Local band Immigrant’s Child combines music with heritage


Collegian | Michael Marquardt

Josiah Martinez of Denver-based band Immigrant’s Child speaks about the state of the Colorado music scene during an interview on KCSU Radio in the Lory Student Center March 5. “I think there is just a huge sentiment for a lot of people wanting the Denver music scene, or the Colorado music scene in general, to expand from where it is,” Martinez said. “I do think we’re on that cusp of it potentially getting to that next level, but it is just a lot of DIY stuff. It is being propped up by a lot of grassroots-type organizations.”

Christian Arndt, Staff Reporter

The band Immigrant’s Child has garnered a dedicated fanbase thanks to their blend of indie music, heritage-inspired lyrics and storytelling. 

The band visited the KCSU radio station March 5 to tell their story.


Denver-based band Immigrant’s Child speaks during an interview on KCSU Radio in the Lory Student Center March 5. The band spoke about their influences, their most recent release and their plans for the future. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)

Immigrant’s Child is a Denver-based band that was started a few years back by Mario Martinez-Varelas, guitar, and siblings Keeana Martinez, vocals, and Josiah Martinez, bass. They later recruited their current drummer, Colin Hill. They describe their genre as indie with blends of alt rock and math rock.

“You hear Spanish intermingled as well, and as I mentioned, I want to live up to that. We want to be true to ourselves, and we want to make sure that that’s coming across in the music.” –Mario Martinez-Varelas, guitarist for Immigrant’s Child

As a collective, they have produced a handful of singles and EPs and plan to further expand their catalog of music, not only in the sense of quantity but in the overall message the band hopes to communicate.

Immigrant’s Child wants to get a little more in touch with their roots and heritage and did so with their latest EP “Papalotl.”

“You know, we are called Immigrant’s Child, so these influences, I want to make them more apparent,” Martinez-Varelas said. “I wanted to be very clear that this is who we are. This is where we come from.”

“Papalotl” deals with numerous themes; however, mental health is a very powerful topic touched on multiple times.

Keeana Martinez of Denver-based band Immigrant’s Child talks about the topics in the band’s lyrics during an interview on KCSU Radio March 5. “We talk a lot about mental health issues, especially with overthinking,” Martinez said. “We talk about family, friends, people you would care about. I sing a lot about Mario’s exes, which is funny because we’re engaged.” (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)

Keeana Martinez puts emphasis on mental health being at the forefront of her lyrics by stating that the song “Overthink” is specifically about her struggles with self-hate and feeling like an outsider to her Mexican culture.

“I always struggled with self-hate and being OK with myself, so “Overthink” is a lot of like an ode to myself, like, (the lyric), ‘You’re not as beautiful I know, while you reached desperately for air, watch you choke,’ was like a lot of the feelings that I feel in my own self-hate,” Martinez-Verales said. “Feeling like I’m not Mexican enough.”

The emphasis on heritage and family is very present in “Papalotl,” which features a song titled “SAP (Spanish Audio Programming)” completely sung in Spanish.

“The point of this EP was to get a bit more in touch with Latin music on our end,” Martinez-Varelas said. “This is an expression.” 


Immigrant’s Child takes direct inspiration from the 2000s indie scene, math rock and Brit. rock. However, they still want to integrate their Latin heritage into their music.

“We’re gonna start injecting that Latin influence again,” Martinez-Varelas said. “We have the base songs, and this is where the experimentation part comes in. Like, how are we going to throw in these sounds and cultural aspects to it?”

Immigrant’s Child puts heritage at the forefront of their music. They remain conscious of the indie genre and the sound they want to produce, but they incorporate the history of their families and heritage into their lyrics, which pushes the message of their record even further.

The varying genres and themes within Immigrant’s Child’s music breathe new life into the indie-rock genre, and this is only the start.

“You hear Spanish intermingled as well, and as I mentioned, I want to live up to that,” Martinez-Varelas said. “We want to be true to ourselves, and we want to make sure that that’s coming across in the music.”

Immigrant’s Child can be streamed on all current popular streaming platforms and serves as an important band not only to the indie genre but also to the Latinx community as a whole.

Reach Christian Arndt at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.