Growing up a first-generation Mexican-American, I always felt there was a lack of representation in the media for people like me. As a creative, there was always some hesitancy to pursue any type of career in visual arts, music, or tv and film because there was nobody like me doing it. It wasn’t until now, in my mid-20’s, where I finally grew the confidence to follow my dreams of working in a creative field because of musical artists like Omar Apollo and Era.
Omar Apollo and Era are both musical artists that share a similar upbringing to mine, but what’s refreshing about these two is that they incorporate their culture into their sound and visuals. They implement elements into their work that’re staples to our culture, such as foods like Maruchan and Jarritos and television shows we saw our parents watch like Sabado Gigante and Destilando Amor. Furthermore, social media has made it easier for artists to express themselves in more ways than just music; social media users now make it easier to give us a glimpse of their lives.
The social media presence of these young artists is what really solidified the deal for me. Not only were they fearless in representing kids like me through their music, but they also weren’t afraid to show that part of themselves in their everyday lives. It taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid to be me and hide who I really am and where I come from. I know that they have also opened the door and paved the way for future generations of first-generation, Mexican-Americans.