“Orgullo” is a tender and honest dedication to undocumented immigrant mothers. The 8-minute long music video by hip hop artists Dylan Golden and Kenyi Succar, and producer Amanda J. Sarabia, takes us into a day in the life of a young mother—played by Xiomara Ossorio. With lyrics like “Why am I still trapped in this nightmare, I fight tears,” the artists point to a battle against a system that increasingly attacks immigrant communities. Meanwhile, the cumbia and hip hop fusion is uplifting, amid an intimate backdrop.
Watch the video here:
“What fueled my inspiration when working on this video was my family, friends and coworkers who have shared their stories with me over the years about their journey as undocumented immigrants in America,” Sarabia told Latino Rebels. The video won Best Music Video at this year’s Bowery Film Festival.
We reached out to Sarabia and Golden to talk about the inspiration behind the film. Here’s what they said.
LR: What inspired you when working on this video? (To Sarabia)
Sarabia: Dylan played his single “Orgullo” for me June of last summer, and I remember hopping on the B26, playing the song and being taken home.
I’m a Mexican American border-town kid from Laredo, Texas. Growing up, I listened to cumbia, corridos and a lot of Selena so the rhythm automatically took me back. What fueled my inspiration when working on this video was my family, friends and coworkers who have shared their stories with me over the years about their journey as undocumented immigrants in America. Through their stories, I realized that although many tragedies were endured, they remained strong, hard workers who made each day a better day—one day at a time. This video is for them. Thank you for helping realize how resilient the heart is and that no matter how much suffering we go through it still pumps and pushes for a better tomorrow.
LR: How about you, what was the inspiration behind the video? (To Golden)
Golden: I wrote “Orgullo” at the beginning of this year with the help of my music producer, Kenyi. I was inspired to write “Orgullo” because of the injustices that people from the Latinx community were facing, especially due to the disregard of Puerto Ricans as they faced horrific tragedies in the aftermath of Hurricane María in 2017. My heritage and people were dying, killed, and ignored in the eyes of the Trump administration and I felt like there was nothing I could do to help. The following summer of 2018, Kenyi and myself began to talk about the idea of creating a song that represented my culture. Not only was a humanitarian crisis in the line of sight but an alarming immigration issue that sparked inspiration as well.
Immigrants continue to face daily threats on their right to live on this land due to their citizenship status. The Trump administration had deemed them as criminals and invaders and ICE raids were ripping people and children from their homes and into detention centers across the US. These were the people that worked at our restaurants, undocumented friends who made a living striving for their dreams, and our families. I saw they were being stripped of their humanity by a corrupt system, so I began to work on what I loved: music.
During the time, I was working on a script for an idea I had for a film and was listening to an abundance of Latin music. Specifically cumbia, which directly influenced this song. I knew I had to reach out to Kenyi for help. We’ve been close friends since high school, and he was able to express exactly what I was looking for. After Kenyi sent the initial sample of a song, I knew we had something. I began to write down what I had been trying to say for a long time. Then “Orgullo” was born.
It was a thought, an idea, a feeling that was brought to life to defend and give power to my community against this evil. This video is a testament to the pride and dedication that I feel for my Latinx heritage and the will I have to fight for what is right. It is a homage to the large family gatherings and carne asadas. To my grandparents. To the laughter and the songs we dance to. To fight for my cultura y familia. It’s our pride that got my family this far. Hence the name… “Orgullo”.
LR: What was it like working on this video?
Golden: Amazing! We were on a tight budget, but other than that it was actually pretty seamless working on this video. Our cast and crew was a family, we all wanted to make this story, take risks and actively connect and bridge gaps in our communication through sharing of our own stories and our own backgrounds. Our leading actress was played by Xiomara Ossorio, a Chicana artist who was born and raised in California to Mexican immigrant parents. Her two sons were played by Erwin Aberu, a Latin American teenager, hip-hop dancer and actor from Perth Amboy, New Jersey; and Allen Melara, a Russian Latino artist from Brooklyn. The completion of the cast was played by Mindi Perez, Jenifer Catarino, Amanda Sarabia, Gabriel Ornaque, Sean Kerrigan and Vince Sanchez-Sambrano. The magic behind the scenes was my Pproducer Amanda J. Sarabia, Vince Sanchez-Sambrano, my wife Iuliia Rudenko-Golden and John Power.
We are all supporters of the Latinx community, and my team utilized their talents to showcase a song and story about pride, innocence, love and loss.
Amanda Alcántara is the Digital Media Editor at Futuro Media. She tweets from @YoSoy_Amanda.