equality factor: empowered attitude of speaking their mind through music
last album: Marea Negra
our favorite song: Fuego
music heroins: Pat Pietrafesa
based in: Cordoba, Argentina
We close this month dedicated to punk with a perfect connector between this topic and the one to come. Straight from Cordoba, one of the most beautiful provinces of Argentina, we introduce you to TRANKI PUNKI, a super powerful and empowered gypsy punk band conceived in 2013, formed by Sofia De Mauro, Drela Sanz, Cele Pereyra, Vicky Barturen, Pola Kita, and Gi Torcigliani. Tranki Punki is a musical project of friends, six passionate girls telling their stories and experiences through the means of music. It is a project that today is essential to the life of each one of them.
What is punk for Tranki Punki?
Punk is our way of running the band. Our way of self-management is punk, our way of doing everything ourselves. Our music, our recordings, our economy, our projects, are all D.I.Y. (Do it yourself). Punk is also in the things we talk about in our lyrics and the way we say them. We believe that it is much more than the musical genre that we are talking about.
What does Tranki Punki's music bring to the public, what do they want to express through their music?
We hope to provide a space of coming together and relaxation for the people who follow us. From the top of the stage, we see that people get hooked with our proposal, that they start to shout with us, to dance with us, to laugh, to dance with us. Maybe you can perceive what we want to transmit, our energy that often overflows us. But also the message of our lyrics, of all kinds: about the party, about a personal moment, about the reality that crosses us.
Which musicians have inspired and influenced you the most?
There are six of us and we like very different things: we go from cuarteto (a genre of popular music native to the city of Cordoba) and cumbia to noise, heavy metal, stoner, and of course punk. Besides the international influence, we always recognize the bands that marked us both for their lyrics and for the fusions they propose: Todos Tus Muertos, Actitud María Marta, Las Manos de Filippi, and, in recent years, our beloved Kumbia Queers. Undoubtedly a great reference is Pat Pietrafesa, who from the She Devils and with all her active work related to fanzines, has marked and continues to mark a beautiful path for us.
"Marea Negra is a very meaningful album for us. It has to do with the force that sweeps and with the idea of standing up in the face of adversity."
What is MAREA NEGRA for Tranki Punki?
Marea Negra is our second album, named after the song of the same name that sings to freedom, to the struggle, to the memory of the LGBTIQ+ movements. Making this album was quite a long process, but very conscientious: for us, it is a turning point in our trajectory. And while this is something personal for the band, it is also something that can be perceived, there is a whole conceptual work in this material, from the sound to the care with the lyrics and a collective work that we had not done before in this way. Marea Negra is a very meaningful album for us. It has to do with the force that sweeps and with the idea of standing up in the face of adversity. Sometimes it is hard, but the movement of the wave is continuous and awakening.
As we mentioned in our last article about the South American country, Argentina has a strong culture of musical empowerment. Among all those great projects mentioned is Goza Records, with whom Tranki Punki recorded their last album.
How did the fusion of working with Goza Records come about and what did this empowered union teach you?
In 2018, Barbi Recanati (founder of Goza Records) got in touch through Instagram, then we learned that it was Pat Pietrafesa who told her about us. It was a huge surprise. We had been following Goza's work and we felt very proud to be part of it and also of the possibility of starting to be heard elsewhere. We feel that Goza is part of a bigger movement, which has to do with making visible the bands and projects that historically were ignored, not only because of a gender quota issue but also because of a question of thinking about the federalization of culture.
An increasing number of Argentine artists are embracing the incorporation of inclusive language in their lyrics.
In Argentina, the use of inclusive language is currently a topic and a fundamental pillar, not only for the new generations but also for all those who are behind them. It is one of the first countries in the world to have a governmental resolution approved, which recommends the use of inclusive language in order to promote communication that avoids sexist expressions and migrate from the masculinization of language to an inclusive language, without discrimination and where all genders are addressed. It is for this reason, that more and more artists are adopting this form of communication in their lyrics.
How important is inclusive language in the band's communication and lyrics?
It is not something that is discussed within the band, it comes out by itself: it is a political question, an ideological position. The problems caused by a binomial vision (male/female) of our relationships are already well known, and inclusive language is a way to materialize these discussions that are part, of course, of the LGBTIQ+ movements of many years ago.
Tranki Punki recognizes ourselves as transfeminists.
What role does equality play within the band?
Tranki Punki recognizes ourselves as transfeminists and as such we advocate for equality and support all measures that serve to alleviate the current inequality, such as labor quota laws.
Why do you think it is important to defend equal rights? In your opinion, do artists have a special responsibility in this aspect?
Because we know that not all of us have the same opportunities, that access to different kinds of resources is unequal. And as long as we live in this kind of societys (mercantilist, meritocratic, racist, hateful), we do think that it is good to make explicit the positions in this regard. We believe that we have the responsibility to make visible some issues and situations that we are going through as a society, from our point of view. But that does not mean that it is a "duty" of the artists either.
What, if anything, would you change about the way Argentina's music industry is run today?
In the pandemic context, we are currently in, it is difficult to make an analysis. Before the pandemic, it was very clear the need for more spaces and festivals where bands of pibas (an alternative Argentine way to say "young girls" or ''girls''.) and pibis (inclusive language) could show what they do. Although the quota laws were beginning to work, forcing productions to include pibas and pibis, what seems to us to be very important is that inclusive festivals and events were emerging since their inception.
"Paying live is our engine to continue doing things."
How did you experience the album presentation within this new social context? What is the most positive thing you got out of this experience?
It was a great challenge, both technically and experientially: how to play with the audience seated and, from the other side, how to listen to the band from the chair. We also wanted to offer simultaneous streaming, for all the people who wanted to experience the presentation with us but could not come to the club. Undoubtedly, it was a party and the energy of the audience made us vibrate and thrill. It was incredible and unique. Playing live is our engine to continue doing things, it is really necessary that musicians and workers in the field, have support and we can reinvent ourselves and mold our work in this pandemic.
Watch the full concert here.
What's next for the band, do you have a particular goal in mind?
We would love to keep playing, with all the necessary protocols, but not to stop playing. It's very important for us, for any band, for sure. Anyway, we understand that the conditions are not given and there are very few places that are enabled. In the meantime, we take advantage of the time to continue composing and pre-producing what will be our next material.
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