When you have a musical group,
it’s a human group as well.
It’s not just the music.
Bands break up for three reasons:
Skirt or pants problems,
money or ego.
Historically and around the world,
those are the three reasons.
And this was a matter of ego.
I already knew Gastón and Squat, and we had thought about
forming a band together, we started writing songs and what do you know?
we were at Cenzi’s house,
I went there to pick up some bases
and Anita was there.
That was the first time
I listened to her rap.
And I said: “Oh, you’re great,
we could work on a song together.”
And I had the lyrics for
“La Vida Es Como Un Sueño”
and I gave it to her and said:
“Hey, you could continue these lyrics!”
Less than a week went by and
Anita calls me and says:
“Hey, guess what? I found us
a gig to go play that song.”
And she said: “But we need to
find a name for ourselves.”
Right, ok, so we’re a band now.
Anita magically joined to “La Vida Es Como Un Sueño”
and we need a band name.
I had nothing to do with that.
Do you remember the horrible
names we had before?
We named ourselves "Espiral".
Or “La Hormiga”.
And suddenly, they called me.
They told me: “Hey, we have
a name for the band.”
-“What is it?”
What is Makiza?
What does Makiza mean?
We thought of the “Maquisard”,
which were a rural guerrilla post World War II.
I thought it was a beautiful idea.
We now had a band that magically came together.
As a kid I followed the road to the streets,
as hard as standing up or shutting up.
Wherever I find myself I never forget my roots,
the countries I have lived in have joined their shades.
This is the original.
And this is what I made to it.
The fact that we were all born abroad was a common point between us,
it didn’t matter we were all very different personality wise,
that was something that brought us together.
Yes, we belong here, and we want to belong here.
But we didn’t know what it meant.
Because we also had a little
from the other places,
it was like a duality, you know?
Our parents came and brought us here,
to a reality that was totally different to what we were used to
and the only anchor we had was the music
and these friendships too,
these people were almost like a support group.
When the dictatorship was over,
the family’s decision was to return to Chile.
And I came to Chile.
To learn to talk like crap.
But that gave us a totally different point of view.
Our vision of the world and our other vision
of not being in just one place, of being nomads.
Without realizing it, it brought us together.
We come from a political background, a sociopolitical background.
I came here from the Civil War,
there was a million of dead people, people were burned alive,
that’s what I was living when I lived in Rwanda.
We had a different perspective
when looking at what was going on in Chile.
And the lyrics.
I think the lyrics were a key point…
How can we say this differently?
Well, for starters, there weren’t any rapper girls.
So, I think that was something new.
I will never forget that first concert.
There was Seo, Anita and Squat.
I never got on the stage, I was always down looking up.
And when Anita started rapping, I watched
and looked to the sides and everyone had their jaws dropped.
Watching Anita rapping.
And I watched Anita and said: "This girl is a great rapper.”
And she had an amazing flow.
Anita is pure talent.
I think the poetry just came to her.
And she can freestyle for hours on end,
you know what I mean?
She was an instrument.
A lyrical athlete.
That I know of, there wasn't other girls that could freestyle in those days,
and to me it was like: my life is freestyling, my big hallucinogen place.
And besides, I was unbearable,
my mom would talk to me and I answered her with rhymes.
I find that Ana is magnetic
and for such a young girl
it was amazing to me how confident she was.
She was an empowered woman too early for my taste, I’d say.
That I knew of.
I think there was a bit of sexism,
but when you saw Anita on that stage, all that sexism was gone immediatly.
We were playing a lot, we had a good amount of songs
and I said to Ana: “Hey, why don’t we record an album?”
“Why don’t we record a cassette?”, that's what I actually said.
And I thought: “But we are not preppared,
we need to work on our flow, we don’t have flow.
We need to be in this level if we want to get to here.”
And I felt that we were in this level.
I remember Ana told me:
“No, who’s gonna want to listen to our music?”
Beating us down.
“No one’s gonna buy that cassette.”
I wasn't giving a penny for Makiza.
I thought: “We are not on the level,
we are not on the level, we are not on the level.”
Recording studio. Boom. Calling.
And I talked to Claudio Quiñones.
I found them interesting immediatly,
I thought it was interesting
that these kids
had a completely fearless view, like fighters,
and came here to tell me they wanted to record an album
and they didn’t know how.
It was a self-production, we released it on cassette.
Five hundred cassettes sold out really fast, I remember.
It wasn’t two full days and I had to restock.
It was a total success.
I remember I got the cassette and loved it.
We were working on the second floor of the master studio.
And I went downstairs and bumped into a Sony Music director and told him:
“You need to listen to this.”
Well, Claudio started making contacts,
and with Tiro de Gracia’s boom in the background, they were signed on EMI,
and the other labels were really interested in getting a cut from this…
from rap music.
Thing is that we, apart from everything,
the good vibes and all,
we weren’t completely sold
on working with Claudio forever, you know?
And I understood. I’d seen it before.
Not with me, but I’ve seen it.
It’s part of the business.
It never crossed my mind that I had to be in everything.
That’s when we contacted Titín, Juan Sebastián Domínguez.
There were several labels interested in Makiza, Sony, EMI
and they called me because they knew me.
And we went and asked him directly:
“Hey, would you like to be our manager, please?
Would you like to guide us in this new journey?”
And he said: “Are you sure you want to work with me?”
He’s very humble.
We said: “Yes, we trust you.”
So, we went to Sony and they didn’t have the money.
Labels always cry about money.
And we made a plan with Chalo G.
The first one to ever tell me about Makiza
was my good friend Juan Sebastián Domínguez.
We had just finished Tiro de Gracia’s album “Ser Humano”
and he told me: “There’s more.”
Without Juan Sebastián Domínguez,
Makiza would have never been what it is.
Maybe we would’ve stayed making cassettes.
“I find when I search.
Thanks Titín for being one of the few with an authentic smile.”
This is amazing, you know?
Titín is the George Martin of Makiza.
My life passes in front of me,
like in the pages of an album, I realize.
Through images that spin a lot, sailing in a sea of questions.
So, the process to record “Aerolíneas” was a really long process.
Taking a hip hop band to a studio situation
is not something that’s very familiar to them.
Creating music in a real studio, man.
It’s a man’s dream.
I remember Chalo didn’t like to make many takes.
He said something like: The first feeling.
That’s the memory I have of Chalo, that he liked simple things.
The point of having a producer engineer by your side is that,
you have an idea but you channel it through someone
and that someone frames it and wraps it in a product
that’s legible on a massive level.
Apart from the technical part of the studio,
it was something made with a lot of love and calmness.
Because Chalo and Titín, since they are really friends,
they both have this thing of parsi… parsimony is said?
And really my only job during the recording
was to bring them food.
It was like a snowball, because of course,
we released the first single, before we even finished the album
we had released “La Rosa De Los Vientos” which was the first song we recorded.
And one day I was in the bus
and it was playing “La Rosa De Los Vientos”
and I could not believe it, I thought:
“This is so… crazy, everyone is listening to this"
I looked around like "everyone is listening to my song.”
It was crazy, it was crazy because
this was a dream that was starting to become true.
To my taste it was going really well really fast, like it was…
Like you couldn’t even taste it maybe,
some accomplishments and I was super grateful,
but still not understanding much of this getting recognition situation,
because I always felt that Makiza was lacking a lot.
She was always the center of attention,
when we gave interviews, everyone wanted to talk to her, you know?
She felt a big pressure.
I remember that it was really hard,
because from one day to another this thing of making music
because we like it, became a job.
And a job that we were not liking very much.
Anita didn’t like the fame, she hated it.
I was really struggling with the recognition, really bad, really bad.
I was not enjoying it at all.
Something that for common people could be like
“How can you not enjoy it?” Well, it was awful to me.
And obviously, the novelty of Makiza was they had a woman rapper,
so Anita had all of the attention.
And the photographers and the people that inteviewed us
insisted on talking a lot to Anita, or that she sat in front of us.
Anita always said: “No.”
No, we’re four, there’s four of us.
Even when Gustavo Santaolalla wanted to help Makiza,
he literally said: “she goes on the front,
I’ll take you to Los Angeles and the other three go in the back.”
And I said what? “No, Makiza is the four of us.”
We said: “No, go to wash.”
We’re four members.
She was always very protec… protej… protective? Protecter? Protectins?
She protected a lot the idea of the four heads, always.
Yeah, I think that sexism installs itself in a very hidden way too,
and I think that Makiza lived it too,
so I can certainly say I had more recognition
and I think some of them saw it badly.
Bands break up for three reasons:
skirt or pants problems,
money or ego.
And this was a matter of ego.
Almost like a small kid.
They’re looking at you more and I want them to look at me more.
That’s how I saw it.
Well, there’s always a thing with ego.
But, in reality that wasn’t what bothered us, I think it bothered her more,
feeling that pressure, of being so essential
and that so much fell on her, you know?
With Seo in particular, we always had very different personalities.
Seo is a very structured guy, that’s the memory of him I got,
almost underlining the chorus in red, the verse in blue and I was like…
So, we clashed, we had creative clashes
and perspective clashes of how to approach music.
And we started to have arguments within the band, you know?
“Why? Why don’t you want to come to the interview?
Why aren’t you here? Why aren’t you at rehearsal?”
And my square side stood out above all.
“It’s just that you are so square!”
and I said: “It’s just that you are so messy!”
and those things started to matter, you know?
And I think that was one of the things because in the end…
They’re killing a pig…
You don’t have to entertain me
and listen to me,
you don’t have to adore me
or laugh with me,
you have to understand that
the message we deliver
doesn’t come in a fashion magazine
because in this jungle
the animals are people.
They were capable of captivating
the hip hop audience like us
and also captivate a new audience
of people that weren’t from the hood,
those people started listening to Makiza too.
Like they said in “La Rosa De Los Vientos”,
trying to get out of the hood,
to not be marginalized,
and it worked I think,
it was a message to a lot of people that wanted the same.
They were vital to update this thing a little,
because obviously the only way to update the hip hop culture
of the 80’s and 90’s was with the ones coming from abroad.
The kids already came with the
story of being Chilean immigrants
that had been stripped from their roots.
When people bumped into them, they looked at them like:
“Ah, you guys are like gringos.”
So, they had to represent the voice of the Chilean returnee.
They brought a level of…
sophistication, I’d say.
They are four heads, all of them.
The four of them were intelligent.
Squat could sing with the turntables.
They had an incredible DJ,
a very experienced producer,
two great lyricists,
and they brought a personal speech,
at the same time political,
but they also spoke
of their problems,
you know, emotional, existencial,
He has hip hop in his blood
and he had a vision of the world that was very interesting,
so I really like his lyrics because they are very personal,
they speak of his family, around that time he had songs
that spoke of the pain he felt because of his father.
Our “chilota” lifestyle also fitted very well with this rapper lifestyle.
-Right, with a group. -In a group, you know?
Right, with closed doors.
And Seo is like that, so to speak.
We were proud, but still, for a “chilote”
to go out and make it through hip hop is difficult.
I think Seo is a sociologist, being really honest,
Seo really understands society.
When Makiza released their song “En Paro”
it was censored in the radio, you know?
Because they threw dirt to Pinochet.
And in that moment, you turned on the radio
and listened Anita saying…
And that, I think, is really important.
They were really aggresive, but in a…
how can I explain it, like…
They were really honest.
Apart from being rappers,
we’re people that belong to the same side, you know?
It can be political or maybe it’s not political,
but it has something there.
It’s crazy, man.
It’s crazy that, all of this,
Seo and Anita made it on the necessity of moving forward.
Both of them believed in Makiza,
right from the beginning.
Seo fell in love with Makiza.
That’s why it hurt him so bad when…
when Anita left.
Sup Squat, man, good one.
Sup Titín! Did you like it?
I’m gonna take a picture right here.
It was that last part of the chorus, 1, 9…
In that part I would do...
That part where I talk to Anita like...
I know that Cristian was hurt,
I know that Gastón is hurt, you know?
Squat was on another path, he had other musical projects,
I think he didn’t care that much.
But it’s complicated.
It’s like when you have a partner and you don’t love him anymore.
You really care about him, you love what you did together,
but you’re not in love with the project anymore.
I think it was a really honest decision from my part,
no matter how it felt.
To me it was really honest.
It felt natural to me that we parted ways,
I felt like I had to leave.
Personally, I liked being asked for a picture,
I liked playing live, that people applauded me,
our songs playing on the radio.
Because that’s what I had always dreamed of.
I had the impression in those days it was different for Ana,
obviously with time I realized it was the same,
but in those days it was a shock.
I think it was immaturity what drove us to break up.
Not knowing how to separate things,
separate the work from personal stuff, etc.
But I guess it gets mixed up in this things.
It was my school, my first lesson…
My first lesson and I learned a lot there,
for better or for worse.
Ana is a very complex person,
actually it’s really easy to talk to her,
you just have to be really honest and everything’s fine.
But she’s very complex, as a person.
I think the one I fought with the most in those days was with Gastón,
and I dare to say he’s maybe the one I’m closest to right now,
There was this thing about Gastón that I like,
and that I liked a lot, which was that Gastón
was like the antiaesthetic of hip hop, you know?
Gastón looks so sweet! You know?
You have this image of the tough rapper, you know?
And Gastón is like, listening to The Beatles with his guitar.
So, sure, inside the usual hip hop aesthetic
where you see lots of Rottweilers and images of dogs
and we were like: “Let’s put a turtle in there, man”.
Always with a little humor.
I don’t blame Ana.
I think... It’s just sad
we didn’t make better choices,
it’s sad, because it would have been incredible,
another and another and another album of Makiza.
I love it.
I love working with Ana,
I love working with Seo,
I love that Squat is laughing over there adding the scratch.
I find that we did something unique,
like over time I think:
“How could we leave this?”
I would love for people to see us play again.
From the bottom of my heart.
But for that you have to get together, I don’t know.
Or ask for forgiveness,
that’s also important when mistakes are made.
I think it needs to be said to move on.
There is a proudness.
Proudness of leaving a legacy,
of making songs that after all, after 20 years,
people still listen to them,
that was something that we obviously didn’t even imagine
or project or anything, it just happened.
And that’s the beauty of it, I think.
Even if we are not capable of sitting in a table today and have a conversation,
our songs do it for us.
I feel very proud of having written “La Rosa De Los Vientos”,
of having written that chorus,
I feel very proud of having written “La Vida Es Como Un Sueño”,
of having written that chorus,
I feel very proud of having created “Un Día Cualquiera”
and that’s why even today, it’s been like a thousand years
and I still play them and I’ll probably play them until I’m 80,
because I feel proud of those verses, I listen and think:
“How awesome is that I wrote this when I was 18, 19, 20 years old.”
Because I still think the same way.
I think it’s an immense legacy.
I mean, "Aerolíneas Makiza" is one of the most important
records in Chilean music.
Many people come here to my studio and ask me:
“Hey, Chalo, I want to be known, how can I do it?”
And I say: “Well, wait 20 years and we’ll see.”
At the end of the year 2000, Makiza announced their separation.
Five years later Seo2 and Ana reunite, without Cenzi or Squat.
They are joined by Sonido Ácido as MC and DJ Nakeye, and together
they record the album "Casino Royale".
By the year 2006 this new phase is over and Makiza breaks up once again.