Western society, both culturally and politically, currently feels like an endless spiral into disarray, a feeling compounded by apathy toward the pain suffered by so many people around the world. These issues have motivated multinational artist Raye Zaragoza to express her passion for activism through her creative work and to become a beacon of light for the ignored and weary minority.
Zaragoza's Native American (O'odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese descent endows her with a worldly viewpoint of society and forms the foundation of her passion for activism. In particular, she focuses on the cost of the “American Dream” from the Native American perspective. Zaragoza explains, “So many people have issues with immigrants entering our country. Many fail to realize that if you’re not Native American, you are an immigrant as well. It’s time that we learn from our past and promote peace rather than intolerance.”
She wrote her standout song, “In the River,” as a response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. She’s shared it on the front lines of #NoDAPL rallies and at Standing Rock itself, as she stood alongside other activists in below-freezing temperatures. This song quickly became an anthem within the protest community, was awarded an Honesty Oscar for Best Activist Anthem, and was placed in Paste Magazine’s list of Modern Day Protest Songs, alongside respected artists like Kendrick Lamar and A Tribe Called Quest. Her protest anthem has since gained traction within the mainstream music world, and has stimulated the conversations she hopes to see within all communities.
With her upcoming album, Fight For You, Zaragoza continues her quest to feed the passion of protest. As part of that quest, she will allocate a portion of album sales to Indigenous rights organizations. She notes that this album will also be a reflection of her own personal fight toward self-discovery. She further elaborates, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about getting older and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose. We have the power to be on the right side of history, and to make sure the atrocities of history do not repeat.”
Fight For You was self-produced with the help of Grammy-nominated engineer Justin Hergett, and was recorded in New York City at Dubway Studios with Chris Montgomery. The album is slated for release on June 28th 2017, following her European tour. The album release show will be at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on June 30th, 2017.