Residente Wins Award at Cannes Lions for the Video of His Song ‘This Is Not America’

Residente BELatina Latinx
Image courtesy of Instagram.

Being a successful artist is a complex matter. It involves having a unique sound, lyrical mastery, and undoubtedly the conviction that change is possible. This is precisely what René “Residente” Pérez has managed to combine throughout his career.

Now, the Puerto Rican urban artist was recognized last Tuesday with the Grand Prize for Music Entertainment at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for his video “This Is Not America.” This makes Rene Perez one of the first Latino and urban artists to be recognized by the influential institution.

In response to Americans’ use of “America” and “Americano” as a demonym exclusive to U.S. residents, Residente released “This Is Not America,” a brilliant piece full of tributes to the diversity and beauty of the entire continent.

However, Residente put images to his lyrics in the video directed by French director Gregory Ohrel, where violence and social injustices set the stage for an iconography full of culture, identity, and determination.

“We awarded the Grand Prix to this piece of work because of the video’s undeniably stunning visuals and incredible production quality,” said the Cannes Lions organization in a press release. “While the video has a very distinct point of view that may not be shared by all, it is an extremely powerful statement on socio-economic and culture from an underserved community. Music has always been a key platform for protest songs throughout history and one that we all want to continue to see in years to come.”

As explained by El Nuevo Dia, “This Is Not America” is a creation of Residente’s recent work with professors from Yale University and New York University, where they studied the artist’s brain waves along with the brain patterns of worms, mice, monkeys, flies, among others, to create musical frequencies that would become rhythms.