18. Radical Alliance with Raye Zaragoza

In this episode we have a deep and inspiring conversation with Raye Zaragoza, a 29 year old singer/songwriter who has always had the courage to forge her own path.  As a Japanese-American, Mexican, Indigenous woman, issues of belonging, skin color, and feeling as if she was on the outside flow through her music.  She explains that trusting in herself and the universe has brought her great success and allowed her to follow her passion.
In our conversation we cover:
  • How Raye took an alternative route of not attending college despite straight A’s because she knew it wasn’t the right path for her, but that this challenged other people’s sense of reality and made them uncomfortable.
  • How Raye was able to bust through many culturally conditioned stories at such a young age, and actually find herself in her 20s versus having to wait until she was much older.  This young woman is a wise soul!
  • The importance of leaving behind politeness in order to get to a place of empowerment.
  • We play a clip of Raye’s song “Run with the Wolves” based on our favorite book “Women who Run with the Wolves” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. (We love that Raye has read this book already and even ripped off the front cover of her copy and has it framed!)
  • Raye talks about the importance of “radical alliance” – this term feels so timely and powerful.  We discuss how women can support one another in a pack, and how women can be good sisters in radical alliance.  

About Raye:

Raye Zaragoza is a galvanizing presence, a self-assured artist making music to fight for, represent, and celebrate those left too long outside the spotlight. Known for tenacious feminist anthems and fearless protest folk, her stage presence teems with determined morale. As a Japanese-American, Mexican, Indigenous woman, Zaragoza spent much of her early life trying to assimilate with the world around her, to meet punishing standards of beauty synonymous with just one color of skin—and not her own. She has come a long way from that youthful pain, proclaiming “I am proud to be a multicultural brown woman with insecurities and a vibrant intersectional identity that I continue to grapple with. I hope young girls of today will know that the It Girl is whatever the hell they want to be.”

In the aftermath of her breakthrough single, “In The River,” Zaragoza released Fight For You, the protest-driven debut she says had her “finding my voice as a woman of color.” Upon releasing her first full-length, she discovered the beauty, significance, and necessity of her natural identity in a broader conversation; she was ready to celebrate what made her “different” and invigorate those of similar struggles to do the same. This rightful confidence radiates across Woman In Color, Zaragoza’s sophomore album out now on Rebel River Records, her own independent label. The album delivers powerful missives about embracing one’s own identity and discovering the power behind it, all across brisk, emotive, compelling folk melodies. Once deemed “one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre” by Paste Magazine, Raye Zaragoza now offers an intimate exploration of coming into her own, in a country where for many, simply existing is political. Through this album, Raye has written a collection of spirited canticles for herself, for womanhood, and for all the people who had to come together in such an event of divine coincidence that led to her existence.
Follow her on Instagram: @rayezaragoza
Check her out on tour this summer: Tour | Raye Zaragoza