Ozomatli Fires Away for Equality



What there a question of whether or not the band would ever tackle gay rights?
It was important to us that this wasn’t something that we thought about — it wasn’t “let’s write a gay and lesbian anthem” — it just happened naturally, which is really much better. It came from a place in our hearts that’s pure, that had no agenda. To me, it’s in the vein of our best music and it’s a really good song and I think we’re able to touch on issues with each particular line in the song. That’s what was really important about this — the lyrics — and how to present these little scenarios that have to deal with a lot of the pain that we saw people were having to deal with, that we know people have to deal with. We can put that in context of many different things. It’s not just a gay and lesbian issue, it’s a humanity issue. We get challenged like that with our relationships with women, with our relationships with gay and lesbian people, with people of different races and cultures, and how to continually have a broader, more humane perspective.

How did you connect with the L.A.-based nonprofit Honor PAC to provide images of LGBT couples included in the video?
We had done a fund-raiser with Honor PAC, so we already had a relationship. When they heard the music, they were really inspired and they asked us to participate. The fact that the song has a deeper meaning and helps promote gay and lesbian rights, we’re totally down for that. For us, it’s been a learning process, a really beautiful learning process. I’m the one who sings the lead vocals on that song, and I’m really happy when I sing it. I’ve become more and more proud of that song and very emotional about it in a very good way. It’s not just a party track. We’re definitely proud of the song.

Watch Ozomatli play and discuss “Gay Vatos in Love” below.

Tags: Music