I’m someone that has been embraced by the people that made that music, so I give and receive it.” Anwandter’s bold Spanish-language lyrics detail what it is to live in Chile amid violence against LGBT people and women, endemic poverty, and other social injustices.His approach is intersectional, but he prefers to avoid academic terms, citing the minimal cultural impact of The Knife’s 2013 album as a warning against getting too theoretical.His music often sounds a little like Phoenix if they’d emerged as disco gave way to house in the mid-1980s.“When I listen to Grace Jones, I don’t think about her on her own,” he says of his disco influence.It’s the kind of thing you don’t unlearn.” to echo the record’s collective themes.It’s also more lyrically up front than its predecessor: Lead single “Siempre Es Viernes en Mi Corazón” ["It’s Always Friday in My Heart"] scans as a party anthem but reveals deeper truths about Chilean working life and Catholicism’s vilification of the gay community.“Not in a breakdown, more like a single tear-type thing.
Disco is collective and gay and queer and supportive of other communities, rather than straight people.
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.
His breakthrough came with “¿Cómo Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo? "], where he declared, “Only through being what I am do I understand what is real.” Its video paid tribute to the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning.
“I spent the first six months of performing that album often crying onstage,” Anwandter says, laughing at himself.
“It was kind of the queer punk scene here in Santiago,” he says, laughing.