Tiny Desk Contestant Diana Gameros: 'How Can I Dissolve Borders?' The singer-songwriter entered NPR Music's contest with the song "¿Cómo Hacer?" She says it expresses her emotions about being unable to return to her family back home in Mexico.

Tiny Desk Contestant Diana Gameros: 'How Can I Dissolve Borders?'

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We've been talking to some of the musicians who made an impression on the judges of NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest. This week...

DIANA GAMEROS: My name is Diana Gameros. I live in the Bay Area. I am originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. And I am 35 years old.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Diana Gameros filmed her entry on a cold morning at dawn. As the camera slowly zooms out, a completely spectacular view emerges. We won't tell you what it is. You can watch it online on WEEKEND EDITION's Facebook page. She says the lyrics in her song, "Como Hacer?" were inspired by her own life.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "TINY DESK CONTEST: DIANA GAMEROS: COMO HACER?")

GAMEROS: (Singing in Spanish).

I moved to Holland, Mich., when I was 13 years old, originally to visit an aunt. And she invited me to stay and live with her because things at home - you know, the family was going through rough times. My parents had just gotten divorced. So I quickly answered, yes, I want to live with you, Aunt.

And I want to go to school here. After a really long process of me trying to get a student visa and kept failing at that, I still decided to remain in the country and give it a shot. So I went through four years of college as an undocumented student.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "TINY DESK CONTEST: DIANA GAMEROS: COMO HACER?")

GAMEROS: (Singing in Spanish).

I chose my song, "Como Hacer?" It's a song that I wrote - I actually wrote it a long time ago in 2011. I was in a very vulnerable state. I was really missing home in Mexico. And several things happen. A very dear aunt, who lived in Mexico, had lost her battle to cancer. My hometown, Ciudad Juarez, and where my parents and siblings and little nephews still live was going through really tough times since it was enduring a militarized policing of streets and drug cartel conflicts. And my father and sister experienced direct violence by getting pulled out of their car at gunpoint and not being able to travel outside the country because of my status.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "TINY DESK CONTEST: DIANA GAMEROS: COMO HACER?")

GAMEROS: (Singing in Spanish).

I just wanted to be with them. I wanted to be there when my nephews were born. I wanted to tell my brother I loved him and that I was proud of him for raising these beautiful kids. I wanted to be by my sister when she was going through puberty and she needed to talk to me.

And so being away from my family and my land in such hard times just brought up a certain feeling of guilt and fear and powerlessness and doubt. And I began to question many things in my own life. This song, "Como Hacer?" is made up of those questions that came up. The translation of some of these lines are, how can I dissolve borders? How can I make my land forgive me?

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "TINY DESK CONTEST: DIANA GAMEROS: COMO HACER?")

GAMEROS: (Singing in Spanish).

I have proper documentation now to reside and work in this country. But I won't get my green card until next year, hopefully, if everything goes well. And when I get it, I will be able to finally visit my homeland. It's been 15 years since the last time I was there. So I'm really, really looking forward to that time.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO, "TINY DESK CONTEST: DIANA GAMEROS: COMO HACER?")

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was musician Diana Gameros.

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