Lila Downs wants to break down borders with her music

Lila Downs explains how she tries to break down the barriers between Mexico and the U.S. through her music.
Lila Downs in studio q. (Cathy Irving )

Mexican-American singer, actress and activist Lila Downs has just released her latest record Salon, Legrimas y Deseo.

Downs brings a multilingual flair to her music, singing in English, Spanish, as well as including the languages of the Mixtec, Zapotec and Maya cultures.

It's a deeply feminist record that continues the Grammy-winning singer's long career of music with a splash of activism to incite political and social change. Downs has spent her life trying to break down the barriers between Mexico and the United States.

In 2001, she released an album called Border that was inspired by, and dedicated to, Mexican migrants who crossed the border into the U.S. to look for work and a better life. Downs talks to q about the current relationship between Mexico and the U.S. under Donald Trump's presidency, and expands on why she thinks it is important to represent different languages and culture in her music. She also plays songs from Salon, Legrimas y Deseo in the q studio. 

— Produced by Mitch Pollock



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