Now we officialy moved into the unknown, yet many artists keep on raising their voices as a sign of protest. Feminist artist MILCK is one of them: her intimate track, “Quiet,” is a way to exorcize her old demons and to demonstrate more than ever the urgency of protecting the minorities.
Yesterday, the US entered one of the darkest periods in their history as Donald Trump started his 4-year presidential term. Not very long after taking oath as POTUS in Washington D.C., the White House’s website was updated and the LGBTQ rights, climate change, civil rights sections disappeared. As we are all scared of what this mandate will represent to minorities, many artists have raised their voices as a sign of protest.
Dealing with her history of physical and sexual abuse alongside the pressure women endure to fulfil beauty standards, the track is close to everyone’s life. Indeed, according to WHO (World Health Organization) in a publication of 2013:
Yet a few people dare to show that much vulnerability and to open their hearts completely about such a personal issue. As a way to close a dark chapter of her life, MILCK unveiled her track “Quiet” to support other women who have suffered from the same violences. She took some time to answer our questions about the song, her political initiatives, and how art can be political.
Highclouds: Can you introduce yourself for our readers who don’t know you yet?
My artist alias is MILCK. I was born Connie Lim. MILCK is my last name backwards, tacked on by my first 2 initials. I chose this name because it’s like taking all that my family gave me- all the beautiful and ugly… and I turned it inside out to make my own version of myself. I sing for the relentless, the vulnerable, and the brave. I write from that space. Whenever shit goes down, I tell myself I’m on a heels journey, and the challenges are going to be a part of my rise to truth and light.
Why did you decide to address such a personal matter in your last track “Quiet”?
The emotion that this song spawns from was clawing at my insides for years, and I had to release it to heal. No joke, I was writing mid-tempo song after mid-tempo song… unknowingly I was obsessively trying to find “Quiet.” People were telling me to write upbeat songs constantly but I was in a trance. Once I wrote it though, I could move on and write more energized, upbeat stuff. My soul is now celebrating that the weight has lifted off my shoulders.
“As a woman of color, any art I do is political” – MILCK
How do you think your music and message can help other women who’ve been into the same situation as you?
I think we are endlessly capable beings with unlimited potential. If we learn to shed skin, and I think we do so by addressing our fears and childhood pains, we can acknowledge that we are not broken, but alive and learning. And that we are not alone. If I can make people feel like I am on this journey with them, and that they are not alone, and that I am rooting for them to nurture and chisel themselves, I will go to bed happy.
What can you tell me about the “Pussyhat Project“?
I can tell you that it was the brain child of one of my soul sisters, Krista Suh, who is one of my favorite magical people in this world. I love showing up and surprising knitters at their Friday night knitting parties in LA because I get to watch women of all ages and backgrounds bonding with each other through a peaceful, healing act.
You are launching a new campaign called “#ICANTKEEPQUIET.” What can you tell us about it?
#ICANTKEEPQUIET is going to be a multimedia campaign that will encourage self expression, healing, and empowerment through music and stories. Visit icantkeepquiet.org for more detailed info.
No. I am not a delicate, Asian flower girl that can fulfill commodified fantasies. I am not the model minority who is going to stand by and watch my brothers and sisters of color be scapegoats. I am not the girl who is going to stay a victim, even after sexual and physical abuse. I am not the woman who is going to stay quiet in this era, where there are figures of power in today’s world who promote scarcity, fear, and oppression. No. I can’t keep quiet. My single "Quiet" is out! in honor of #womensmarchonwashington. Listen exclusively on http://www.popmatters.com/post/milck-quiet-premiere/ (link in bio) Thank you PopMatters, The Huffington Post, and Popdust for the amazing write ups: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/milcks-riveting-song-quiet-resonates-with-women_us_5876efb3e4b0f8a7254484e4 http://www.popdust.com/youre-gonna-want-a-glass-of-milck-2186144311.html photo by @rachaelleestroud
What do you have to say to people who believe that artists shouldn’t be political?
As a woman of color, any art I do is political. The fact that I’m making art as a first generation immigrant is political. I think some music can be an escape, but I think that there are people who appreciate political art to help people process or feel things about what is going on. I think a cause of cultural control-freakism, blame, and scapegoating is people’s unwillingness or fear of being vulnerable and open, and feeling things. The suppression turns into projection, scarcity, and many other unhealthy emotions that get us to violence and hate. Any honest music can technically be political because it’s expressing a human’s state of being within the confines of society.
What part do you think men play in the feminist cause?
Just like women, men can add positive energy. Their love and support is much needed and welcomed. I think one thing that would help is if the mainstream man’s culture becomes more comfortable with vulnerability.
Are you ready for the next 4 years?
I’m surviving and rising beyond my own demons, so battling societal demons of scarcity, doubt, fear, and blame is going to be totally doable. Besides, songs are beautiful weapons of peace.
Today, MILCK will be performing her track “Quiet” alongside 25 other female singers of all different backgrounds and ages acapella during the Women’s March in Washington D.C. You can follow her over Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and listen to the audio of her track below.