When singer-songwriter Jessica Carvo returned from a two-week trip to Italy last summer, she came home to streets full of heated protesters, speaking out against President Trump’s threat to end the DACA program.

Amidst the turmoil surrounding immigration issues, Jessica Carvo (vocals) and Alex Marko (instrumentation) of Satellite Mode, an indie-pop band from New York, wrote their single “Gave It All” as an impulsive reaction to the issues.

“Alex and I realized we were writing a song as if we were a DREAMer, as if we were someone [who] had sacrificed so much to come to this country, just to have it all taken away or threatened and minimized,” Jess said.

Photo by Rachel Wang /
Alex Marko (L) and Jess Carvo of Satellite Mode

Jess and Alex see their music as their own form of activism – a way to reach people’s hearts. The messaging comes out naturally through their songwriting process, they said.

“After a long day, [Alex and I] will come together and discuss what we read [on the news] or what we saw on the streets,” Jess said. “And then we write songs, so it would come out in our music.”

“Art is naturally influenced by society, and I feel like that’s what’s going on now,” Alex added.

Jess and Alex say their songs and messages are not meant to polarize. They hope to speak a universal truth and connect with listeners through the emotions in their melodies and lyrics, not to shove any political statements down anyone’s throat.

“We just hope that the song speaks to people and forces them to take a look at what’s going on,” Alex said. “[Art] transfers consciousness between people. That’s what we are trying to do with “Gave it All”– trying to put someone in another’s shoes.”

Photo by Rachel Wang /
Alex Marko of Satellite Mode

For Alex, putting himself in the position of a DREAMer child came naturally. His parents fled communist Russia and immigrated to the United States around forty years ago.

“They left it (sic) all behind, for me to have it all, ” Alex wrote in his article on Medium, “My Parents Left it All to Be Here”.

Alex always gravitated towards immigration rights issues because of his personal experience as a first-generation American. He imagined if the government policy changes, his family could be uprooted.

Music is Jess and Alex’s platform to share their feelings and ideas to the masses. They hope to encourage others to take action on the the issues going on in our world today.

“If you feel like something’s wrong, something’s wrong,” Jess said. “And if you listen to your intuition, you’ll come up with ways to do something about it, for yourself and then for the world”

Photo by Rachel Wang /
Jess Carvo of Satellite Mode

“I think when people take time to reflect on the greater consciousness and not just their personal self, that’s when the great change happens –that’s my mantra. Why I am doing art as a living is to make the world around me a better place and not just make my life better,” Alex said.

Satellite Mode has over 245,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Their newest single, Terrified, is out now on Spotify.