Summer for many people means hanging out at the beach, vacations, coconut-scented sunscreen, bbq’s, and late night sunsets. It also means going to music festivals practically every weekend, at almost every vacant field or national park imaginable, spanning one day events, to one week camping trips.
While social media accounts will flicker pictures of good times and wild costumes, music festivals in the last few years have also revealed darker themes such as sexism against women artists and threats of rape and sexual assault against women patrons.
For the very first episode of June and to mark the music festival season, I’m very happy to present this episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman, called UpROAR, a special episode about women and music festivals featuring internationally-renowned American-Chilean singer, songwriter and Ruidosa Festival founder Francisca Valenzuela. Also on this episode is an interview with Ottawa-based rapper and activist Kira-Lynn Ferderber and lead consultant of Project SoundCheck.
Francisca Valenzuela is an American-born Latin pop singer, songwriter, and pianist from Chile who broke through to mainstream success there in 2007 with the smash hit single “Dulce.” Born March 17, 1987, in San Francisco, CA, she began studying music at a young age, learning both classical piano and acoustic guitar. She also began writing at a young age; most notably, a book of her poems, Defenseless Waters, was published in 2000 by El Andar Books with a prologue by famous Chilean author Isabel Allende. Around the same time her book was published, Valenzuela moved with her family from the United States to Chile. In 2004, as she was completing high school, she began performing her music in the clubs of Santiago. A couple years later she began hosting her music on MySpace, and one of her songs, “Peces,” was picked up for radio airplay. Meanwhile, she was offered a recording contract with the label Feria Music and collaborated with producers Mauricio Durán and Francisco Durán of Los Bunkers on her full-length debut album, Muérdete la Lengua (2007). On the heels of “Peces,” the single “Dulce” was given an official release in December 2006; moreover, its promotional video was released in January 2007 and eventually picked for rotation on MTV Latin America in March. One of the most popular songs of 2007 in Chile, “Dulce” went all the way to number two on the national singles chart. A series of follow-up singles was released in its wake, including the Top Ten hit “Muérdete la Lengua,” the Top 30 hit “Afortunada,” and “Muleta.” In 2008, amid the continued success of Muérdete la Lengua and its long run of hit singles, a deluxe edition of the album was released with a bonus track remix of “Muleta” by Jorge González of Los Prisioneros and a bonus DVD comprised of promotional videos and live recordings. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
Kira-Lynn Ferderber is a feminist rapper and radical trans queer activist. Through Project SoundCheck, Kira-Lynn works to make music festivals safer for women and everyone, by designing and teaching anti-racist approaches to bystander intervention to prevent sexual violence. You might know them as Young K, or hip-hop’s Mayor of Ottawa. Kira-Lynn delivers workshops to youth on identity, music, and culture, and is currently writing on the decriminalization of sex work, and the intersections of art and disability.
Francisca Valenzuela, Kira-Lynn Ferderber, Sexual Assault Network in Ottawa, Elysse Cloma, Jessica Lio, Karina Tapnio, Mitch Lee, Jordan Leask, and Stefanie Rangel.
Intro/Outro music: “Elephant” by Adam Selzer licensed under CC BY NC. Remix from the original.
“I Guess So” by Steve Combs licensed under CC BY. Remix from the original.
“Uke Improve in C” by Steve Combs licensed under CC BY.
“Pluck and Bounce” by Adam Selzer licensed under CC BY NC. Remix from the original.
“Whistle and Action” by Adam Selzer licensed under CC BY NC.
“Kill Your Darlings” by Steve Combs licensed under CC BY.
“General Mix-up March” by the Arthur Pryors Marching Band licensed under CC PD. Remix from the original.