Here at Latino Rebels, we get a lot pitches from musicians and bands to feature their work. To be honest, about 90% of the pitches we get are just generic cut-and-paste emails from a music publicist telling us why their client is the next “hot thing.” Those emails rarely take the time to even understand who we are as an outlet. More often than not, we just delete the email and move on. But then, once in a while, we get an email pitch from artists who 1) make the effort to genuinely connect with us and 2) share their story with realness and honesty. Those are the pitches that we will always accept and publish. That is the case of Andrés Alvaradejo’s email about his band, Dirty Wolfs. Here is what Andrés wrote us:
We’re a Mexican band that resides in Monterrey, Mexico. I’ll tell you a bit of my backstory for context as to how I ended up back in Mexico. I grew up in the U.S., my family migrating from Mexico City in the early 90’s. Growing up, I did not have a real understanding of the immigration problems at the time but looking back at all the sacrifices and hardships my parents went through, I now see that they were extremely fortunate and I fully understand that not everyone has/had the same luck.
We ended up coming to Monterrey August 2001, a month before 9/11. My father has always been good perceiving the political climate so he knew something was going on or was about to happen. When we found out, we started receiving calls from our close friends back in the U.S. telling us that there were serious ICE raids in the area and that a few of our friends were being deported.
Since my first language was English and I never really lived in Mexico before, I grew up under the idea that I was an American citizen (I was merely a baby when we migrated) and told my parents I wanted to go back home. Again, as a child you don’t really understand the concept of borders and nationality. All I knew was that I was in a country I did not recognize with a language I hardly spoken. As a result, I ended up using music a refuge. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized this was a blessing that molded me and made me who I am today.
Fast forward to 2013. I started to write music in a more serious manner and wanted to show my art to the world. That’s when Dirty Wolfs was born (it is misspelled on purpose haha). Even though I know Spanish and am somewhat fluent, I have a hard time writing and composing in Spanish. That is why our lyrics are in English. As a band we’ve put out 2 EP’s, two singles and a split EP. We’ve toured Northern Mexico and played a showcase in Austin for SXSW 2016. We took a brief pause for two years because I went to Seattle for school.
The single “Have You Looked In The Mirror Lately?” is our latest release from our upcoming 4 track EP called Faceless, Nameless. It was written specifically because of all the lies spewed by 45 (the whole EP speaks about this).
I had penned a draft of the lyrics while I was living in Seattle and working in construction. I noticed how things changed specifically how U.S. white workers treated immigrant workers that had no papers and I am well aware that I speak from a point of privilege because of the color of my skin so I personally was never harassed despite not having papers or being legal until I stood up for a few workers that were being bothered due to them not speaking fluent English.
After that incident, I was paid less for the same amount of hours and was given more work so I ended up quitting my job. Once I was done with school. I eventually came back to Monterrey for personal reasons. The song took full shape after my sister (who still lives in the U.S.) was harassed in her apartment complex for speaking Spanish with my mother. She was told to “Go back to your country” (despite being a resident, she married a U.S. citizen) and “We don’t want beaners here” written on a hate note left on her doorstep. All because she was speaking Spanish. She was shook and when she complained to the landlords, they simply said that they couldn’t do anything because there was no hard evidence (despite having a note).
As Latinos, I feel that we have always had an imposed limitation that we’re inferior. Historically speaking, I’m not sure where this comes from and why as a community we’ve been so accepting of it but I believe it goes along the lines of representation in textbooks, movies, shows and mass media, where White Americans are the good guys (saviors even) and Native Americans and Latinos (or any person of color) as the bad guys, lazy, or criminals. The song speaks about rising above all lies, concepts and stigmas created towards our community. It’s time that we fight back and let the world know what a unified Latino community can do.
As César Chávez said, “We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.”
Thank you for giving me the space to tell my story, that I’m sure is the story of a lot of immigrants forced to leave their home, only to be forced to leave their new home just because we don’t fit in someone’s political agenda. And I can’t thank you enough for the hard work and empowerment you all put in for the Latino community.
Best wishes from Mexico,
P.S. Here are the lyrics of the song in case you need them:
“They claim the I am violent
A criminal and a drug dealer
And all we do is stay silent
But this time I refuse
Have you looked in the mirror lately?
I’m a reflection of what you’ve done
Take a look through our history and you’ll see
That America’s the violent one
They claim to be the land of the free and home of the brave
It’s more like the land of the few and where power can drive you insane
Made us believe we’re inferior
But really we’re superior
Break the chains that have us stagnant
Cause I won’t stay silent
And I am fed up with all the lies
We shall rise from all these lies
I’ve had enough”