Photo: Amber Marie Chavez
Although now's not exactly the best time to be an American woman, we must remember to recognize and appreciate the fundamental rights we've enjoyed thus far. In the meantime, there are Middle Eastern countries that restrict women from even the most basic freedoms, such as public dating or singing. It was in such a repressively conservative environment where Rotana was born, discovered her musical talent, and decided to empower other women by challenging her own boundaries.
Today, the Saudi Arabian singer introduces herself as a highly formidable force, both musically and personally, with her debut single "Daddy." After moving to the U.S. on an employee scholarship, Rotana pursued music while studying for her master's degree at USC.
She expanded on her background,
"Society does a good job of letting you know what you can and cannot do in order to be accepted and honored. Especially if you’re a woman. If you’re not careful, you can lose sight of who you are and what you believe in. That happened to me. This song is taking my power back as an individual, a human being in all that I am."
Within the first few seconds of "Daddy," Rotana's steadfast mission becomes overwhelmingly undeniable. Confident declarations like "You started a war, and now you won't fight" and "Strike me once, I'm going to strike back twice" take on powerful symbolism for the retaliation of any suppressed societal group against its "Daddy." The lyrics are supplemented by fierce vocal prowess and explosive percussion, making "Daddy" a fully baked "F U" to the oppressor.
Rotana shared on her inspiration,
"It’s about the moment you step into your power. It’s the decision to be fully, totally unapologetically who you are. In that moment, you aren’t scared of shit. In that moment, it’s all heat, power and 'Whachu gon’ do, Daddy?' Daddy is the oppressor, the bully. Daddy is societal boundaries, the obsession with celebrity and wealth, anything that requires you to dilute yourself. Daddy is the voice in your head that has convinced you, you can’t."
"Daddy" will be officially released tomorrow, January 27, and your exclusive preview is below.