Helado Negro’s Animated Video for “Lengua Larga” Is Based on His Undocumented Relative’s Life

Lead Photo: Photos by Anna Grothe Shive. Courtesy of RVNG INTL

Helado Negro has a thing for animated abstractions — take his videos for “Young, Latin and Proud” and “It’s My Brown Skin” as examples. Today, he’s added a new string of visualizations to his creative arsenal with a video for “Lengua Larga.”

The video comes from the brilliant mind of Robert Beatty, a designer whose psychedelic art has graced the cover of Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, and Neon Indian albums. A maze of Technicolor dream doodles form, warp, and recoil to the beat and lyrics of “Lengua Larga,” which Helado Negro explains is a song about wanting to find a place in which you belong.

“The song ‘Lengua Larga’ is about the paranoia of never feeling at home in your home,” he said. “It’s loosely based around my relative, who came over from Ecuador at a young age and stayed as an undocumented immigrant, through high school and got a scholarship to college, but was unable to attend due to legal status. Now, they get by working under the table.”

Helado Negro is getting ready to release an expanded version of Private Energy tomorrow. He’s also calling on fans to submit photos of themselves in “Young, Latin & Proud” T-shirts for an article in Insides, a zine his record label, RVNG, is publishing. You can send your picture and a few sentences about what “Young, Latin & Proud” means to you to

Catch some upcoming Helado Negro performances below:

May 5 – New York, NY @ Arts Brookfield
May 7 – Dallas, TX @ Good Records

May 8 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada **
May 9 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown **
May 10 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk **
May 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ CALA Crossfade Lab – The Crescent Ballroom
June 14 – Vienne, FR @ Cris Sonores *

August 4 – Katowice, Poland @ OFF Festival

August 5 – London, England @ Visions Festival

August 26 – Monterrey, Mexico @ Hellow Festival
September 15 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater ***
September 16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE ***
September 17 – Detroit, MI @ The Crofoot Ballroom ***
September 19 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live! ***
September 20 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ***
September 21 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s ***
September 22 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium ***
September 23 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room – Old National Centre ***
September 25 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note ***
September 26 – Kansas City, MO @ CrossroadsKC ***
September 28 – Lousville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom ***
September 29 – Asheville, NC @ Arena ***
September 30 – Pittsboro, NC @ Shakori Hills ***

* Curated by Nicolas Jaar
** Supporting Mitski
*** Supporting Sylvan Esso