CLAY’s Anti-Orange campaign fiercely supports The Equity Alliance, reminding us what we’re fighting to change
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE BY BREYONA HOLT
Born and raised in San Francisco, CLAY’s creativity can’t be separated from her activism. Thanks to her biracial upbringing, and as a proud member of the LGBTQI community, CLAY is unwavering when it comes to penning politically-charged lyrics.
Taken from her debut EP hues, Orange and the meaning behind it, seems more pertinent than ever in 2020. What was once her favourite colour was turned on its head all thanks to Donald Trump. So, obviously CLAY was going to write a song about it.
Of course it’s not enough to just be loud and outspoken, CLAY knows this and that’s why she’s partnering with The Equity Alliance for a campaign titled Anti-Orange for the track’s relaunch as a means to make a lasting, positive, impactful change. We caught up with CLAY to find out more!
DIVA: Tell us the story behind the Anti-Orange campaign.
CLAY: I wrote the song orange about Donald Trump and how he ruined the colour orange. Every time I looked at a sunset or peeled a tangerine, I couldn’t help but think of him. With the general election coming up, I wanted to utilise the song to raise awareness and channel funds into an organisation on the ground working towards voter justice.
How has it been working with The Equity Alliance? What about their work and their mission connected with you?
Black womxn have led this country through the darkest of times, and are building the future that I want to live in. As an artist, I seek to use my voice and platform to contribute to this future, this movement, one that is inclusive and just. The Equity Alliance is a black women-led non profit organisation “that seeks to equip citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives.” They believe in using “voting power as a weapon in the fight for social and economic justice.”
What does the song mean to you? Have you had fans tell you of any other interpretations they’ve had of the lyrics?
The beautiful thing about art is that it can (and should be) interpreted in many ways. It is up to the viewer, or listener to decide for themselves what it means to them. Although I initially wrote this song about Trump, I’ve gotten a lot of messages thanking me for writing their “favourite break-up song”. I guess given the results of this election, it is a break up song of sorts. Bye bye Donald!
Why is it so important for you to engage in political activism so passionately as a queer biracial woman?
I think given the year that we have had it’s impossible for anyone to remain complacent and/or silent. I had the immense privilege of growing up in a city, San Francisco, that taught me the importance of using my voice at a very early age. A city with such a rich history of being deeply rooted in social and political justice movements. As a white presenting, biracial woman I feel an innate responsibility to use my privilege and my power to uplift, empower and fight for the liberation of my people, of all people.
As a queer woman I feel a deep affinity with the LGBTQAI+ community, with the tireless work of the black and brown trans women who laid the foundation for our collective freedom and equality. I am passionate about these issues both because of my intersecting identities and because I am a citizen of this world.
Have you ever felt held back from engaging in these issues at all?
I personally have not, and that speaks to both my privilege and proximity to liberal, like-minded communities.
What other ways have you been engaging in political activism this year?
I have been to many protests and have lent my voice and platform whenever and however I could. I am currently working with both my partner and a few close members of my immediate community to flesh out the DNA of a 501c(3) called the Collective Power Project. We will hopefully be launching in early 2021.
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my “tangerine dreaming” orange merch 🍊 link in my bio! 100% of proceeds go to @theequityalliance a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that “seeks to equip citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives. EA believe in using our voting power as a weapon in the fight for social and economic justice.” ✊🏽👏🏽🙏🏽
How have you been taking care of yourself this year, too?
I have had many self care days, weeks. I have learned to be patient with myself, to truly let myself feel whatever it is that I need to feel in order to move through healing.
What can others do to get involved with this campaign?
I’d love others to use the song however they see fit! There have been an array of creators on TikTok and Instagram who have used the song for so many creative videos. I’m donating 100% of my portion of the streaming revenue and the entire merch store to the Equity Alliance, so the more creative content, the merrier!
Can we expect anymore music before the end of 2020?
I may be sharing some very unofficial demos across my socials this year, but the bulk of new music will arrive in 2021! I’m in the final phases of mixing and mastering my EP! I cannot wait to share it!
What do you hope 2021 brings?
In 2021, I hope that we finally reckon with our violent past (and present) and truly do the work it will take to heal the soul of the U.S. and the world. I hope in this work, we can become more unified as a people.
On a personal note, I truly hope musicians are able to safely tour next year. As music is such a unifying, transcendent and healing force. I’d love to be able to perform and share my music with audiences in person.
Support the Anti-Orange campaign by purchasing CLAY’s merch in support of The Equity Alliance right here.