Thanks to everyone who took part in our poll for the best music video 2012! I’m happy to announce that the winner of the award is artist Alex Anwandter with his beautiful video to his single “Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo?”, which got more than 70% of the votes: A clear result, which shows that Alex has a strong fan base in his home-country Chile and around the world. To get a little more information about the video, which was shot in a club in Santiago, I’ve done a little Q&A with Alex in which he speaks about the background of the song’s lyrics and the idea behind the clip. Here’s the interview:
As far as I know the lyrics of the song are responding to a brutal crime against a gay man in Chile, which happend recently. How does the video relate to this?
That’s somehow inaccurate. The lyrics are based on a personal experience of mine: someone was passing judgement on me and the lyrics are about how certain types of folk go through life doing this, judging others. As I wrote the lyrics, however, I realized that they worked well as a metaphor for discrimination (“Even though they say it’s a sin, I feel like I’m in heaven” goes one line), especially towards sexual minorities.
Finally, last March a fan of mine – Daniel, a 20 year old boy I knew cause he always wrote to me and we had spoken a couple of times – was tortured and murdered for being gay. He agonized for 20 days before dying. I met his family and they encouraged me to continue speaking on behalf of people like Daniel. It definitely inspired me to be more forceful advocating the end of this atmosphere of discrimination we have in Chile.
The video, even though it’s a tribute to the film “Paris is burning” aesthetically, is most of all an attempt to shed a positive light on diversity.
Who are the performers of the video and how did you find them?
Most are friends of mine. And some are people we’d seen in parties and thought they always looked great and cool. It took quite some time gathering them: in the end some great people we had casted didn’t show up, but others showed up that had gone with some friend or something and ended up performing amazingly too.
The video is a tribute to the ballroom community. Are balls something that is actually happening in Santiago?
Nothing like this happens in Santiago. And for me, that was kind of the whole point. My thoughts were: “Paris is burning” is over 20 years old and we still have nothing like that in Chile. Nor does anyone know what “Paris is burning” is”. Let’s have people see something like that, in mainstream media for a change. If it helps just a little bit to promote a social environment where diversity is better tolerated, I’ll be satisfied. I have no idea if such a goal’s success is measurable, but I consider the effort relevant.
Which was your favorite music video in 2012 and why?
I quite liked David Byrne and St. Vincent’s video for “Who” but my favorite was one of a chilean band called Dënver for a song called “Los Bikers”. It has Yukio Mishima stuff, Ballet and S&M. It had me at hello.
Dënver: “Los Bikers”
What are your plans for 2013?
I’m going to be doing shows in L.A. and N.Y. around March and hopefully release a new album during the second semester.