Despite the protestations of those, usually on the Right, who never got the memo some forty years ago, or simply don’t understand what either concept means, being an independent artist is in itself a political act. And whether expressed in abstract ways or directly, the powerful role that independent music and other forms of art have always played at fighting injustice and standing firm and true to what is just should never be underestimated.
Given the undermining of and downright brazen attacks on women’s rights, the women’s movement and feminism in recent times, every time an artist proudly invokes feminism and feminist thought its both an act of resistance and an important affirmation of an ideology and movement that is the singular reason opportunities, choices and the lives of women has improved. And when an artist confidently takes to the patriarchy with a metaphorical four by two, with particular attention given to exposing its odious and hopelessly privileged right wing cabal of misogynists, racists and snobs who are actively working to reverse the gains made by women, humanity does move a tad closer in its hopefully inevitable journey to gender equality.
On her inventive standalone new single ‘Cassiopeia’, which comes off the back of her impactful album In A Galaxy from earlier in the year, Rina Mushonga delivers that message in both blistering and constructive ways. Evoking a powerful Egyptian queen from mythology and the imagery of assassins, she serves to remind us of the fundamental role a positive self concept and confident optimism play in summoning the energy to not only face but call out and actively resist injustice. Musically, its impressive polyglot of styles is also an act of defiance, combining as it does dancehall like tendencies with glitchy synth pop, hip hop and R&B and switching effortlessly between them with the same air of confidence exuded by the lyrical message. Things might be tough at present for the progressive thinking section of human society but they’d be that little bit tougher with the absence of futuristic pop artists like Rina Mushonga speaking truth to power.
Rina Mushonga (NET)
From the single, ‘Cassiopeia’ PIAS Holland.