Since the release of her EP Ghosts with Spectra Music Group, Kiirstin Marilyn has embarked on a new independent musical journey with her latest single, She.
She, co-written and co-produced by Justin Ardolino, with additional instrumentation by Benny Reiner, expresses Kiirsten’s vulnerability as an artist as well as a citizen of the world.
While Ghosts began to expose Kiirstin’s true social and political beliefs, She considers not only the tenor of our current times, but also the history of nations as well as the personal history of generations of women.
She began as an homage to Kiirstin’s grandmother, Linda Liholm, who fled Soviet oppression and the occupation of Estonia in 1944, after Germany lost World War II. Boarding trains and boats that were beyond capacity, Linda, with her 4-month-old child, Ulo Kuhi, narrowly escaped a future in a Siberian concentration camp or death.
Through the process of writing this song, Kiirstin discovered a profound empathy for her grandmother and a deep connection to her that she had never felt before:
“I always knew my grandmother came here as a refugee of World War II, but her story was always more of an abstract idea without any real understanding of the history behind it.”
“My grandmother and I did not speak the same language. I was a very American kid, and growing up I just couldn’t connect with my immigrant grandmother. I wished she was ‘normal.’ I wished she spoke English. I wished she was everything other than who she was, and only as I’ve gotten older and educated myself beyond the American education system, have I realized how short-sighted that mentality was.”
“My grandmother endured so much hardship and heartache to allow for me to have what has been a fairly easy life here in the United States. I’ve never known war. I’ve never known hunger. I’ve never known true fear.”
As the song began to really take form, Kiirstin realized that She had morphed from a song just about Linda to a song for all women empowered by the generations before them who fought for equal rights. In our current political climate, just after electing a misogynistic ‘leader’ to the highest office in the land, Kiirstin felt she needed to raise her voice for women and use her music to encourage others to demand their voices also be heard.
The official video for She, shot and edited by V4V Productions, features images from the 2017 Women’s March in Washington D.C., which Kiirstin attended with her mother, Valerie Kuhi, along with a million other like-minded women. While being a song specifically inspired by and about Kiirstin’s grandmother, She aspires to be an anthem for all women who continue to fight for liberation and equality.