story / Chloe Robinson
Dark Pop artist Zosia’s new single Overthrown is a powerful and inspiring creation of her frustration of the way society treats sexual assault victims. With her deeply poignant lyrics and stunning layered vocals, it transports you on a journey through the eyes of a victim. The video’s simplistic yet compelling imagery draws you into another world while taking you through a sea of emotions.
So many people can relate to Overthrown because it’s something many women deal with on a regular basis. Zosia continually suffers from feelings of shame and self-doubt,but has found a positive outlet through her music. Having written songs since as young as nine, Zosia has honed in on her craft and has a true talent for her art. Check out the video for Overthrown below.
How has coping with being a victim of sexual assault influenced your musical journey and what is it like being a voice for others that have dealt with similar struggles?
Before Overthrown I didn’t realize how often I would unconsciously hint at sexual assault themes in my music. Now it’s clear how much I wanted to express those feelings, and writing Overthrown was very cathartic in that way. Any sort of trauma is fuel for art.
I was very nervous to release the song, to put into words what I know many people are privately feeling. I wasn’t sure what reaction I would receive. But after hearing such positive responses to the message, I’m glad I didn’t let my fear hold me back. I’m proud that I was able to turn a painful moment into a song that can hopefully help others suffering in a similar way.
How have the philosophic teachings of Isaac Asimov and Pythagoras inspired you lyrically and what are the most important lessons you’ve learned from them?
The most important thing I’ve learned from these philosophers is to not be afraid of the unknown, but rather to use that anxiety as kindling for something beautiful. Asimov and Pythagoras both explored the intersection of science and philosophy, which has helped shape some of my work. Pythagoras’ Music of the Spheres theory has heavily influenced my own philosophy and lyrics, because I love the idea that there is an elegant relationship between music and the patterns of the universe.
There’s something very moving and powerful about simplicity of your video, what was the process in coming up with the video’s concept?
I started with the idea of having a dancer as the driving force of the video, someone to embody the different emotions I sing about. I met Ryan Lee earlier this year and knew she’d be perfect for the part. I told her all about the song and its meaning and then let her come up with the moves which she decided to improv. I wanted her to be in a desolate room to give a sense of being trapped and isolated, so we found a warehouse space in Downtown LA. Because Ryan’s dancing is so captivating, I wanted the rest of the video very simple to keep the focus on her.
The song expresses your deep frustration with society’s treatment of sexual assault victims, what kind of change would you like to see happen within society and what can others do to help facilitate change?
My hope is that victims are less afraid to speak out and report any sort of sexual misconduct. Most of my life I kept quiet for fear of disturbing the peace, and I still find it hard to say something when I begin to feel uncomfortable. I think this is because we habitually teach young girls to be amicable above all else and because calling out sexual assault often feels taboo in our society. It can be easier to ignore the situation than deal with it, but that’s something that has to change. One important thing we can all do is listen without judgment when someone we know has been affected by assault. When a victim is judged and disregarded by just one person, it can feel like the whole world wants them to stay quiet.
What advice would you give to anyone who’s been through a similar situation to yours and has also fought with feelings of shame and low self worth?
I hope that they know they are not alone in what they are feeling. I would advise them to find someone who they can be open with about their experiences. If that’s not possible, just write it down on paper, and continue to write regularly. I hope they remind themselves that being a victim is not a permanent label and healing will come over time. I would suggest reading books about others who have been through similar abuse, like Lucky by Alice Sebold or Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis. It’s therapeutic to read someone else’s candid thoughts as well as inspiring to see how much they’ve accomplished despite their past.
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