Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
It’s not easy to face the truth. Fear, doubt, self-loathing plague you, often careening your psyche into an endless loop. Your assault plays over and over and over again. All you want is someone to listen, to comfort you, to believe you. #MeToo and #TimesUp, both movements ignited on social media, serve as tools to aid survivors in their journey to rediscovering their identity and reclaiming a sense of control. Like many, sprightly newcomer Somaya has had enough. With her daring new single “Stand Up,” she outlines a rather common scenario many sexual assault victims find themselves wading through, rather fearlessly. “She walk into the house surrounded by friends,” she sings on the opening lyric, dressing the scene with maturity well beyond her years.
“She took each shot down, didn’t want the night to end / Till he got her alone and took a piece of her,” she confesses, wearing her heart and that tragic moment on her sleeve, almost like a scarlet letter. “You say, ‘Brush it off.’ But there’s no cure.” Somaya walks a tight rope, and her voice colors with every shade of emotion, from anger and sullenness to heroism and optimism.
“We’re saying, ‘We’ve had enough’ / So stand up!” reads the twinkling hook, zagging between stark pianos and quaking drum loops. By the time the synths erupt, you can’t help but cheer for her bravery. “Sexual assault is a very personal issue to me, and I was tired of hearing the classic ‘boys will be boys’ excuse, so I decided to write a song about standing up against it,” she told a reporter last year. “I don’t think victims receive enough support, so hopefully this song can help them feel less alone and encourage society to stand up against it, as well.”
The story gets even grimmer when everyone around her has all but abandoned her. “The man in the uniform, he won’t help / Says there’s nothing he can do / So, she blames herself,” Somaya sings, cutting her heart open and dissecting the searing mental trauma. “And now anytime a guy gets close, she gets scared / And she lies awake at night crying, ‘How is this fair?!?'”
“Stand Up” is lifted from Somaya’s debut album of the same name, which covers other such topics as alcoholism and love.