Today the Puerto Rican band Calle 13 premiered the single “Multi_Viral” off their fifth studio album to be released in 2014. The track features spoken-word contribution from Wiki-leaks’ Julian Assange, guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran. The sound is filled with electronics, rap, fast moving rhythms, lyrical singing of Jubran and the screaming guitar of Morella. Calle 13 has always been outspoken and socially engaged like their hit Querido F.B.I. (2005). This time the new single ‘counterattacks manipulation and turns it into a collective expression’.
Lead singer, songwriter René Pérez Joglar aka Residente met with Julian Assange last June at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. On Twitcam and Twitter they proposed to their fans to write the song together. That very day, they received thousands of emails from which they selected words and phrases, which began to fuel the creative process. In a press release Residente explains more about the lyrics,
It represents a universal discomfort, it speaks about courage, about what lights the wick, and it manages to cause a chemical distress in your body. It’s about the actual connection amongst people that exists on a global scale, and that’s the reason for “Yo soy 132” (in English, “We are 132”, a movement comprised of young people who oppose media manipulation and disinformation) and 15-M (a citizen mobilization in Spain that demands a fairer system and promotes a more human type of journalism) because we have a connection. In today’s world, you can be part of a movement in Spain and Mexico simultaneously and in a very pacific way; because ‘I pick up a banner and the message spreads’. That was the most challenging part, to be able to display courage and strength in a peaceful manner, without being a “panfletero” (meaning someone that doesn’t handle information seriously).
Resident’s stepbrother Eduardo José Cabra Martínez aka Visitante, who is also producer of the song, states,
What I tried to convey musically was the struggle that took place in regards to the message we were relaying; René was singing, I was creating the music, and fans were attempting to infiltrate the song. It was a struggle, like when viruses want to enter computers and propagate. Then Kamilya’s vocals come in, whose voice we edited, as if she were a glitch (in the song), followed by Assange who invades and communicates, and suddenly it reverts back to the chorus. In the end, the song finishes with a noise as if all of this was some sort of interference.
The demonstrations of the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality, might have faded away, but in many musical forms it is reappearing in order to make people aware of what’s going on in this world. More about this in the next post of News and Noise!