Cultures around the world share the idea that all people are connected by their emotions and experiences. And that we’re all are bound to one another. It dates back to the ancient Mayans, who had a saying: “I am another you, you are another me.”
This idea stuck with the members of the Kansas City band Making Movies. They watched friends and family going through personal crises like heartbreak, financial issues and personal loss.
Singer and guitarist Enrique Chi says he saw the same reactions across different people with different experiences.
"We realized that there’s some really universal qualities to that feeling of your world is ending," he says. "And when your world is ending, it looks entirely different to what somebody else’s is. But the feeling is the same."
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That’s a big theme of the new Making Movies album. The band took the album’s title from that ancient Mayan expression: “I Am Another You.”
The album tells the story of an immigrant family. One character that returns throughout is a mother talking to her son, who became a drug dealer after the family moved to the United States.
Chi drew on personal experiences for that character.
"She represents the mother of an immigrant," he says. "A Mexican American kid, who just as a young man started making poor choices and ended up getting into real trouble with the law. It’s a story that’s unfortunately hits really close to home for us."
That’s because the members of Making Movies are immigrants themselves -- their families moved to the U.S. from Panama and Mexico. “I Am Another You” became a narrative about their shared experience -- and a process that’s long, difficult, and heartbreaking.
The band connects the experience of that immigrant family with other characters on the album. They go through different situations, but feel the same kind of pain.
Chi says the band interwove these stories to show that the struggles and heartache of immigrants aren’t specific to any one person or family -- but that they’re universal to all humanity.
"I had this concept that we could create music that would not only reflect everything we were experiencing being here in the U.S., but reflect kind of this nostalgia that as an immigrant you have whenever you miss your home country."
Chi hopes that ancient Mayan expression will resonate with people as they listen to “I Am Another You.” And that they might treat each other better as a result.
"If you can have that level of empathy perhaps the world would be a better place," he says. "And the world and people would make different decisions than what they make."
That’s an ambitious goal. But Making Movies aren’t afraid to dream of a brighter future on “I Am Another You.”
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