“Let’s go, let’s all go…we are travelers from this land,” Xíimbal Kaaj
“Xíimbal Kaaj” or “people who walk,” is a rap song in Maya, sung by the musicians Pat Boy and Yazmín Novelo, with a video production by 4 Mayan Seasons and Jabu Studio. It shows that the Maya language is still alive and that there are no borders when the message is clear: travel all over Yucatán. We talked with the artists behind this musical hit.
Pat Boy (Jesús Pat) is an artist from José María Pino Suárez, a town located in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo. Since he was a child he has sung in Maya, his mother tongue, and through hip hop and rap he has found a vehicle for expression to talk about what’s happening in his community, always with a positive message. Since 2005 he has been fully dedicated to music. He has made various CD’s, musical videos, and has performed at festivals on the Península as well as Cumbre Tajín and Vive Latino, always with excellent acceptance by the public. “I always try to give a positive message: Maya rap with conscience,” says this charismatic musical talent who plans to release a CD with different artists singing in Maya under the name “ADN Maya” (Maya DNA).
4 Mayan Seasons is an event and concert producer of regional indigenous art directed by the Argentinian Guido Arcella, who has promoted local talent through videos of music jams recorded on various stages in Yucatán, including Hacienda Ochil, and widely shared through social media. Guido brought together the voices of Pat Boy and Yazmín Novelo, working with the internationally-known producer Jason Buff from Jabu Studio, a resident of Mérida. Together they created the video of the song “Xíimbal Kaaj,” filmed in the town of Timucuy, 25 km from Mérida.
Of the video concept, Jason told us that he wanted to capture how the new generations of children grow up in the communities, showing a contemporary vision of today’s Maya people, and above all, highlight the importance and pride of preserving the Maya language. “Before arriving to Mérida I had no idea that Maya was still spoken. For me, it is a legacy that must be valued,” said the producer who specializes in photographic sessions, music videos, and with a current project of portraits of people in the markets of Yucatán.
If you haven’t seen the video, we promise that you will be captivated by it, visually and musically. It has subtitles so you can sing in Maya. The scenes with kids playing, smiling, and enjoying the traditions and peaceful life in Yucatán, complemented by the lyrics and voice of Pat Boy, as well as the amazing performance by Yazmín, both singing in Maya, will move you from beginning to end. Is an open invitation to see and admire the Maya culture over and over. “Xíimbal Kaaj” is available on digital platforms. Listen, sing, enjoy and share!
By Violeta H. Cantarell