This Thursday, November 20, Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 looks poised to set another record in Las Vegas. In 2011, the group won the most ever Latin Grammy awards in one night–nine. This year, they could top that, if they snag wins for all ten of their nominations.
But mainstream accolades remain relatively far-off priorities for group members René “Residente” Pérez Joglar and José “Visitante” Cabra Martínez. During Thursday night’s awards-show broadcast on Univision, one of Fusion’s parent companies, they’ll perform the rousing single “El Aguante.” The track sounds somewhere between a protest song and an Irish-inflected party anthem.
They’ll also make sure to use their mainstream platform for social good. Since the group’s beginning, Residente and Visitante have forged ahead fearlessly in pursuit of societal change, especially regarding youth and student issues. So backstage after their rehearsals at the MGM Grand, Fusion caught up with the group to get their thoughts on the rising youth movement in Mexico centered around the missing Ayotzinapa students.
The solution, says Residente? The Mexican government should just quit, entirely, he says—but how to get to such drastic change? Check out the video above to see what he had to say. It’s what any musician should urge, he said. If you profess to be an artist without socially engaging, he said, you’re a sellout–“you’re just a businessman.”