Simple soft driving rhythms flesh out a protest singer-songwriter “Driving To Standing Rock”. The melody is soft and soothing like a river and yet there is an urgency within the confines of a peaceful protest. The subtle atmospheric organ in the background brings a sensible amount of spirituality to “Driving To Standing Rock”. The apex of the song before the final refrain is a call to action call and response rhythmic gang chant of “stand up, fight back” that includes a piece of audio from one of Raye Zaragozas concerts. Despite this song being from 2017 and living in a fast paced commercialized musical atmosphere here in Hollywood, CA “Driving To Standing Rock” felt like a good song choice to share given it is around the holiday season and Thanksgiving has just passed. “Driving To Standing Rock” and the message it sends is a message everyone can get behind, the pipelines are wrong, big oil is a big problem, and there is an insane amount of corruption in the United States but a song like “Driving To Standing Rock” reminds people of the issues at hand and how to deal with them.
FROM THE ARTIST:
Raye Zaragoza 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, resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar.
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.”
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 performs her music all over the United States as well as across Europe, where she spent five weeks touring in summer 2017. Her music has been featured on 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 and Daytrotter.
At SXSW 2018, Raye spoke about her loyal fanbase and maintaining an independent career on a panel entitled “Serving the Sacred Bond” hosted by PledgeMusic. Zaragoza has just finished a national tour, where she was supporting Dispatch and Nahko and Medicine for the People, including dates at Red Rocks and Central Park Summerstage. Check out her website for her upcoming tour dates.