The wait for Rina Sawayama's debut album just got a lot more interesting. Each new song from the London-based artist is a refreshingly prismatic celebration of pop, but her latest track "STFU!" is a brand new direction. "STFU!" proves that nu-metal revival doesn't have to be pure nostalgia, but can come from a personal — and, crucially, progressive — place. It's indebted to bands like Korn, sure, but you could never mistake it for anything other than Rina Sawayama. The music video, co-directed by Sawayama and Ali Kurr, is streaming above; it follows a horribly racist date which eventually turns Sawayama into a series of vengeful spirits.
Sawayama described the song's inception in a press release:
"'STFU!' is a song about releasing the RAGE against microaggressions. As a Japanese girl growing up in the West I dealt with an array of aggressors ranging from: sexual stereotypes, comparisons with Lucy Liu and Cho Chang, to having to be the unofficial PR person and tourist board to Tokyo (a city of Western fascination that I left when I was 4), to people shouting Asian greetings down the street (nihao! Konnichiwa!), and finally to people doing "slit eyes". The way I've dealt with these microaggressions in recent years has been through comedy - my Asian friends and I have bonded over our shared experiences, laughing at how truly ridiculous these microaggressions are. Through humor we heal and can move on. This is the spirit of 'STFU!' It was truly a therapeutic experience to condense all the things that people have said to me over the years into a situation that highlights how ridiculous these comments are when said all in one go in a context (like a first date) of flattery."
Thumbnail photo by Hendrik Schneider