Multicultural Activist Raye Zaragoza New Single
Hear the new single from Raye Zaragoza. Entitled "The It Girl", the Tucker Martine produced track (First Aid Kit, The Decemberists) details Zaragoza's personal struggles with love and acceptance as a multicultural brown woman due to society's western expectations of women. The funk fueled indie rock tune is her outcry for diverse representation in the media.
Zaragoza confides "Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was the it girl. I thought that meant I needed to be a pretty blonde princess Barbie who met her Prince Charming and rode off into the sunset. This fantasy left me with immense inner turmoil and self-hatred. In high school, I would even lighten my skin with lemon juice, dye my hair lighter, and wear blue contacts. I truly thought that in order to be beautiful, you had to be white. The It Girl is my outcry for diverse representation in media, a plea to throw out the old rule book of western expectations of women. I am proud to be a multicultural brown woman with insecurities and a vibrant intersectional identity that I continue to grapple with."
Raye Zaragoza (pronounced ray zay-rah-GO-zah) is an award-winning singer-songwriter who carries an acoustic guitar and a message. Her quiet yet powerful song "In the River," written in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, garnered half a million video views, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar. Her forthcoming sophomore LP recorded with Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, First Aid Kit) will be released in 2020.
Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. "As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life," she says. "I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice."
Raye's debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, "This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It's about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose."
Raye performs her music all over the United States and Europe. Her music has been featured on Billboard, Popmatters, Earmilk, Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste, Daytrotter, and FNX.
Raye has spoken on panels at Bonnaroo and SXSW on topics ranging from preventing sexual violence to engaging her fanbase as an independent artist. She has toured in support of Dispatch, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Kiefer Sutherland, William Elliott Whitmore, Dar Williams, Donovan Woods, and many more.