Raye Zaragoza‘s sophomore album, Woman in Color, came out on October 23rd, 2020. The folk-country singer-songwriter and guitarist put out several singles leading up to the release, including “Fight Like a Girl”, “The It Girl”, “They Say” and “Red.”
This collection of tunes is powerful and political. Sonically, her songs are diverse and stunning, with upbeat pop flare at times and Americana vibes at others. Zaragoza’s voice is a force to be reckoned with. On Woman in Color, she uses it to tell stories that unfortunately aren’t always told.
Bridging Art & Politics
Zaragoza takes several stances on this album, particularly around the racism and prejudice faced by women of colour.
In her tongue-in-cheek tune, “The It Girl”, Zaragoza sings she “could tell [she] was living in a world that wasn’t made for brown skinned girls.” Although upbeat in sound, it is a plea to make space for women of colour in various mediums.
On the piano-driven song, “Red”, Zaragoza sheds a light on missing and murdered Indigenous women. She urges women in her communities to be safe while honouring the memories of those lost.
On “They Say”, she addresses systemic economic issues in North America. She begins with the music industry itself, where she asks, “if they say folk music’s for the elite, well then whose gonna sing for me?” “They Say” delves deeper into unaffordable healthcare and the difficulty for many to make a living wage. Perhaps the tune that sums up Woman in Color best is “Warrior”, where Zaragoza declares she “doesn’t feel afraid anymore.”
Zaragoza, is of Japanese, Mexican and Native American descent from New York state. She has been rising up for her communities since her debut album, Fight for You. Check out her latest album and support her craft here.
Photo Credit: Raye Zaragoza