Music artist Audri Nix gets political at SXSW

Story highlights

  • Nix said anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States is creating a "stigma" for Spanish-speaking people
  • She likened the divisions over immigration to the debate about statehood for Puerto Rico

Austin, Texas (CNN)Puerto Rican rapper and vocalist Audri Nix said she sees parallels between the political climate in the United States and that of Puerto Rico, describing both as "very emotionally stressful," during an interview with CNN on Friday.

"Not everybody that speaks Spanish is illegal or is here to do something," said the rapper and vocalist, who showcased her latest music at the South by Southwest music festival this week in Austin, Texas. "They're here trying to survive in a country that doesn't want them, in a country that has a leader who wants to throw them out."
Nix, who considers herself "super political," added that anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States is creating a "stigma" for Spanish-speaking people. She likened the divisions over immigration in the United States to the debate over statehood for Puerto Rico.
"In the United States they're divided by Republicans and Democrats, and here in Puerto Rico, we've divided by color: blue and red," Nix said, referring to the colors of the Puerto Rican parties that are for and against statehood for the territory.
The breakout star in Puerto Rico's hip-hop scene said a deep distrust of the Puerto Rican government makes people on both sides of the statehood issue skeptical and worried.
"I didn't believe in statehood," Nix said. "But I think that at this point, I feel that maybe that's best for us to maybe be a state. Because right now we're a colony."
"If we want to be independent, we should start working now," Nix added. "But right now we have an unpayable debt, so how can we be independent?"
Nix also compared Puerto Rico's newly-elected governor, Ricardo Rosello, to President Donald Trump, opining that both are "incapable of running a country."
"Ricky, for example, he has no experience at all running anything," she said. "He's just the son of an ex-governor. ... He's a doctor.
"He has nothing to do with politics he doesn't even know how to speak in public," she added. "He has no idea of what's going on in Puerto Rico."
The White House did not return requests Friday for comment on Nix's remarks.
Nix, who is set to release her newest EP, "La Niña De Oro," which translates to "The Golden Girl," said Rosello is "part of this thing where people believe in colors" and has exacerbated divisions on the island.
The artist said her songs try to tackle relatable issues that young people deal with in "everyday life," but she is now trying to inject the political issues she cares about into her music without being "annoying or too serious."
"As an artist you have to be very careful when you speak about political issues because, you know, everyone has their opinion," she said.
But the rapper added she is not afraid of speaking out.
"Why wouldn't I use my music or my voice to talk about issues that affect me and affect my fans?" Nix asked. "I'm not scared to give my opinion. It's more empowering for me and my music to have something else."