INTROGreetings and also welcome to our latest episode that “Si yo fuera una canción” -- “If i Were a Song.” We space a community-based podcast and also radio show, in which human being of Santa Ana, California, tell us in their very own words around the music that method the most to them.
You are watching: Si yo fuera un artista famoso, creo que
I to be Elisabeth Le Guin, your regime host, and also Director that this project. This job is based on my conviction the we civilization in the modern – or postmodern?-- human being need to find out to hear to one another; and that music, and also all it bring us, is the perfect place to begin. Today’s interview is through Kahlo Quinn, whom ns was lucky enough to record a pair of days before she left Santa Ana in august 2020 to start her college researches in Tennessee. You might recall that we were simply coming turn off the very first height that the pandemic at that time; that there to be a lot of protest going on over the killing of Black folk by police; and that the result of the upcoming Presidential election was through no method clear. It to be a tumultuous time! i was nice bowled end by Kahlo’s eloquence around her musical choices and what they could mean in the middle of all the tumult. This is a young human being with a lot come say!
ELG: good morning. It's the 7th the August, 2020. I'm going come ask the interviewee the I have actually on the line this particular day to present themselves and we're going to talk about some favorite songs. For this reason -- would you you re welcome tell united state a tiny bit about yourself?
KQ: every right. Say thanks to you for having actually me. My surname is Kahlo Quinn. I am 18 years old. And also my preferred pronouns room she, her, hers. And what carried me come Santa Ana is -- I used to live in Chicago, but when i was eight, mine parents carried my brother and I the end here because of their work. And so I've been living here ever since.
ELG: So, you've been below over half your life. Ten years.
KQ: Yeah. Basically, ns feel prefer it's sort of choose I have actually a te in every "chapter," and then I kind of move on come a brand-new place or thing or, you know, that's type of just how it goes!
ELG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and I know you're right at the allude of the following move, i beg your pardon we'll talk about in just a second.
ELG: yet I desire to begin with my 3 questions. So, here's the first. Where room you from? and remember, you have the right to answer this in any type of sense the you wish; it deserve to be physical and literal, or it deserve to be much more metaphorical.
KQ: Yeah. So, ns mean, like I said, I'm indigenous Chicago, Illinois, in a more physical, literal sense. Yet also, I type of took this concern in the feeling -- and kind of how I made decision my tune through it -- is, I'm from, you know, a really loving and safe and also supportive, happy family. Ns was raised in a an extremely social-justice oriented upbringing. Just, that's exactly how my family was, and that's really occurred who ns am. Therefore that's, that's sort of wherein I'm from, ns guess.
ELG: Feel complimentary in this context, if you want to simply share through us what the following chapter is looking choose at the moment?
KQ: Yes. For this reason my next chapter is starting very soon. I'm leave in a tiny bit an ext than a mainly to walk to Vanderbilt university in Nashville, Tennessee. -- So i think my hope, especially during this time, because it is together a crazy time with a pandemic and just, you know, really everything that's happening v our president and also just in the world, it's really... There's a lot going on. And also so starting this brand-new chapter, type of my really hopes is to simply remember the there is good in the world and also that there's love in the world. And you know that it's these brand-new chapters that sort of remind united state of why we're living and also why we keep going.
And so ns think in that new chapter, I'm just trying to, just, keep relocating and... But also look, you know, look in ~ the human being from a various place and in a various chapter. So...yeah.
ELG: Wow. I feel your excitement. I have the right to feel that coming throughout the line.
KQ: ns love it. I know, I'm super excited. It's actually cool since I feeling like... Ns mean, ns listen come music every the time and also it's together a part of my life, but I've never been the type of person to like, as soon as someone's like, "Oh, what's her favorite artist?" and things favor that, I constantly have trouble. I'm like, "I like all music," girlfriend know?
But i really appreciated this an obstacle of type of pinpointing simply two songs that, girlfriend know, represent certain things for me. For this reason I'm excited to delve deeper right into them.
ELG: Good! I'm for this reason glad.
INSERT #1:Kahlo’s first song is called “Code Pink,” and also is perform by the group, Emma’s Revolution.
ELG: say thanks to you for presenting me come this song and also to this group, which i didn't understand about.
ELG: So perhaps tell me a small bit about how this music came right into your life initially, and also then, the course, the meat that the question, just how does this, for you, represent where you come from?
KQ: I...I really determined this song, i feel, since where I'm from, prefer I had mentioned before, ns really came from a home that was very... Was very guided in that social justice outlook. And so ns was brought to plenty of protests, plenty of events like the one operation by SOA Watch. And also I could just go and be in a wagon and eat the snacks at the kids' tables and color, and hear remarkable music choose this
I was simply a tiny kid to run around, going come sing-alongs with teams like Emma's change and singing these songs at the height of my lungs, yet not really thinking about, like, "Why am ns here? What room they actually singing about?" So... And then I might go house a pair of days later, or best after a protest, and not to issue anymore. So ns think that's kind of why I determined this song. Like, it's together a cool song, choose it has actually such a good beat come it and there's so lot passion in it. And so it deserve to really traction in a boy who's five, six or seven, over the years. Yet not... Ns didn't need to really recognize all the people and also the events that they to be bringing up in it.
ELG: Right. Right…I wonder, maybe would you favor to just very quickly define what the SOA watch is for listeners who can not know?
KQ: Yeah, therefore the school of the ameri is a place, a school in Georgia that trains a most the …it's a armed forces training group, the trains a lot of people who climate are sent out to climate militarize places internationally where they're not welcome. And also also, they've eliminated many, and it's just really a terrible group. So, this occasion is like almost a week lengthy in Georgia, protesting outside of the college of the Americas, in which world come with each other to remember those who have actually been eliminated by people who room trained v the school, and also to lug peace come the neighboring area and spread ways in which civilization can go away and have peace and, umm... Therefore that's why amazing teams like Emma's revolution comes about, due to the fact that they're... The words in your music yes, really shares how to bring peace and what groups to join with in order to stop teams like SOA.
ELG: So, and also so you're informing me that as soon as you were carried to these protests as a child, that teams like Emma's change would actually execute singalongs for the children who were there while your parents were protesting?
KQ: you know, over there were key protests, the key venue. Yet then over there were kind of places and also events surrounding the main stages and also things prefer that in which there were tasks for children to get involved and also to start reflecting at a young age, like, "What is our function in all of this?" and so, yeah, that was kind of an escape due to the fact that it's definitely more upbeat and a lot much more smiles and tambourine shaking, and also less holding crosses and marching together. So ns think that also, it also fostered... If others were in an ext intense breakout groups, I remained in the sing along, with groups like this. I m sorry is amazing…
ELG: This is certainly a singalong kind of a song. It's obtained that sort of swing come it and, and also the repeat of the word "Code Pink," all the method through. You know, you have the right to imagine sort of pumping her fist in time to it, hitting a tambourine or whatever, everything it might be. However -- what go the expression mean, in the context of what this team was doing v it?
KQ: Yeah. So freshly I looked up the the surname "Code Pink" due to the fact that the music came earlier recently to me. And also when i searched up, there's a group dubbed "Code Pink," in reality that functions doing women's rights, looking in ~ militarization and also people's rights with regards come that. And also so, type of like exactly how we said, like, "Code Pink because that freedom, password Pink because that peace, code Pink because that women..." They execute a lot.
ELG: Yep, here it is, here's your website, comes right up. "Code Pink, a women-led grassroots organization working to finish US wars and militarism, support peace and also human rights initiatives, and redirect our taxes dollars into health and wellness care, education, green jobs and also other life affirming programs."
So here it is ideal on the Web and in the website. I'll make sure to carry out a connect to them. So, it's in reality a straight reference to -- no to a metaphorical concept however to an actual team that's doing work in the world.
INSERT #2:About Emma’s change & code Pink The anarchist and activist Emma Goldman, that lived native 1869-1940, is commonly credited with the renowned words, "If i can't dance, ns don't want to be part of your revolution.” This is the source of the name of the group, Emma’s Revolution.In fact, there is no document of Goldman saying those words, however w she did speak in this vein is additionally worth quoting: "I did not think that the cause … should need the denial of life and also joy…I want freedom, the best to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." together for the team Emma’s Revolution, that is veteran the the USAmerican individual protest music scene. They have released 4 albums since in 2009; this respectable advertisement success intersects interestingly with a kind of success and also recognition among movements the are committed to resisting commercialism and also capitalism. Together we established in the interview password Pink is one international, women-led NGO dedicated to anti-war protest work. Ns ask in the interview, “What does that name mean?” it is a sarcastic feminist beat on the united state Federal government’s mechanism of color coding armed forces readiness in nationwide emergencies, which some of us will certainly remember native the weeks adhering to the 11th of September, 2001: password Red, code Orange, etc.
ELG: This song has actually really acquired its feet top top the ground! It's very…it's plugged into actual events and it's calling the end a team that really works v those events. And also yet it's also, just, musically, you know, you discussed it's acquired a great beat. And also it does, it's gained that wonderful kind of swinging back-beat that just makes you want to type of bob her head and, and also sing follow me if you recognize the words, and... For this reason it's a pretty effective piece of political art.
KQ: Definitely. Yeah.
ELG: Yeah. I desire to ask girlfriend one more question about it.
ELG: So, I might imagine someone listening to you talking about being a pretty tiny child lugged to this protests and participating in these tasks designed for kids at the protest site, thinking, "Whoa, this is hefty duty brainwashing!" And, friend know, this is an uncomfortable truth around music. You you yourself said, girlfriend know, the you didn't have to -- once you an initial learned this song and when it to be a component of your endure at these protests -- you didn't necessarily recognize what they were singing about, nor did friend care! however the song acquired kind of woven right into your consciousness and became a component of that you are, if you will. And it does have actually these words, and it does have an explicit political message. And... Someone who had actually a different viewpoint ~ above the world than the one that is represented by the SOA protests can feel really, really uncomfortable in ~ hearing her story around this.
KQ: i mean, definitely! ns think that is certainly interesting to have music that is therefore specific. It's like reading one article, yet hearing it v a tune. And yeah, it's interesting then to prosper up and to think about, ns mean, this is the music I supplied to listen to and also there's probably countless other human being in mine life that would not hear to or agree v this sort of music. And it's exciting to look at at arts in that way. The someone would certainly disagree with a piece of art? You more think of, someone would disagree v a policy, or someone would certainly disagree v a human -- however not necessarily a song.
And so, the is exciting to prosper up and also then come realize, friend know, whatever that friend did is totally different 보다 what a lot of other kids did or listened to, or...
ELG: Yeah, yeah. Girlfriend really placed your finger on the there. Yeah. How can you disagree through a song? And particularly one also sung and also performed and put with each other as this one. I average it's just gained that an excellent swing to it... And I i found it in listening to it, you know, they don't sound angry. There's some force, there's part edge to your voices, but they actually sound friendly and upbeat and also positive through the whole song, i m sorry is sort of striking, provided the content of the lyrics.
ELG: And, yeah. Exactly how do you disagree
KQ: Yeah. INSERT #3: “Would someone disagree v a work of art?” it is a fundamental principle that Romanticism that arts (with a resources A) have to be pure, looking beyond the details that life; above all, that it no lend chin to political ends; it have to be “disinterested” or else somehow, it’s no “really Art.” This “real Art” will supposedly raise united state to suitable place whereby disagreement doesn’t apply. I think it’s indigenous this that Kahlo’s concern comes.
But many artists understand that during most of human background art has actually simply been the best tool obtainable for expressing, elaborating, understanding and strengthening the particular positions and also viewpoints populated by the artists. And also so arts (small “a”) can very naturally go into into partisan argument. In fact, I’d speak it is nourished by disagreement.
From this less idealist perspective, art that pretends to be disinterested frequently reveals itself together a concealed attempt to combine the established, dominant order. However, this perspective additionally opens the door to the opportunity that there is no such thing as “eternal Art” no one “universal” imaginative values.Kahlo’s question is really important for every one of us who value or practice art in any kind of form. Instead of trying come answer it definitively, ns think the necessary thing is to keep asking it—perhaps with a twist: “When must we disagree through a work of art?” ELG: and also actually, this provides a really super cool transition to your 2nd song. I have to say, the songs are linked in countless ways, they're kind of thematically connected, i think. But your second song, the one the points towards your hopes for the future, that takes together a different approach. That really... It speak to precisely this question around how arts inserts itself right into politics, and the function that things like songs have actually in a human being where life and death decisions need to be made, you know? So v your permission, why don't us go straight to the next song, and then maybe we can kind of pick up this thread after that and talk it with a little bit more fully, with reference to your 2nd song.
KQ: Yeah, that's great.
ELG: So here is "Dear Hate."
SONG CLIP Maren Morris and also Vince Gill, “Dear Hate” ELG: I'm specifically grateful because that you presenting me to this song... I feel like there's countless moments, driving under the 405, listening to the news, and also all the dreadful things coming at me from the news, and feeling favor I can't escape them in my little metal crate of a car, and also feeling something the points toward despair. And also the song just really addresses that, so deftly, so nicely. Therefore -- tell me a tiny bit around how you came to this song, this specific song?
KQ: Yeah. Therefore I…I was able to hear her in Joshua Tree, at this really cool restaurant called Pappy and Harriet's. And also so, my mom, mine dad and I, we went to the concert there. It was an out concert in the nighttime, simply super cool, like, choose in the desert. It to be just, probably the ideal concert I've ever been to! and she began to song this song, and everyone simply went quiet. And also just, it's so installation to any kind of time and also place.
I mean, it absolutely has -- prefer the critical song, the has particular events and also things detailed in it. Yet it just, it was so an effective how hearing it live, but just listening her post and... Simply really beautiful, just really solid storytelling in it. So the was a yes, really amazing introduction to it, i feel.
ELG: That's nice amazing. I just imagine sit out, and, you know, the stars are twice together many and also twice as big up there.
KQ: Oh, totally.
ELG: Yeah. Well, even, girlfriend know, even over my tiny computer speakers, it's just, it's acquired a sort of a magic to it because that sure.
KQ: oh totally. And, and also so ns think that just as I begin in my next step, walking to college in the Fall, and just with everything going on -- i mean, over there is a many hate approximately us, best now, a many conflict and a many sadness, that ns think it yes, really sneaks up on us in various ways and also it's all-encompassing.
And similar to you said, once you're listening come it in her car and also you can't yes, really escape it, I practically feel prefer we can't really escape it, also if we're outdoors, prefer in an open up space. And also so i think as I move forward, I, I've had to discover myself type of acquisition deep breaths and really remembering how lucky ns am and all the love the I have actually in my very own life, and likewise just all the love that's coming the end of every these hard times, the various movements, and also people coming together to care for every other. So i feel like this track is simply very...while the hit me emotionally 2 years earlier when i felt very worry-free in the center of the desert, ns feel prefer it hits you even an ext when there's actual hate roughly you. And so, when selecting the track for this specifically, simply hearing the again, i was like, “it adds clarity to her life.” But likewise it's just a beautiful track to listen to.
ELG: it is really a beautiful song. Yeah, it simply lays it the end there, however in together a gentle, resonant type of a way. The title: you know, when you called me what your 2 songs were, I'm like, "Dear Hate," what the heck? you know? ns heard the song numerous times, and also I was like, OK, I gain it. Let's talk for a minute about that title. I mean, I'm simply interested in what friend think around that title.
KQ: Yeah... It's absolutely interesting. Ns mean, I constantly find, like, "Dear" come be such a sort word. So ns feel choose it's likewise shows a kind technique to...
KQ:...the idea that hate. Like, girlfriend know, “You've excellent a lot of horrible things, yet I'm tho going to be civil and say, ‘Hey, to ~ Hate, also though you've resulted in the end of countless lives, and...’" --it's definitely kinder than it could be. But--I don't know!
ELG: You're definitely pointing in the direction that I had been thinking about it. I just brought --you know, i thought around it because that a few minutes and it lugged me back to Dr. King's well known phrase. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light deserve to do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Just love have the right to do that." and also it seems to me it's nearly like a direct reference to the very, very famous quote. And also it's like, if you're walk to take it on hate, i beg your pardon is a large proposition, this is the means to perform it.
KQ: Yeah, yeah.
ELG: and also it's not the basic way. Friend know, come live as much as that phrase? friend know, not many of us can manage it every the time, however a song prefer this is can virtually be an anthem for that effort. I don't know if you read much fiction, Kahlo, but I check out a publication recently, it's called "The Nickel Boys," it's a novel by one African-American author named Colson Whitehead.
KQ: Uh huh.
ELG: and he take away on that an extremely phrase. It's fiction, therefore he takes it on v his major character, who, cultivation up African-American in the south in a details period, and with all the entailed, comes across recordings the Dr. King's sermons, and he hears that phrase, and also he bring away it right into his heart. And, in the end, that can't really live as much as it, and that's part of what the novel is about, is simply how hard that really is. When hate is coming directly at you, to meet it through love, just how an overwhelming that really is.
The novel is a stormy ride. But it also really makes you think about this, that it's one thing to repeat that beautiful quote and another thing to really live it, i think.
INSERT #4 – “Darkness cannot drive the end darkness; only light have the right to do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; just love have the right to do that…” The publication by Dr King in i beg your pardon this much-quoted phrase appears is “Strength come Love,” very first published in 1963, a collection of his very own sermons. That preached countless times on the template of loving one’s opponents as it shows up in the Bible’s book of St Matthew, Ch V, verses 43-45, and he is explicit that this is difficult. The really title the the book says that this kind of love is not yielding no one sentimental, and does no acquiesce come wrongdoing. Nor, however, does it ever go into into violence. Dr King departs native the bible to indicate that the consititutes a “third way,” the means of non-violent collective action; and this is the philosophy espoused by groups like SOA Watch and also Code Pink. Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Nickel Boys, has actually received much-deserved recognition and won a variety of national awards. It recounts fictional events at a non-fictional place, the Arthur G Dozier college for Boys, a so-called “reform” school in Florida whereby boys were abused, tortured, and murdered because that generations prior to it was lastly closed down less than ten year ago. Mr Whitehead has actually said the felt compelled come tell this grueling story to add to urgent nationwide processes the reckoning with our backgrounds of abuse and also oppression. it is nice clear that the writer himself doubts the opportunity that Dr king “third way” have the right to prevail against the type of entrenched, systemic hatred that has made atrocities like the Dozier school possible. And indeed, it would certainly be naïve no to recognize that the likelihood that love overcoming dislike in this world is slender at best. In the end the concern of how to confront hatred is one the every individual need to resolve because that themselves; and resolve it, no once and for all, yet every day, numerous times, and also on numerous levels. Together Kahlo to be lucky sufficient to learn really young, music can help us keep our resolve.
KQ: Definitely. And also yeah, that's definitely... It's interesting because I think it's supervisor easy, really easy to sing follow me to this song and sing follow me to -- also just going earlier to my an initial song choice, exactly how easy that is to sing along to those songs. And that's what music does for you, you know. You can sing follow me to any kind of song you want, yet it's a issue of acquisition those messages and also taking what they're urging you come do, or what they're trying to spread awareness about, and also actually making use of art in that way.
I feel as though ns can get off pretty straightforward with seeing art for art, and also not necessarily as a lesson. And so that's, that's one thing, that arts is beautiful since I think it have the right to kind of, girlfriend know, mesh or wedge itself into your life and to spread different principles into you.
I listen to music a many the time just because it has a catchy expression in it, or a to win that just gets friend in the mood for a certain thing you're around to do or that you're in the center of doing. But, but all music has a message and it has actually an intention. And it's together an amazing outlet come tell stories and also share specific experiences the artists space having. If someone's speak a speech or you check out an short article that lock wrote, ns think music, it an ext easily comes into us and also we're more easily encouraged to hear to certain things; or an ext able to take it in. Particularly nowadays whereby we're reading and writing and also doing all these things and also moving a hundred miles per minute. Our brains are anywhere the place! So i think it's, for me, it's easier due to the fact that music so easily enters us. It's less complicated to let go of the blog post or the point that they're trying, it's trying to teach us. And so i think with exactly how easy the is come say the quote by Dr. Boy name Luther King, or to sing follow me to this song, it's absolutely much harder to live it out since it is so simple to take it in. Ns don't recognize if that made any sense.
ELG: full sense. In fact, I'm just kind of flabbergasted at just how beautifully you're putting one of the basic reasons that I have been a musician all my life, and also that I'm likewise a scholar of music! girlfriend know, the is exactly this way that the enters into us for this reason easily, as you say, and yet when the song is over: what come next?
ELG: That's the tricky part, that's the tricky part. This track is definitely going to go on come my personal playlist, and also one of the reasons for that, i think, is that when, girlfriend know, maybe you've chose to take it on the implicit an obstacle of "Hate cannot drive the end hate, just love can do that." possibly you're trying to live your life the way, but it's hard and it it s okay you down sometimes.
ELG: A song favor this have the right to kind of just come in in ~ a great moment and...and be afflicted with you increase again, girlfriend know, it's obtained that sort of gentleness, a an effective gentleness, i guess I would say. Yeah. Thank you so lot for presenting it come me. - Well, all right. Well, what a beautiful interview. Thank you for this reason much, Kahlo.
KQ: say thanks to you therefore much. It's so, it's so special to hear her perspective on certain songs, ~ above the song that ns shared. I mean, there's so lot music out there, right? and that friend live v day to day. And also I feel together though both that those songs, it was easy to sort of decide, "OK, yeah, this is what that depicts." yet just how beautiful, just how you're may be to take it further. V both of this songs, I'd never ever thought around it in the way that you had prompted me come think around it before. So i really appreciate that.
ELG: Oh, well, give thanks to you. You just made mine day! i mean, I intend all those years at the university and also everything, you know, they more than likely count for something!
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ELG:There are couple of things more inspiring than talking to young world who room finding their words and also their routes toward gift strong, conscious, proactive civilization in the world. Right right here is wherein I discover my biggest hope.
Would you like to recognize more? On ours website in ~ derekwadsworth.com, you have the right to find complete transcripts in both languages of every interview, ours Blog around the worries of history, culture, and politics that come up roughly every song, links for listeners who can want to seek a design template further, and also some really cool imagery. You’ll find playlists of every the song from all the interviews come date, and our special Staff-curated playlist as well. Us invite her comments or questions! contact us at our website, or get involved in the Si Yo Fuera conversation on social media. We’re out there top top FaceBook and Instagram. And also then there’s simply plain old word of mouth. If you like our show, do please tell your friends to provide it a listen. And also do you re welcome subscribe, on any of the significant podcast platforms. We’ll lug a new interview because that you, every two weeks on Friday mornings. Julia Alanis, Cynthia Marcel De La Torre, and also Wesley McClintock room our sound engineers; Zoë Broussard and Laura Díaz host down the marketing; David Castañeda is Music Researcher; Jen Orenstein translates interviews to and also from Spanish; Deyaneira García and also Alex Dolven make production possible. We space a not-for-profit venture, currently and also gratefully sponsor by the man Paul Simon Guggenheim Foundation, UCLA’s Faculty grants Program, and also the Herb Alpert school of Music. For now, and also until the following interview—keep listening to one another! ns Elisabeth Le Guin, and also this is, “Si yo fuera una canción -- If i were a song…”