Making Movies makes music that matters. Building on a dynamic foundation of Afro-Latino rhythms, they’ve created a powerful, bilingual, psychedelic version of the Latin American son. Band leaders and brothers, Enrique and Diego Chi grew up in Panama, listening to their dad’s classic rock albums even as their mother was dancing to salsa, merengue and cumbia. Today their albums tell the stories of immigrant families struggling to make it in America, and the impact those struggles have on subsequent generations. The band’s strong lyricism, persistent percussion, and deftness at straddling two cultures renders their music uniquely bilingual. “Since I was six years old my life has been in both English and Spanish, so I find it natural to make music the same way,” explains Enrique. Taking their cues from Latin American folklore, the band’s sound swings intensely, at times sounding like Compay Segundo being played by Jimi Hendrix, at other times like The Talking Heads digging deep into a dembow. NPR’s Felix Contreras says “The young band Making Movies, working with producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, shows us how deeply thought-out lyrics can sound next to a rhythm track that somehow both propels and floats, while never violating the laws of physics.”
Deeply influenced by Panamanian musician and activist Ruben Blades, the band believes that “Music should have a deeper meaning. More than just a feel-good time, it needs to make you think.” It follows that the members of Making Movies are socially active, both inside and outside the band. ‘“Kids of immigrants grow up with a lot of challenges,” says Enrique, “worried about their parents, worried about how the family will pay the rent, fully aware of their place in life and their limited options.” In 2012, the members of Making Movies established a summer music camp for low-income students from immigrant families in Kansas City.
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