• Amy Toledano

Why Sigrid is the Feminist Pop Star The World Needs

Norwegian pop singer Sigrid burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut EP Don't Kill My Vibe. Since then she has continued to produce fun and feminist-themed pop music that speaks volumes in terms of its strength and progressive ideas and lyrics.

Sigrid's debut also coincided with my breakup from my partner of five years. This breakup was particularly difficult as I am an Aussie who moved to London with him in 2015. Making the decision to split with someone I had spent such a long time building a life with was the most difficult thing I had ever done. Thankfully I had my brilliant friends and family who supported me through the experience.

This was also when I also discovered "Don't Kill My Vibe".

The moment I heard the opening lyrics "You shot me down/You like the control./You speak to me/Like I'm a child" I was hooked. The idea that I, a woman who had spent majority of her life, connected at the hip to her then-boyfriend, could break away from that and feel like her own woman, all through honest and communicative dialogue was a breakthrough.

Grasping at the idea of being a young, strong, well-put-together woman, I plunged head first into the music that saved me from myself at a time where I was very close to spiralling out of control.

Cut to 2019 and the tunes just keep getting better! With songs that highlight the real excitement of first love in a world we are all hella busy, to bangers that kick that annoying mainsplainer to the curb, Sigrid has found a niché that speaks to people who are ready for a new chapter of pop music that is inclusive, truthful and just loads of fun.

If you are looking for some real gut-punching honesty, here is a list of her most powerful tunes.

Suckerpunch For the one you didn't see coming.

The title track from the album, Suckerpunch pulses with the idea that sometimes the person you didn't plan on meeting comes along and throws you for six. That even though people may have hurt you before, the glorious, terrifying feeling that your emotions are real and that maybe this person is exactly as they appear, is important and one that everyone feels at some point in their lives.

Favourite lyric: I try to come up with the bad things/Didn't wanna write a happy song/You've got only good reactions/So I don't wanna be the one to/Fuck this up, I swear/Out of nowhere.

Don't Feel Like Crying: The clue is in the title for this one.

Breakups are never fun, but maybe they don't have to be as crappy as we thought. Instead of going home and wallowing in the sadness, Sigrid suggests we take a night off and dance our asses off instead! Everyone deals with things differently so why not embrace that?

Favourite Lyric: Hope you don't blame me/For what I'm saying/My heart is aching/Do you feel it too?/I hope you understand that I'm dealing/It's my way of healing/But here is the truth

In Vain: The breakup song that flips the stereotype on its head.

Sigrid is clever here, while the song opens with the usual heart break lyrics about how she should have seen what was happening,and that things are not the way they seem, the chorus brings a new understanding of the situation. This is a song of anger and strength, Sigrid is not taking this crappy relationship lying down (and neither should you!) and is more than happy to tell this person to get the hell out because she is not about to give her heart in vain to someone who doesn't deserve it.

Favourite Lyric: So don't you stay if you don't mean it/If you don't feel it and just fuck me up/ again/Please walk away/and we'll just leave it/Or were you thinking I would give my heart in vain? Important to mention: The song is very simple and acoustic up until the end of verse two, in which the song takes a sudden turn and reminds us of the pop queen that she is. Her smile can almost be heard as she belts out the final chorus with a new understanding of her emotions. Brilliant.

Never Mine: For the mates and ex lovers who don't understand what being a feminist actually is.

This one has a particularly strong relevance to me, as I listened to it approximately 70 times after having an argument with a male friend who made me feel small and alienated due to my gender. This song highlights the importance of understanding that we don't have ownership over others, and we can never understand the way other people really think inside their minds. Sigrid reminds us that the things we see in people aren't always exactly that, and when we put people on a pedestal it can have disappointing consequences. Sometimes what is most important is looking after yourself even if it means letting go of someone who isn't right.

Favourite Lyric: I don't wanna lose a friend/But you make it hard to feel okay/For you, for you do anything/But I don't want a bitter end/Yeah, I don't wanna lose a friend

Raw: For the person who cares about honesty, always.

Everyone has been with someone, whether it was in a romantic or platonic sense, who thinks that you adore them and will always be there no matter what. Who have no worries taking the piss and expecting you to adhere to their every whim without a peep. Well Sigrid says no way José (not strictly for those called José however, I just like that I got to use the rhyme)! Time to say bye bye to their bullshit and remember you are you and no one else. You call the shots on your own life, and you do not have to pretend to be anything but exactly that.

Favourite Lyric: You know I'm terrible at putting up a show, oh/That's what you wanted me for/So I get pissed off when you ask me to be more

Dynamite: For when a relationship ends, and it is for the best (even though it really sucks.)

Sometimes, people grow apart. The person we thought was the one for us, turns out to be someone else. And that is okay. Yes, it is really reeealllly hard but, it is apart of life. It hurts and hurting is normal and understanding that is even more important. Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, sometimes we fall out of love, and that is something that everyone is allowed to do, always.

Favourite Lyric: Your hand is warm but my heart is blue/Is blue now/I miss you, but I've got things to do

High Five: For that over-opinionated wanker who everybody bitches about but no one ever stands up to.

Ugh. This guy (or whatever gender or non-gender this person identifies as). Everyone knows one. And for some reason we let them chat their shit in the hopes that they will go away (spoiler: they don't). Never fear though, Sigrid knows that this person will realise that the room full of people that they think they have is simply smoke and mirrors. I mean, there isn't much point in high-fiving yourself.

Favourite lyric: (it's a tie!) Ooh, everybody loves a show/Lights on, they all go home/You won't let anybody close/That high five is all you got AND And you wonder why, wonder why/No one's by your side, by your side/When the room goes quiet

Focus: For reminding yourself that it is okay to put yourself first.

On the other side of the Dynamite coin, some relationships are toxic. And sooner or later we need to put an end to them. Being caught in the place where we know we need to leave, but want to stay is the moment Sigrid pin points here- and how truthful it is. Throughout the course of this song Sigrid reveals the discovery of understanding that this relationship is not healthy and it is time to go.

Favourite lyric: Don't let me crawl to you, 'cause I'm not that kind of girl/I will not degrade myself even if it means that we are not a we

Don't Kill My Vibe: For when you want to remember that it is important to take up space and be heard.

Tattoo this saying on your body, write it on your mirror and add it to your morning mantra. You are young. You are strong. You are you. And that is totally enough. Do not take other people's judgement and negativity to heart. Stand tall and go headfirst into the idea that this life is yours to live- so do it well for YOU, not anyone else.

Favourite Lyric (very difficult to choose but it's fairly obvious) You think you're so important to me, don't you?/But I wanted you to know that you don't belong here/You think you're so important to me, don't you?/Don't kill my vibe!

Now turn up your headphones and boogie your way through life with the same ethos as Sigrid! (Say I'm young, I don't care, I won't quit, no, no, no, ho clap clap clap clap)

Amy x

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