Singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza is a refreshing voice in a turbulent world.
Coming from Native American (O'odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese descent, Zaragoza empowers girls everywhere and shares her personal experiences and unique take on modern society through songs like her current single "American Dream." Inspired by Donald Trump's election, Standing Rock, and her own life as a multi-cultural youth, the track is a stunning statement piece for the nation's new generation.
As part of Musical Notes Global's Women's History Month celebration, get to know Raye Zaragoza a little better in the questionnaire-style interview below.
Here's the scoop on my new video "American Dream": "American Dream" tells the story of my family and challenges the outdated concept of the American Dream with its white picket fence and house in the suburbs, because it's never been truly inclusive of all American people. In the last year alone, the American people have been under a constant barrage of distressing news, a 'fake news' war waged by our President against the free press, and day after day our country feels increasingly divided. Hatred and fear have an overt national presence like nothing we've seen in our lifetimes. It's time to rise up, turn off the television and take a stand. The days of apathy are over—either we do something about the injustice happening around our country, or we admit to being a part of the problem. We can rewrite the American Dream into a new storyline that looks out for all of us. It's a big task, but as the chorus of the song says, "Change is a choice, and it can start with me."
I'm excited about the release because I think it's an important message for American people right now. We need to turn the television off, and take action to make change in our communities.
As a singer-songwriter, I find my greatest inspiration in observing the world around me - both the good and the bad. I think as artists, It's very important to criticize the world around us, and share our observations with our audiences and start conversations. This is why I have been labeled a "protest songwriter" recently because there has been so much happening in our country to criticize. Also I came to an age where I started to realize many things that I didn't when I was growing up. I also write write about the good things in life I observe - like people I meet and places I see.
Here's my advice to aspiring singers and songwriters: Never let anyone discourage you! The first gig I ever applied to, I got a very long rejection email. I can't imagine what my life would be like now if would have listened to all that was said in that email. Also especially for women in music - never let anyone try to establish who you are as an artist - your identity has to come from within.
I love performing live because I have always loved being on stage! When I was a kid, I did musical theatre and my original dream was to either be on Broadway or be a Rockette. I think it's even more fun being on stage singing my own songs!
A stage I've always dreamed of performing on is Madison Square Garden! I am a born & raised New Yorker, so MSG is always going to be the dream.
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