Artist: Rhiannon Giddens
Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina
Song: “Don’t Call Me Names”
Release Date: August 23, 2020
In Their Words: “The framework in the song is a love affair, but it can happen in any kind of connection. The real story was accepting my inner strength and refusing to continue being gaslit and held back; and refusing to keep sacrificing my mental health for the sake of anything or anyone.
“I don’t often write personal songs but this one has stayed with me — it poured out then and has just sat there waiting for the right time. I got a chance to do it with some incredible musicians and a fabulous producer and I’m thrilled it’s going to be out in the world; when I listen to it, the anger that I felt then is the anger I feel [now] at my entire country being gaslit, held back, and sacrificed. We have to keep saying NO to toxic behavior, no matter how small or large the stage, and keep saying it nice and loud.” — Rhiannon Giddens
Photo credit: Ebru Yildiz