Music video celebrates Austin’s Mexican-American community


Highlights

Haydn Vitera’s song “Qué Pasará” asks what would happen if all the immigrant workers in our nation were gone.

Video features appearances from several Austin Latino movers and shakers.

Playing hide-and-seek until midnight with neighborhood friends. Attending Cristo Rey Catholic Church. Feeling the breeze through the screen doors of his Garden Street home.

“All of my childhood memories are from East Austin,” said retired police officer turned community advocate Mark Gil, whose alter ego “Police Ice” has for decades inspired youths through rap music and motivational speaking.

That’s why when local musician and singer Haydn Vitera asked Gil to join other Austin Latino movers and shakers in a music video celebrating the city’s Mexican-American community, Gil jumped aboard.

While Vitera’s Spanish-language song “Qué Pasará,” or “What Will Happen,” asks what would happen if all the immigrant workers in our nation were gone, the video serves as a tribute to the contributions of Latinos. After the news of President Trump’s executive orders paving the way for a border wall and seeking to halt immigration of refugees, the recently released music video, which has more than 27,000 Facebook views, is quickly gaining buzz among Austin’s Latino community.

Tejano music heavyweight Ruben Ramos appears among the opening scenes walking into Cisco’s Restaurant and Bakery as he reflects on what the Latino community means to him. “La Raza (the people) is really the backbone of anything that’s being built like a building, a bridge, a house,” Ramos said. “La Raza is the backbone of this country, in my opinion.”

In the video, Vitera cruises through East Austin, and viewers see the neighborhood from his point of view as he rolls down Cesar Chavez Street and Robert T. Martinez Jr. Street, which was named after a local fallen police officer.

Austinites throughout the video hold up signs such as one Gil held, reading “I protect the community #YesToYourFuture.” Local mixed martial arts fighter Nick Gonzalez stands in the ring with the sign “I fight for our community.” Longtime music advocate Rose Reyes lifts up a sign reading “Promoter of my community.”

The song, which was co-written by Vitera’s brother, David Vitera, and Rafael Franco, was released in the fall of 2015 as part of the EP “Tequila Rock.”

“I’m not typically political in my music,” Vitera said. “I’m a rock ’n’ roller, and I want people to forget the problems of the world with my music, but once I heard the song I thought it was time for that message to be put out there.”

On Vitera’s Facebook page, he offers the full English translation of the lyrics. Here’s a sampling:

“If tomorrow we abandoned this country

“If tomorrow we ceased to exist

“What would happen? What would happen without my people?

“We came to this country only to work

“Searching for the promise of the dollar

“And now they detain us and want to send us back.

“What would happen?”

Vitera worked with director Gilbert A. Villaseñor Jr. and producer Mickey Cevallos of Cevallos Brothers Productions to create the video.

“We wanted it to be positive and honor our community and the huge part that Latino-Americans play in this country,” Vitera said.

Villaseñor’s family has a long history in East Austin as owners of Mission Funeral Home. As a kid, he remembers going to Cisco’s for breakfast with his father and spotting Grammy winner Ramos sharing a meal with other Tejano music legends. Villaseñor knew they had to go back to film there.

“Qué Pasará” also features vocals by Vanessa Del Fierro, who appears in the video at the A.B. Cantu/Pan American Recreation Center’s popular amphitheater murals.

For community advocate Gil, the music video serves as a tool “to showcase the grit of our culture, our can-do spirit, and our presence in the fiber of our city.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 
Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported. Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and...
FORECAST: Patchy fog in morning followed by sunshine
FORECAST: Patchy fog in morning followed by sunshine

A winter reprieve is finally here. Saturday will bring patchy fog before noon, then sunshine, according to the National Weather Service. The service warns that there may be dense fog, which could decrease visibility. Visibility is still less than a mile for most places along Interstate 35 and areas east and south of there. The day, which will begin...
THE LATEST: Activist Alexei Wood arrested at Austin anti-Trump rally
THE LATEST: Activist Alexei Wood arrested at Austin anti-Trump rally

1 p.m. update: The activist who was arrested during this morning’s rally at Austin City Hall is Alexei Wood, one of the six defendants who were acquitted last month of causing rioting and destroying property during President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Wood was charged Saturday with theft from a person after a dustup at the Austin...
College student dies after on-campus shooting at Wake Forest
College student dies after on-campus shooting at Wake Forest

A 21-year-old student from Winston-Salem State University was shot and killed early Saturday after a fight broke out during a party at Wake Forest University, police said. The shooting occurred around 1 a.m., WXII reported. It took place on campus during a Delta Sigma Theta sorority party at The Barn, police said. Najee Ali Baker, 21, was...
Pizza shop owner sues when store confused for one where assault occurred
Pizza shop owner sues when store confused for one where assault occurred

A Pennsylvania pizza shop is being targeted, but its owner says it is a case of mistaken identity. Customers upset about a viral video in which a former manager allegedly assaulted a woman have been calling Original Milano's in Oakland -- but the video was taken at Pizza Milano. Ben Sciulli is the owner of the Original Milano's Pizza. He wants to make...
More Stories