BWW Album Review: Michelle Vezilj's 'Fire Goes to Die' is an Empowering Anthem
Actress and singer/songwriter Michelle Vezilj is making a profound and timely statement with her latest single, "Fire Goes to Die." Inspired by the #MeToo movement and being a victim of sexual assault herself, Vezilj's empowering anthem - released today - touches on those pressing topics. Yet, in the same week as the governor of Alabama signed our nation's most restrictive anti-abortion bill into law, this tune's broader themes about emboldening oneself to take control of one's body couldn't feel more timely.
As a young artist, Vezilj also looked into modelling. She found herself somewhat gifted with the opportunity of a lifetime when a model for Elite Model Management contacted her to offer her the chance to take her place in an athletic campaign. This led to corresponding with agent Michelangelo Chiacchio, the London-based director of Elite. This is where things started to go a little awry. Over the next year and a half, Vezilj ignored her intuitions and even warnings from other models because of the opportunity in front of her. At a sit-down with a representative scheduled by Chiacchio, Vezilj was assaulted. It would take her close to seven years before she told anyone because of the shame she felt. Also, like so many in similar situations, she attributed the blame to herself and not her attacker.
Through witnessing others come forward during the #MeToo movement, Vezilj found the strength to tell her own story, begin to liberate herself from the shame and guilt of the experience, and - to loosely paraphrase Carrie Fisher - turn her pain into art. Enter "Fire Goes to Die," a pulsating indie track infused with elements of country. Before one can misidentify this track as a woman scorned kind of bop, it's important to recognize that the raw anger in the vocals points to something deeper. This emotionality alludes to the depth of the mental and spiritual wounds inflicted upon her and the invisible to the naked eye scars left behind. Vezilj's lyrics and vocals illustrate a woman burdened by having to evolve at a moments notice while her world came crashing down around her.
Channeling the myth of Apollo and Daphne, in "Fire Goes to Die" Vezilj sings about a woman who transforms into a beautiful tree-like being adorned with flowers as she frees herself from the unwanted advances of the male pursuing her. He lashes out, screaming "What would you do without me?" Then, in an attempt to completely destroy her, he sets fire to her roots. Reaching upwards, she pulls herself up into the realm where fire goes to die, or a place she can reclaim herself in spite of his actions. While inspired by the #MeToo movement, this powerful sentiment can easily speak to anyone or any group that has ever felt unjustly attacked or oppressed. Thus, Vezilj has keenly crafted a resonating anthem that encourages all to cast off their disenfranchisement and find the strength to pull themselves up by making their individual inner beauty manifest in the world.
Vezilj launches "Fire Goes to Die" at The Hotel Cafe Main Stage (1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) tonight (May 17, 2019) at 9:30PM. For more information please visit http://www.michellevezilj.com/. To stream or purchase "Fire Goes to Die," please visit https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/michellevezilj/fire-goes-to-die.