An Interview With The Songwriting Collective WOMEN GET OUT TO VOTE All About Their Powerful Folk-Pop Anthem, ‘We Need You’!
With the election now less then a week away, it’s fitting that All Access shares this interview with the songwriting collective, Women Get Out To Vote. “We Need You” is their anthem. It is the work of everyday American women from all different walks of life, united by the belief that a small group of people can make a huge difference.
“We Need You” is protest folk-pop as powerful and memorable as the tunes that transformed the country in the 60s and 70s. Conceived of by the songwriting collective, Creative Natives, and featuring members Brittany Brook, Dahlia Dumont, and Virgina Marcs, with Jessenia Vargas, Symone “Ximone” Stewart and Soleil Laurent, “We Need You” is the call to action we need. Writer, voice actor, and fellow Creative Native Charity James (Space Jam and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), contributed to the arrangement, along with singer, songwriter and comedian, Caitlin Cook. The time has come, the message is clear: We, your nation, and democracy itself needs women voters everywhere.
The members of Team We Need You were spurred to action by the daily horrors in the headlines, the struggling post office, and the decisiveness of our political climate. Their song “We Need You” has a triumphant, acoustic swing reminiscent of Vietnam-and Civil Rights-era populist troubadours like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and The Mamas and the Papas. Its “power to the people” message is a reminder of a truth that many of us may have forgotten recently. Democracy only works for us if we work for democracy. Its guitar jangle and chorus vocals are firmly rooted in timeless American pop, but it looks to the future for its inspiration. The track directly addresses women voters to fill the ballot boxes, make the calls, and spread the word. In this election, women matter more than ever, and only with everyone on board can we overwhelm the odds that can sometimes feel overwhelming.
“We want to empower the historical turnout needed to honor the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment and the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act,” shares Brittany Brook.
Name by name, state by state, Team We Need You encourages women to share the song and video to inspire women to vote in record numbers in the 2020 Presidential Election. Share it out with #weneedyou2020, call or WhatsApp the group at 347-473-2449 to find out how to volunteer. Team We Need You made the video; now it’s up to us to make a difference.
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Learn more about Women Get Out To Vote in this All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Can you recall the moment when you all thought that you could be in this group together? How did you all initially meet each other? What gave you the idea for the band concept? How did you go about choosing the name?
All six of us use our voices as our artform, which ultimately resulted in a bond between us to create a theme song for democracy. We also all agree that the times we are living in ultimately placed a call to action at our feet when we learned that 50 million registered female voters did not vote in 2016. It’s unfortunate that we live in a country where we can all practice the freedom to voice our opinions and vote for our leaders, and yet so many of us have taken this for granted.
Three of us, Brittany, Dahlia and Virginia are in a songwriting collective called Creative Natives. The idea for the song came from that collective, and focused on the simple message that we need you, with “you” being a wave of women voters that could honor the battles women before us fought to ensure our right to vote.
Before starting this band, how important has music been in all your lives? How does it continue to shape your lives?
We are all recording artists, so music touches every aspect of our lives. We have completely different backgrounds, yet the music we make today, this project, and everything we do in the future will continue to shape our lives.
Let’s talk about your protest song, “We Need You.” How exactly did it come together? How did writer and voice actor Charity James and comedian Caitlin Cook get involved with the track?
Well, if we are going for exactly, Paul-Anthony Surdi is a songwriter in the Creative Natives collective who brought the song to the collective. We liked it, so he handed it over to the women in the collective to make it their own. Caitlin Cook was Paul-Anthony’s assistant, who helped organize zoom meetings so we could all work on it while being stuck in quarantine. She also happened to be a super talented singer-songwriter herself, which was great. Charity was helping us make lyric and melody adjustments the whole time, yet the commitment she has to taking care of her mom right now, prevented her from finding the time to be part of the video. Craig Levy from Little Pioneer Cider House Studios led the songs production, and Paul-Anthony produced and directed the video. Betty Jo Moore did the editing. We really found ourselves surrounded by amazing teammates!
Do you have plans to release more of this kind of empowering music?
The team works so well together and we love the idea of using music to inspire others, so if you or anyone else has ideas, we’re all ears.
What has it been like being featured on so many news programs and elsewhere?
Exciting, to say the least! By the time we heard the final version of the song, we all had a feeling something really cool was possible.
What was it like making the music video for “We Need You”? How creatively involved with the overall process were you?
One of the things that was really great, is that we got to all have a lot of fun. Paul-Anthony kept emphasizing that we should let loose and express ourselves. He kept emphasizing that we should have as much fun as possible and shamelessly find ways to liberate our personalities, which in itself, was liberating.
How do you hope to empower women to get out there and vote in this historic election?
We hope our simple and direct message will be enough to inspire an earth shattering record number of women across the country to vote. We absolutely believe that women can change the world if we vote in every election. Remember ladies, we need you!