Lila Downs Protests Child Detention in Cover of Manu Chao’s ‘Clandestino’

Apr 24, 2019
8:02 AM

Mexican singer-songwriter and overall fav Lila Downs dropped a new cover of Manu Chao’s “Clandestino” with her own unique twist. The original song speaks to undocumented communities living in hiding, released in the summer of 2000 under the album of the same name. Downs’ rendition is a lively cumbia take on the original, with a focus on the current issues at the U.S.-Mexico border as she sings, “If we don’t fight for the children, what will become of us?”

“I mention the immigrant children in the detention centers and sing from the feminine perspective, about the thousands of women and children who migrate today,” she said in an interview with Rolling Stone. While most of the lyrics remain unchanged, Downs brings the point home by singing “Immigrant States of America” towards the end.

This is the Grammy winner’s second single from her upcoming album Al Chile, set to be released on May 3. The album was produced by Camilo Lara and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr. (Beastie Boys).