Raye Zaragoza is a songwriter that focuses on bringing a social conscience to her music. Zaragoza has a multinational heritage — being Native American (O’odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese — and that conversation piece drives talks into her songs. From horror stories of her ancestors to taking a view at the country we live in today, the singer has a progressive social aspect to it that is inspiring. Fight For You is the singer’s recent album, released in the tail end of 2017.
The music features many soothing melodies, whether the vocals or the strings or the guitars, Zaragoza has a natural ambience to the music that seems peaceful. It’s a grand sense of folk that helps songs like “American Dream” strike that much more of a blow. It stops the world surrounding and has the listener focus on these issues that are immersed within the culture of America. “Fight For You” has a pulsing chord progressions that beats with the rhythm of Zaragoza’s voice, bringing a sense of urgency that bleeds into a slightly more distorted sound, not sacrificing the intimate experience of listening to a singer captivated in her song.
New Noise Magazine is pleased to bring forth a tack by track from Raye Zaragoza about her recent Fight For You. Take a listen here and read about every song in plenty of detail from a very inspired mind.
American Dream was the last song written for ‘Fight For You,’ and I consider it the prologue or foreword to the album – an explanation for the journey we’re about to embark on. American Dream talks about the history of my family and my daily frustration with the media. It is a reflection on why I am the way I am now & why I wrote the songs you’re about to hear. It is also a challenge, a call to action.
In The River
In The River is a fully produced band version of the song I released in September 2016 – “In The River: A Protest Song.” The song is in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. I wrote this song before Standing Rock had gone ‘viral’ and many people still had no idea what was going on. It was so frustrating to me that such injustice was happening to indigenous people and no one in my community in Los Angeles was even aware. The song is about the water, the land, the youth, and the generations to come. Which we should always protect.
Fight For You
Fight For You was written after a Standing Rock rally in Los Angeles. At this particular rally, I was marching at the front with other Indigenous women and we were holding a banner that said Indigenous Women Rise. There were thousands of people behind us. I kept looking from side to side at the women next to me, and had this thought in my head – “if you fight for me, I’ll fight for you.” Ultimately, this song is about camaraderie and the joys of fighting for what you believe in alongside friends.
This is a love song. I wrote this about a past Brooklyn love affair, as well as my love affair with New York City. At the time, I was working as a bartender at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn & living on 14th street, so this song really does provide an accurate description of that time in my life: going back and forth between the two boroughs, falling in love, and feeling very young and free in New York. I see this song as a coming of age, love story.
This is also a love song about New York City – I write a lot of them. New York is where I am from, and where I found myself as an artist. This song is about how when I was living in Los Angeles, I would book a flight to New York when I was feeling low. I would go to New York, enjoy the cold weather, and ride the subways around the city all day. It was truly my happy place at the time. Those cold dreary winter streets of NYC was where I found myself as an artist.
Driving to Standing Rock
This song is about exactly what you would think – driving to Standing Rock. In December 2016, I made my journey to Standing Rock with two friends of mine. We were driving in very dangerous conditions and Dani kept saying “If we can see the yellow lines, then we haven’t fallen off the road yet.” The snow drifts were awful and Dezy had a fever in the backseat. We did make it to Standing Rock safely. The song is also about the beauty of fighting for what you believe in. It is about the excitement of arriving at a place where thousands of people are gathering for the same reason – to make the world a better place.
Chase The Child
This is one of the first songs I ever wrote! This song is about following your dreams. It is about leaving home. It is about trusting your children and letting them express themselves without limits. I am fortunate to have parents that let me be creative. And this song is really about how important that is.
In The River (Original Version)
This is the version that was released as “In The River: A Protest Song” in September 2016. The video received over 500K views – I was very surprised that it was able to reach so many people. I was really grateful that I was able to help spread awareness for the Standing Rock movement – it really showed me that music has a real power to make a positive impact. Like the fully produced band version, the song is about protecting our land, water, and our youth. It is about protecting the generations that are to come & not putting profit above that.