Folk singer uses her music “as a vehicle for protest”: “Singing is one of my forms of activism”

Bea Mitchell June 21, 2016
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Folk singer Merian Eyzaguirre has opened up about ‘singing for justice’ as an LGBTQ person.

“Identifying as LGBTQ has awoken in me this need to sing for justice, it has made it impossible not to use my singing as a vehicle for protest,” she told NBC News. “Singing is one of my forms of activism.”

Eyzaguirre, who grew up in Lima, came out as bisexual at the age of 13. When the leaders of her Catholic community discovered she was in a relationship with another girl, she was forced to come out again two years later.

“They spoke to my mother without warning me beforehand, and I went through a really rough period in which I tried to change my sexual orientation to fit in with the Church,” Eyzaguirre explained.

While attending the Music School of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima, however, the singer had a revelation.

“Once I realised that my happiness was directly related to accepting and feeling empowered by my own sexuality, I left the Church. That was when I really came out, I stopped hiding and began to be free,” Eyzaguirre said.

When it comes to writing music, she explained: “I look for songs with history, with soul, with poetry. Songs that are related to my own life experiences as a Latin American, as a descendant of immigrants on my father’s side, as an LGBTQ person, as a person living during this time and on this earth.”

She added, however, that being LGBTQ may have an impact on the popularity of her songs: “If we are talking in terms of consumption, then yes, my openly identifying as LGBTQ and being an activist might greatly influence a large portion of the Peruvian Peruvian folk singer uses her music ‘as a vehicle or Latin American public to reject my music.

“But I think it presents a kind of opportunity… to keep pushing myself as an artist and activist… and see what kind of effect my music can have on the society I live in [while bringing] more visibility to the LGBTQ fight.”

Earlier this year, gay couples who were peacefully protesting against homophobia in Lima were interrupted by armed riot police.

A group of LGBT activists were also shot with water cannons, after taking part in a protest in Peru.

More: folk, Music, Peru, protest

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