Today’s observance of Cinco de Mayo strikes a different tone than usual, so we’re marking the day with a brand-new music video.
KC-based artist Maria Cuevas pays homage to her roots with her latest song, “Mexicans and Americans.” You may recognize Cuevas as one of the driving forces behind Maria the Mexican, a band she formed with her sister Tess in 2011 alongside guitarist Garrett Nordstrom. The group is reconfiguring behind Cuevas as a solo artist, who will be dropping an album later in 2020.
The accompanying music video features vibrant vignettes of Mexican-American culture in KC — from the food to the dancing and most importantly, the people — dispersed throughout the band’s sway-inducing performance. And jubilant though it may be, the song also comes with a strong declaration.
“If you build a wall we’re gonna tear it down,” Cuevas asserts in the introduction, using the rest of the song to unite with her community and take a stand against bigotry.
In a 2018 interview with The Bridge, Cuevas had this to say about the evolving direction of her music and message: “We stand with all disenfranchised people, especially Latinos and immigrants,” she said. “We feel angered about the escalation of xenophobia in this country. We think the idea of building a wall is preposterous, and we support the young dreamers.”
And in our opinion, this is an appropriate way to commemorate today's holiday — by honoring the cultural contributions of Mexican-Americans and recognizing their obstacles in American society, narrated through the lovely gift of song.
Here’s The Bridge’s exclusive video premiere of “Mexicans and Americans” by Maria Cuevas:
Cuevas will be doing a livestream performance tonight in partnership with Mid-Continent Public Library and One Kansas City Radio starting at 6 p.m., followed by another one via Maria the Mexican’s Facebook page at 7:30 p.m.