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J Balvin Goes Political: “We Need To Be Heard”

8-10 June 2019. Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, The Netherlands. Concert of J.Balvin - Image

J Balvin is usually the performer, not the listener. But last week, the reggaeton artist swapped roles and listened to the people who have been protesting in the streets of Colombia, demanding the government to make changes that will better their community as a nation.

In a concert he performed in with fellow artists Rosalia, Nicky Jam, Prince Royce at the Anastasio Girardot stadium last weekend, Balvin took time during his set to share his concerns for the unstable political climate that is currently taking place in Colombia.

To a sea of fans, he said, “I tried to be prudent and they called me lukewarm. Until I arrived in Medellín, I connected with my land, I listened to people in my barrios… I no longer lack anything, but I once did and I understand the situation the youth in this country are going through. If they’re marching, it’s because something is not right.”

“We need to be heard,” he pleads.

As an international artist, Balvin recognizes his visibility and vows to use the power his social media platform to speak for the underrepresented community. 

Earlier last week, the artist took to Instagram to honor 18-year old Dilan Cruz, who was killed during an anti-government demonstration in Colombia. Colombian authorities had fired a projectile, which hit the high school student’s head upon contact.

“I never thought that after being an artist I would become the voice of the people,” he says. “And it’s true that sometimes we have so much power that we are more listened to than any president… [our country] needs support with education, with health. We are tired of violence.”

To see the full video of his speech, click here.

Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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