Listen To Bhi Bhiman & Gaby Moreno's New Songs About Immigrants At The Border In 2018
Singer-songwriters Bhi Bhiman and Gaby Moreno are adopting the perspective of immigrants in their latest music to show the realities facing newcomers to America.
Bhiman is the child of immigrant parents. He came here from Sri Lanka. He found his identity first in American rock 'n' roll, growing up in Chuck Berry's hometown: St. Louis, Missouri.
Inspired by the lyrical stylings of socially conscious artists like Bob Dylan and Randy Newman, he eventually gave up rock for folk. Now he's based in Los Angeles — and he has a new song called "Beyond The Border," telling the horrors that many immigrants face coming to the United States.
Bhiman has commented on immigration policies since he started. "What I do think is valuable is showing families, showing children — showing them in these situations that are not made up," Bhiman said. "This is not fake."
Gaby Moreno is an immigrant who left Guatemala for the U.S. to become a musician. When she arrived in Los Angeles, she chose not to make her immigrant status a part of her art.
She sang her music in English. Now she feels differently: "I love singing songs from Latin America, whether it's from Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, or Argentina. And it felt good to me to be introducing this kind of music to an American audience."
She's working with producer Van Dyke Parks. "He was the one who brought to my attention the song 'The Immigrants.'"
The song was originally written in 1998 by Trinidadian musician David Rudder for Abner Louima, a Haitian refugee who was severely beaten by New York City police. "Now we decided to change the lyrics to make it more relevant for the whole nation, and not just New York City."
Proceeds from "The Immigrants" will be donated to the Central American Resource Center of California (CARECEN).