Calle 13, one of Latin America’s most popular bands, released a new song this week featuring an unlikely collaborator — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The song, “Multi–Viral”, also features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and the Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran. To create the lyrics, Calle 13 lead singer and songwriter René Pérez asked followers on Twitter to express their social justice concerns in a live brainstorming session with Assange. This is not the first time Calle 13 has made headlines for its political work. In 2005, the group quickly recorded and released a song about Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos just hours after he was shot dead by the FBI. They have called for the release of independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who has spent more than 32 years in jail, and have spoken out about police brutality and government spying. We speak with Pérez, better known as “Residente.” His group has won a record 19 Latin Grammy Awards.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: One of Puerto Rico’s popular bands is out with a new song this week with an unlikely collaborator. On Wednesday, the band Calle 13 released their latest tune titled “Multi_Viral.” It features the voice of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
CALLE 13: Crece la ola, crece la espuma, cuando cada vez más gente se suma.
JULIAN ASSANGE: We live in the world that your propaganda made. Where you think you are strong, you are weak. Your lies tell us the truth we will use against you. Your secrecy shows us where we will strike. Your weapons reveal your fears for all to see. From Cairo to Quito, a new order is forming: the power of people armed with the truth.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: An excerpt from Calle 13’s new song “Multi_Viral,” or “Multi_Viral.” The song features Julian Assange, as well as Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and the Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran.
In recent years, Calle 13 has become one of the most popular acts in Latin America. The band has won a record 19 [Latin] Grammy Awards, as well as two Grammys.
AMY GOODMAN: So, 19 Latin Grammys, two overall Grammys. This is not the first time the band has tackled a pressing political issue. In 2005, Calle 13 made headlines when it quickly recorded and released a song about the Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos just after hours that he was shot dead by the FBI. More recently, the band called for the release of independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who has spent over 32 years in jail. The band has also been vocal about police brutality and government spying.
Joining us now, René Pérez, better known as Residente. He is the lead singer and songwriter of Calle 13.
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Check also for a TV debate LAB Editor, Javier Farje, conducted for Hispan TV in Puerto Rico on statehood.
Programme Guayoyo, produced by Venispa for Hispan TV (in Spanish)