Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday that commemorates Mexico’s victory over France on May 5th, 1862. For a lot of Mexicans, this holiday is important because it’s a reminder of how many times Mexico has been invaded by other countries, and that this day, Mexico repelled the invading forces of a stronger country at the time.
Even though Latin music has expanded globally, and has established itself as a force of nature to be reckoned with, there is still a lack of Latinx representation here in the UK and it’s important that it’s addressed. Over 250,000 Latin Americans living in the UK, and half of that number reside in London, forming the eighth largest ethnic community. However, when you look at the streaming figures and views that these numbers are putting up, and the rapid growth that Latinx American music is going through currently, you wouldn’t think that there is a lack of representation.
But the stats are a stark contrast compared to the struggle that Latinx Americans face on a daily basis in trying to secure their own independent identity. I think that Latinx American communities are closely knit and stick together in times of adversity because of this constant uphill battle they have to fight every day. Despite the negatives and the doom and gloom, there is more than just light at the end of the tunnel. Latin music has stamped an absolute authority on UK sounds and in a city as diverse as London, the genre itself has become an omnivore, feeding off the desires of the many people who crave different, unique and diverse sounds which can only serve to help shine a focused light on this issue. The courage and valour of that day have been channelled throughout the ages in different forms up to this era, which, in my personal opinion, is the era of freedom, expression, and creativity. In this day and age, we see those traits strongly amongst Latinx American artists. Take Ivy Queen for example. She is an intense and fierce artist who is known and revered as the Queen of Reggaeton in a male-dominated genre.
She has used her sadness, suffering and tough times as a source of strength to bulldoze her music across the world and force it to accept her. We at SGS use this as inspiration, to forge a path for the artists and aspiring creatives who are downtrodden, who are ignored, who want to be given the opportunity allowed to show their glittering talent at the places who need to see it, but have no way to do so. Through the initiatives and programmes that we constantly run, we’re introducing the titans of the music industry to the uncrowned kings and queens, the diamonds in the dirt, the prodigies who embody the spirit of Cinco de Mayo in their daily grinds and lifestyles.