The headline for Los Angeles-based Raye Zaragoza’s new album Hold That Spirit is that after she broke off her engagement, she used her wedding budget to fund the recording. She wrote the songs the year she turned 30 while she was thinking of the expectations placed on women in society to have everything together at a certain age: marriage, kids, career, etc. She’s decided to let those expectations go and live in the joy that life offers, and explores her newfound freedom and indigenous identity in these new songs. She’s moving forward as a role model in Los Angeles’ indigenous community, which she has been a part of since she was 14 years old.
We go through the album track by track covering topics of social justice, eating disorders and perfectionism. She worked exclusively with female collaborators on Hold That Spirit, which allowed Raye a vulnerability in her writing sessions and studio time that she had yet to experience. She found co-writing with other women an easy space to feel emotionally safe. Working with like-minded feminists and activists fueled this album, which has allowed Raye to begin to break through those unfair expectations society places on women. In our conversation, Raye is thoughtful and serious, yet fun and playful even with such heavy topics addressed. Thank you, Raye!
Photo Credit: Bolora Munkhbold