There’s a common thread to immigrant experiences in Canada that involves balancing the culture of your motherland with Canadian life. Toronto multi-disciplinary musician and former Ohbijou member Casey Mecija, who is of Filipino descent, invokes this tension in the video for “Sounds That Mark Words,” while also tracing her family’s history and the emergence of her queer identity.
The video includes footage from her childhood in Brantford, Ontario, a small city south west of Toronto. Clips of traditional Filipino dancing and Mecija’s progression as a budding artist are juxtaposed with intimate visuals of her and a romantic partner. “Songs That Mark Our Words” comes from her January album, Psychic Materials, which deals with ideas of love, diaspora, queerness, and history. An active member of Toronto’s music scene, Mecija has also been vocal about the underlying racism in Canadian indie rock. This personal track, and the autobiographical video, is about processing multiple parts of her identity.
“‘Sounds That Mark Our Words’ explores the relationship between queerness and Filipino diasporic experience,” said Mecija in an email to The FADER. “In this video, May [Truong] and I are working against notions that ‘coming out’ is a finite thing or that it is a narrative with a predictable beginning and an end. We returned to videos from my childhood to understand how my experiences as a kid inform my desires as an adult. We think about queer as not only how I imagine my sexuality but queer as a force that nudges against what is considered normal — within this framework we can think of being diasporic in Canada as a queer thing.”