Los Angeles-based, all-female rock band Shiragirl, best known for crashing the male-dominated Vans Warped Tour and creating the Shiragirl stage for female artists, have just released their new single, the band’s first new music since the pandemic, along with a video, “Antisocial Media.”
The single follows the groups’ EP Andi Underground and continues the conversation and critique they started on that project, following a rebellion against conforming to technological advancements and defying any and all oppressive systems.
In addition to their music, Shiragirl work to empower underrepresented artists and help to achieve gender equity in the music industry through the female-led platform Gritty in Pink, which launched in January 2020 and has featured 200 emerging artists.
We caught up with Shiragirl’s lead singer Shira, who Billboard coined “Punk Rock Madonna,” to chat more about the new era of music, this modern time of ever-evolving technology and social media, empowering women in music, and the road ahead.
So, this is the band’s first original release since the pandemic. How does it feel to be putting out new music again?
Honestly it feels amazing. It’s a whole new era for the band. We have been so busy on our Gritty In Pink project, but it’s such a good feeling to have our first new song out in two years, and our first release with a new lineup!
Shiragirl’s new single ‘Antisocial Media’ continues with some of the conversation started on the Andi Underground EP surrounding rebellion against techno-conformity. Since the project came out in 2019, I’m curious what in 2020 and beyond prompted the dive back into this conversation? I’m sure with the pandemic, there are an abundance of new ideas surrounding this.
During the lockdown, social media kept us all connected, but it also drove us deeper into digital addiction. As someone who lives alone, I definitely experienced social media obsession and burnout.
I’m curious, on that note, with technology also playing a huge role in continuing to connect others and also helping certain industries to evolve via remote work, telehealth and the like, how do you view that balance of the benefits and detriments of technology today?
It is definitely a blessing and a curse at times. I appreciate the benefits, but I also try to bring a sense of self-awareness when approaching social media and technology in general, aiming to live in the moment whenever possible, and connect with people in person- there’s nothing that can truly replace that.
I enjoy the point in the song surrounding how trivial online personas can be and how social media can really work to also create this lack of authenticity. What do you see as the solution as we move forward socially with technology, or is there one?
That is a great question, that I wish I had the answer to. We are working on some content to help people with their social media mental health, different tips and suggestions on how to combat the negative effects that comes from heavy social media use, such as social comparison.
I love the metaphor referenced by the video director Heather Ballish, peeling back something glossy and shiny to reveal the harsh and grim realities that are often at play. How does this come together visually, if you can give me any more scoop on the video?
Heather was so amazing to work with to bring this vision to life, and make sure we are really getting our message across. We wanted to contrast two worlds, the ‘glossy’ world which is colorful and fake and where everyone is happy and everything looks perfect, and the ‘grim’ world which shows the darker reality behind our social media culture.
Gloss is what we see on the outside; grim is what we often feel on the inside, when it comes to this content-driven culture: where it can often feel like you are measuring your worth in followers, or you are only as good as your last post.
With all of this in mind, I’m curious to also hear more about Gritty In Pink. This really feels like that total opposite of the coin, really showing how social media can definitely be used to establish community and form genuine bonds. What has that experience been like, especially launching this just before the pandemic and then riding that wave?
Gritty In Pink is a platform to empower women in music, on a mission to achieve gender equality the music industry. Gritty started as a monthly event in L.A. in January 2020, featuring an all-girl jam with some the best female musicians in the scene.
When we were shut down due to COVID, we were able to launch an Instagram livestream that drew 600 live viewers on the first night. We knew we were onto something, as artists were looking for both performance opportunities and ways to connect with others during this isolating time.
Now, our show gets about 1500 live viewers, and we have featured over 200 female artists with a collective following a 4 million on Instagram and 7 million on TikTok. What I’m most proud of as we have raised thousands of dollars for different charities, with our IG Live fundraisers. We also have a private online network for women in music.
What are the future plans regarding Gritty in Pink? The community has grown rapidly, so I’m definitely curious, as we continue to navigate the pandemic, how you envision the future of that platform.
Gritty In Pink is now building an online marketplace for women who work in all aspects of the music industry, and industry pros and partners (of any gender) who want to hire from a diverse talent pool of women. We are so excited about this next chapter in our journey, as we think the best thing we can do for women in the business is to get them gigs, and get them paid.
Is there anything else Shiragirl has in store, or anything else you would like to add?
Yes! We have some livestreams is coming up in October for breast cancer prevention month. Stay tuned at @shira_girl and @grittyinpinklife on Instagram … as the song says … ‘FOLLOW ME LIKE ME TAG ME SHARE ME!’
Watch the video for “Antisocial Media” here:
Photo courtesy of Shiragirl and Luckyshot Photos