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  • So often,

  • I'll take a fitness class,

  • or I'll go to a music venue,

  • or, really, anywhere that plays music in the background,

  • and I'll find myself loving the rhythms

  • and the melodies and the beats ...

  • And then I take a second to listen to the lyrics,

  • lyrics that, for example, place us in a position of subservience

  • that we would never tolerate in any other context.

  • And I'm aghast at the degree to which we normalize sexism in our culture.

  • I listen to this music and I'm like,

  • I don't want to have to turn up to the sound of my own oppression.

  • You know, music is one of the most powerful forms of communication,

  • because it has the potential to either uplift or oppress.

  • Music caters to the emotions. Music caters to the soul.

  • Music opens up our soul.

  • It opens up our channels to receive information

  • about somebody else's walk of life,

  • to inform our own roles.

  • And while I have no problem with male fantasy,

  • what I do have a problem with

  • is that, according to a recent study, only 2.6 percent of all music producers

  • identify as women.

  • That means an even smaller percentage identify as trans or gender nonconforming.

  • And why does this matter?

  • Because, if we don't own and control our own narrative,

  • somebody else will tell our stories for us,

  • and they will get it wrong,

  • perpetuating the very myths that hold us back.

  • And I'm not here to tell other people how to make their music.

  • But I am here to provide and design the alternative.

  • One strategy I take in my music

  • is making uplifting, energetic, percussive global beats

  • and placing lyrics on top of them

  • that genuinely describe my life's experiences

  • without contributing to the oppression of anybody else.

  • It's funny, because it's the same reason

  • as to why we excuse so many problematic lyrics;

  • it's because we love how the beats make us feel.

  • An example of this is my song "Top Knot Turn Up."

  • (Music: "Top Knot Turn Up")

  • (Sings) I turned off my phone's notifications so I have more time /

  • No bubbles to trouble my clear state of mind /

  • One thing to know, I'm not here to please /

  • Hair tied up, I do it properly /

  • My time is not your property /

  • When I'm productive like my ovaries, eyy! /

  • Give a grown girl room to breathe, basic rights and her liberty /

  • Free from insecurity that the world's projecting onto me /

  • Please do not trouble me when I am focused /

  • The future is female you already know this /

  • I'm fighting against the corruption on SCOTUS /

  • Turned up in my top knot since when I first wrote this /

  • It's a top knot turn up It's a top knot turn up, turn up, turn up.

  • It's a top knot turn up It's a top knot turn up, turn up, turn up.

  • It's a top knot turn up It's a top knot turn up, eyyy.

  • It's a top knot turn up.

  • (Music ends)

  • I want us to keep making sex-positive, beautiful music

  • about joy and freedom.

  • I want us to embrace our own pleasure

  • just as much as we embrace our own pain.

  • I want us to celebrate the authentic,

  • nuanced,

  • multidimensional aspects of our human existence,

  • rather than perform false narratives of degrading sexuality

  • in order to feel accepted or loved.

  • And another strategy that I take in my music

  • to combat the misogyny that exists on the airwaves

  • is to visually depict the very world I wished we lived in.

  • In the music video for my song "See Me Thru,"

  • which is like a vibe-y, queer electronic R and B song,

  • I cast two of my dear friends, Ania and Dejha,

  • to play the role of the lovers, because they're married in real life.

  • But what you don't know is that they also are behind the camera

  • concepting and directing the entire video.

  • (Video) Heyyyyy ohhhh My emotions were tired

  • Music should be safe and accessible for all to experience.

  • As you can see, it's not about losing the sex appeal or swag

  • that music has,

  • it's about writing messages that infuse tenderness and positivity

  • into music that motivates us and challenges us.

  • And while we as musicians absolutely have the responsibility

  • to make music that isn't disempowering,

  • the consumers can be part of the change, too.

  • Firstly, we get to choose which songs we want to mute

  • and which songs we want to turn louder.

  • We get to say, "I respect myself enough to say I don't want to listen to this,

  • and I don't want this to be in anybody else's space, either."

  • Secondly, we can simply ask ourselves:

  • "Does this music or this message

  • contribute to the oppression of somebody else?

  • Why am I tolerating it?"

  • And finally, we can all be choosing to make playlists or DJ-ing music

  • that provides the right vibe or mood that we're looking for in that moment

  • without the problematic messaging.

  • Why does this matter?

  • Because it's teaching algorithms in our streaming systems and our world

  • exactly what it is that we do want to listen to,

  • creating long-term change and a feedbacking mechanism

  • that impacts the entire industry.

  • This is not a message

  • for just a small group of people.

  • This is a message that affects everybody,

  • because when we protect and liberate our most vulnerable genders,

  • we liberate everybody.

So often,

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B1 music oppression liberate listen problematic message

Why we must stop dancing to the sound of our own oppression | Madame Gandhi

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/30
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