Welcome to our ‘The Truth Behind the Song’ feature. For this feature, we’ve asked a number of our favourite artists to give us in-depth piece about a song that has a special place in their heart. Today we feature the brilliant Tai Shan, who gives us an insight into the meaning behind ‘Burn it Down’.
I remember her squirming in her chair as we asked her. “Is this what you really want?” She paused, wrinkling her lip between her teeth. “I don’t know what I want, all I know is he loves me, I love him and we can never be together as long as he’s with her. I just wish I could burn it all down.” That is how the song started, in the smoldering embers of a woman in love with a married man. It had been going on for a while with my friend, Sarah (her name is changed at her request.) Sarah had always been the kind of woman to fall for the broken type. He had done those things we all imagine, tell her she was perfect, buy her flowers and then sneaks around for a quick one in his car before heading home to the wife and kid. Sarah was tired, dark half-moons dipped below her eyes and pulled the gravity of her cheeks to a downward frown. “All I know is I’m angry,” she said.
My response was to write “Burn it Down.” Too many women are told to wait, to calm down, to think clearly. Sometimes we feel like we have been pushed into a corner and we need to get the hell out of there. We have the right to be angry. Without angry women would we have rights like the right to vote, to be corset free, to travel the world without a chaperone? I don’t think so. It’s only when we “Burn it Down” do we rise above.
100 years ago the 19th amendment was ratified in the United States granting women, like me, and my young daughter, the right to vote. My video “Burn It Down,” acknowledges women’s frustrations, with the political climate and aims to inspire them to get out and vote for change—to honor all the women who have found their voice through their vote.