Labán - 'Dueños de Aquí'
Hailing from the border of Tijuana, Mexico, Labán is a singer-songwriter and musician with a meaningful message and beautiful music to spread. The son of a graphic artist and social activist, Labán was exposed to humanism and social justice entrepreneurship from an early age. In addition, he learned to play the violin at the age of 3. Combining his early roots and music studies, the protest song “Dueños de Aquí” from the album ‘Todos Somos Dueños de Aquí’ comes from a place that is natural and deeply rooted in Labán’s soul.
“Dueños de Aquí” opens with an inviting and solid drum beat. This drum beat could be interpreted as a call to action or a call to listen. It sets the stage. The vocals then commence on the downbeat of a guitar chord with Labán singing, “ Mira a donde quieras, Las ideas son de aquí, Y es donde se quedan, Sin amigos ni raiz” which translates to “Take a look around, where ideas are from, and that's where they stay, without roots or friends.” Sparse guitar chords continue and soon a thick bass line fills in the rhythm section giving the song depth. Labán’s vocal performance is superior. He presents a smooth and inviting tenor tone that is very easy on the ear. In Laban’s vocals we hear protest without anger or bitterness. We hear a yearning for something better delivered with subtle emotions. And because his sings with such conviction without ever shouting his message, Laban’s voice allows listeners to come to the table to hear what he has to say. After the second chorus, a rocking jam session comes in with some great lead guitar work and fades out to the end as if he is saying, if you didn’t hear me, I will say it just a little stronger because this is very important or as if in the end, he hopes justice will prevail. The arrangement and the lyrics are thoughtful and well-written.
“Dueños de Aquí” is a protest song done with grace. Labán knows that anything good comes from a place of peace and refection. The lyrics protest power corruption, a lack of criminal justice, homeland violence and the extreme disparities of income inequality that he has seen first-hand in his home country. But “Dueños de Aquí” is not just a song for Mexico, it is a song that is as universal as the issues it explores. He sings “Plata viene y va, Pero son pocos que la traen Queda en su conciencia. El que vayamos para atrás" which talks about wealth, “silver comes and goes”, and the weight of inequity on the shoulders of society. The chorus to “Dueños de Aquí” is powerful. It is the moment in the song where Labán calls for action. “Somebody stop the endless fraud.”
Pleae take a minute to check out the video of “Dueños de Aquí”. The video is very well-done and you will enjoy the imagery of Mexico which is beautiful, haunting and meaningful perfectly fitting the song.
“Dueños de Aquí” is a song about Laban’s homeland, Mexico, but it is also a song for our times, for all people, and all countries. Music and social activism have gone hand-in-hand for a very long time and Labán joins the ranks of protest song-writers who have an extra gift to share, the gift of love. He delivers the song with subtle musicality and subdued vocals that invite listeners to really take the time to listen, to be engaged and ultimately, to hopefull to join him.
For more information about Laban and his music, please visit his website