Quiet may have emerged as the unofficial anthem of the Women’s March on Washington, but it’s only political because of its writer’s race and gender.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, the woman behind the song, Connie Lim, explained that while she had written it as the end of 2015, it took her “a lifetime” to write.
“Growing up as a Chinese-American woman, I was torn between two different approaches of living: as a confident American and as a Chinese woman…I was told when I was younger that the smaller a woman was, the smaller her mouth was, the more attractive she was,” she told the audience in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Lim, a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and poet who performs under the stage name MILCK, says that while she didn’t write “it for any political cause,” as an Asian woman, “everything that I do is going to be political because it’s a less-talked-about perspective.”
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The real inspiration for the song was Lim’s experience with sexual assault at age 14. She was told that the rape was her fault and was slut-shamed, as a result of which she developed an eating disorder and body dysmorphia.
Writing the song was therapeutic: “For me, it was like a weight lifted off my chest,” she said, and was an encapsulation of the rage and hurt she had been carrying around since her assault.
Whatever Lim’s intention, Quiet catapulted the singer into the spotlight after a video of a flash mob she performed with a group of strangers in the nation’s capital made the rounds on social media.
As a result, she has performed on a number of national stages (including the one at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen) and has signed with Atlantic Records. Her new album is due for release at the beginning of next year.