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Lila Downs: “Many people are afraid of the word feminism”

For Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs, “a lot of people are afraid of the word feminism”, so they confess “a little disenchanted” with the fact that the world “is not very ready to pay a tribute to women.”

Downs, who is in Madrid to promote her latest album, “Salon, Tears and Desire” (Sony), explained to Efe that the fourteen songs that comprise it are inspired by women who have survived violence, stories “very strong”, give “impulse” to continue writing.

In “Salon, Tears and Desire”, the protagonists are women, but Downs also pays homage to her indigenous origins and love for her native land, Oaxaca (Mexico). “It’s a very loving album but also unloving and at the end I realized that I had a very feminine voice, had a very close view of us,” he says.

The Mexican considers this twelfth work “one of the most beautiful musical” she has done and bets on the “search for light” as a weapon to combat indifference.

Downs also acknowledges that he was “heartbroken” when Donald Trump came to the White House, who had already expressed his rejection after launching the theme “The Demagogue” in October last year, with harsh criticism of the now-President of the United States United.

“I realized that there is a representation of very negative, racist and fearful people,” says the singer – daughter of an indigenous mother and American father – who grew up intercalating the rugged mountains of the Sierra Madre, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. picturesque Minnesota landscape, in USA.

Although current times make him think of “the sorrows” occasioned by similar past moments, such as the rise of fascism and World War II, Downs is also optimistic, believing that “we are more good guys.”

“Human societies always go instead, they are generational cycles. Right now we are going through the end of one negative and then start another with positive things,” he points out.

In the tour to promote his new album Downs guarantees that the public “will not be disappointed” and that it will be able to enjoy not only the songs of the new disc but also of the favorites of previous works and some classic subjects of jazz.

A varied and holy repertoire of his career, because, according to him, he does not like labels and believes that “everyone is an expression of his generation, of his time”.

He therefore rejects the title of successor of the myth Chavela Vargas, although he identifies with the “marginalized” character of his music and lifestyle.

“Perhaps in my case I also feel that I was an independent singer at the beginning and that I am in a certain way at the margins of society,” he points out, recalling Vargas’ constant transition between the worlds of depression, misogyny and homophobia.

In relation to other projects, the singer-songwriter says that she continues to compose songs, because she always has “that need” to bring to her music texts of things that “affect”.

For the future, she wants a “more tolerant” world in which women are “more in solidarity with one another” and not “weak” when it comes to educating “our men” to respect them.

Mother of a seven-year-old boy, Downs emphasizes the care needed to train children: “What happens in society is a reflection of what is happening at home,” he concludes.

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