The Puerto Rican musical polyhistores Calle 13 plan to release the first single from their upcoming new album on Nov. 13. The new song, “Multi_Viral,” is a collaboration between the band and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as well as edgy guitarist Tom Merello from Rage Against the Machine, Palestinian vocalist and musician Kamilya Jubran and Twitter users.
Calle 13 frontman and lyricist extraordinaire René Pérez, known as “Residente,” visited Assange in London this past June. The meeting was broadcast live online and included a conversation on Twitter asking fans questions focused on topics of social injustice, an important aspect of the band’s identity.
Using the hashtag #JulianAssangeCalle13, they asked questions such as, “Who do you trust?” in English and Spanish. They even provided fans with a method to record answers in the fans’ own voices.
Referring to Twitter followers, Pérez told Assange, “We’re going to take their voice, what they’re saying, their idea, and we’re going to manipulate their idea and construct a song about the media.” The idea is “to talk about the bad media, but using their voices,” Pérez said.
Calle 13 is known for addressing pressing Latin American issues and cultural elements in their music. Pérez founded the band with his stepbrother, Eduardo José Cabra Martínez, known as “Visitante,” and half-sister Ileana Cabra Joglar, who goes by “PG-13.” All of Calle 13’s studio albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart.
Calle 13 last performed in Costa Rica in March 2012, offering a free concert in a packed La Sabana Park in western San José at the International Festival of the Arts.
Their new album is slated for release in March 2014. The band plans to release it independently after their recent breakup with Sony Music Latin.