How Carnage’s Own Experiences Inspired Him To Create A Song For Change

Recent events at our nation’s borders have been a cause for activism. Immigration is a hotter topic than it has been in years, and many people are speaking out against the United States’ treatment of immigrants from Mexico, illegal or not. Carnage knows better than most what it’s like to come from a family of illegal immigrants, and his newest project aims to shine a light and add a human face to what these people go through. For his new song “Letting People Go,” Carnage took a different direction in his sound to tell a story that was important to him. It’s about being with family and overcoming hardships, and doing everything you can to stay together at all costs.

Carnage’s grandmother and mother, like so many others who cross the US border illegally, were separated and detained at one of the same Texas border cities where migrants are being held today. In the 1970s, his grandmother fled the vicious bloodshed of the Nicaraguan Revolution with her five children. Though Carnage was born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in Guatemala and came to the US speaking no English . However, once he achieved fame and success, he poured his own money back into his community and built two schools in Nicaragua for those less fortunate.

His own experiences color the music video for “Letting People Go,” created in conjunction with pop trio Prinze George. The music video follows a family attempting to enter the US illegally with the help of a coyote — someone who specializes in the smuggling of people across borders. They’re caught, but eventually released, still miraculously with smiles on their faces.

“I’m going to stand up for what my family went through,” he told TIME. “The next step is to see how we can build a bigger collection of people to join the wave.” A portion of proceeds from the song will be donated to the RAICES Foundation, a nonprofit that offers legal aid to immigrant families and refugees. Watch the video below.