CVC chapter and the others nationally, I believe we are truly arriving on the scene as accomplished DJs in a male-dominated field, but that we are also nurturing and developing a safe space for each individual mujer to tell their own personal narratives through the culture of sound.”

They also get to showcase musicians whose work didn’t make it past the digital age.

Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook
CREDIT: Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook

“Digging for records in Texas is amazing because as a Tejana, I discover all these Texas recording labels [that are] telling history that you can’t find readily,” says Solis. “Here were entrepreneurial Mexican-Americans that started their own labels to present the music of Tejano and other artists abandoned by the major labels. This is my history as a Tejana and how wonderful that I can go out to the pulga or thrift store and buy it for only a few dollars. I get to save it from obliteration, but not only that, I get to share it through my DJ sets with mis Chulitas. We get to tell the stories that the music and vinyl covers tell and keep the culture present.”

CVC has seen an influx of messages since the presidential election, from women who are drawn to CVC’s “resistance through existence” stance.

Chulita Vinyl Club Bay Area Photo Credit: Raul Barrera
CREDIT: Chulita Vinyl Club Bay Area          Photo Credit: Raul Barrera

Since the election, many of the club’s weekly Soundcloud mixes have been dedicated to the process of healing through music.  Yoselin Martinez Xonthé, 20, a member of CVC’s Bay Area chapter, joined CVC to cope with depression and social anxiety. “I told myself that surrounding myself with people that loved music as much as I did would maybe help, and it did. Not only did it help a lot with my social anxiety but being able to look forward to events and seeing the chulitas was so life changing,” Xonthé said. “Only thing is that my wallet has gotten skinnier because I keep buying records,” she jokes.

CVC stays focused on creating spaces where people of color can dance, sing, cry and heal in an especially tense social and political time.

Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook
CREDIT: Photo Credit: Chulita Vinyl Club / Facebook

“From crammed and raucous car rides to a gig to chisme over crate digging, I am blessed to be part of this community. We are a bright, clever, and curious crew and while we all have our own personal look or sound, we come together as comadres to share our space openly without aggression and genuinely care for one another as we grow and learn as DJs,” Solis said. “We get excited when one of us shines in the spotlight, or in our case the dim glow of the ones and twos.”

Be sure to follow Chulita Vinyl Club for updates on future events.


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

Fierce

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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