Emilio Rojas Unpacks 'New To New York,' a Hip Hop Anthem For Immigrants: Watch


Hip-Hop artist Emilio Rojas continues his battle for inclusion within the music trade on his new track, “New to New York.” As an biracial artist — born to a Venezuelan father and an American mom — Rojas has been advised that in an effort to achieve success within the music enterprise, he has to “be much less Latino,” “use his white privilege,” or “go by a unique stage title” as a result of being white made him extra marketable than being Latino.

But, embracing his Latin roots, Rojas premieres his new video “New to New York,” a hip-hop anthem that’s not just for immigrants, however for everybody who’s searching for safety and a spot to name residence outdoors of their native international locations.   

Leading the pack of Latin artists who've been their true selves, Rojas defined to Billboard Latin the significance of his new single, inclusion as a LatinX artist, and empowering immigrants by way of his music.

Why is “New to New York” essential to you?

The American Dream is about risking every little thing to make one thing of your self and comply with your goals. It’s about class mobility and enhancing your life. It’s unhappy that proper now we’ve got a lot happening that’s in direct distinction to that. There are households, girls, and youngsters being tear-gassed on the border as a result of they’re looking for asylum. That’s not what our price system is meant to be. We are alleged to be a land of alternative, not a spot of exclusion that's crippled by xenophobia and concern. "New to New York" is essential to me for that reason — as a result of it's my reminder that we're all searching for acceptance and a spot to name residence. Sometimes all of us want to listen to that.

How do you assume you've been ignored the LatinX narrative and what points do you see with it?

I feel inclusion within the Latin music narrative is one I'm nonetheless coming to phrases with, however I additionally assume it's an issue for the entire style. First, for a very long time, Latinos have been completely ignored of hip-hop’s narrative. Second, music executives (even Latin music executives and radio program administrators) have contributed to the stigma of what an appropriate "look or sound" is for artists of Latin descent. Being interracial, I've been advised to "use my satisfactory whiteness“ or "go by a unique stage title" to downplay the truth that I’m Venezuelan as a result of to these executives being white made me extra marketable than being Latino.

In the music trade, there may be this attraction to the"unique" Latin artist who breaks into the American music scene and turns into the face of Latin music. The trade doesn’t know the way to market us if we aren’t making straight Spanish music and becoming into these explicit roles. To be trustworthy, even labeling performs a big half in exclusion. There's a nice line between being pleased with your tradition, being known as a "Spanish Rapper" or "Latin Music" and those self same labels getting used as a barrier to restrict alternatives for LatinX artists and the Latin neighborhood as a complete. People hear my title and robotically have their minds made up about what I can and may’t discuss, how I ought to look, what language my music must be in, and whether or not or not I’m a match for any of the platforms/ alternatives they’ve entry to.

What are your plans to assist immigrants utilizing your platform and LatinX artists for larger inclusion within the style?

The greatest method to assist anybody is to make increasingly more folks conscious. We have to comprehend immigration and immigrant points are everybody’s points. People should see what’s taking place and be like “Hey – tear gassing youngsters whose mother and father are attempting to present them extra alternative is WRONG.” Hollywood has to cease solely casting Latinos as gang members and criminals. Music executives have to permit us to create our artwork and cease limiting what they are going to settle for from us as “genuine” or “marketable." Right now, that has begun to alter. We have folks advocating for Latin artists, the tradition, and the music we create. Loads of these advocates come from first or second era immigrant households, so that they acknowledge that inclusion is crucial, they usually love the tradition and wish to see it change. But these are child steps. That's one thing I'm by no means going to cease combating for — not only for myself, however all Latin Artists which have been placing within the time and simply wish to do what they love. There's nonetheless a lot work to be completed.