Grammy-winning producer Emilio Estefan has enlisted an all-star small army of famous friends -- including Shakira, Carlos Santana, Thalía, Pepe Aguilar and his wife, singer Gloria Estefan -- to combat the spate of anti-Mexican rhetoric that Donald Trump sparked earlier this summer.
Estefan, 62, tells Billboard exclusively that, after listening to a TV talking head make false and vindictive anti-Latin statements on TV, he has rounded up dozens of Latin celebrities to record We're All Mexicans, which he describes as a musical "celebration of Hispanics and our accomplishments". The track, set to be released later in September, will also include reggaeton singer Wisin, Wyclef Jean, radio personality Enrique Santos and famed Spanish-American chef José Andrés, most of whom will be rapping on the record.
"There's a message being sent out to the world where people are giving opinions that are plain wrong", says the Cuban-American Estefan, who has won 19 Grammy awards. "We need to lift up our pride and show the world what we're doing."
Although issues of immigration and citizenship have long been lightning-rod topics of discussion among cable-news pundits, the public debate -- on the airwaves and in the streets -- has grown more brutish in the aftermath of comments made by Trump when he announced his presidential run in June. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump told an applauding crowd at the time. "They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems [to] us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Estefan, who says he's known Trump "for many, many years," insists that We're All Mexicans "is not so much an answer to the real-estate developer turned Republican candidate as it is an answer to the sentiment that we've progressed [as Hispanics] and we need to let people know that." And with this song, he adds, "I want to send a message that represents unity."
"Trump doesn't represent anything to me," Estefan tells Billboard. "Everyone has their opinion, and he can have whatever opinion he wants, as long as he doesn't humiliate my people."