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“It moves in a territory of language that emotionally stands besides some issues, rather than being a pamphlet.” Anwandter was born to a Brazilian father and Chilean mother toward the end of Agosto Pinochet’s dictatorship.
That format is very limiting.” On the weekends, he had been listening to house and disco, which influenced his eponymous album as Odisea, a record of longer, electronic tracks, but he pushed into three-and-a-half-minute pop songs on to force himself to write in a more sincere and economical fashion.
Just three days before Anwandter collected his trophy, another young Chilean man, 20-year-old Marcelo Lepe, was beaten and shot after his neighbors ambushed him for being dressed in women’s clothes. “No one knows his name here,” says Anwandter, Skyping from his Santiago home.
“And no one will care, because, oddly enough, it wasn’t as shocking as the other boy.” Zamudio’s death ushered in Chile’s first proper antidiscrimination bill and brought homophobic hate crimes to national attention, but it also became a limiting flashpoint.
Anwandter says he’s pretty much alone in bringing a political message to Chilean pop, and that he wants to reconnect artists with the “shitstorm that happens every day in every level of Chilean society.” He’s mentoring young queer musicians to counter a generation that’s fallen back into the tropes of guitar-oriented rock. “It’s like recycling an old way of being apolitical, and furthermore, going back into something rather heteronormative.” He finds that young Chileans are generally more open-minded than their parents, but that the country’s nascent LGBT-friendly laws have had little effect on culture at large.
Last October, civil unions were introduced for everybody, although the focus was steered toward the benefits they would provide for straight, cohabiting couples.