• Mariah Reeve

The Women's March anthem 'Quiet' finds its purpose in #MeToo

One year ago this month, the Women's March compelled over three million people around the United States to rally around human rights on Jan. 27, 2017 for one of the largest one-day protests in America’s history.

At one of the largest events, the Women's March on Washington, the singer-songwriter MILCK performed a song that would blossom into the march’s unofficial anthem, according to USA Today.

Before the march, the singer (real name Connie Lim) recorded her song "Quiet," which she wrote about her experiences overcoming traumas including domestic abuse and anorexia. With the help of D.C.-based a cappella groups, MILCK took the song to the Women’s March, forming a flash mob to perform the song for the day's attendees.

Within days, the song went viral, and MILCK’s career transformed. She returns to New York this weekend on Jan. 27, 2018, to perform at the city’s second annual Women’s March, celebrating Friday’s release of her major label debut, "This Is Not The End EP." She'll also make an appearance on the Today show.

“It has been crazy — I have gone from being a DIY artist of like eight years, and just booking one-man gigs and doing everything on my own, a one-woman show,” she told USA Today. “And when the march happened I decided to bring the song 'Quiet' to the streets. Then I started realizing that, ‘Oh, I'm not so alone.’"

But it wasn’t until #MeToo gained momentum that the artist felt ready to officially attach ‘’Quiet’’ to a social movement. Even with the song’s popularity as an anti-Trump anthem, she never felt comfortable with advertising the song as political, in the hopes that listeners could find their own strength and meaning through its lyrics.

“When I first released the song, I put on my site like, ‘I'm a survivor of abuse and anorexia and this is my song in response to it,’” she says. “And so when the song went viral, it became ‘the anti-Trump song,’ it was like a really political thing. And I'm so glad I stuck to the truth...I was like I'm not going to try to please others and say, oh yeah, this is not political. I just stuck with what it really was, my truth.”

Yet, when the #MeToo movement took hold, “I felt this sense of, ‘Here's the home for this song,'” she says. “I finally thought, 'If there's any movement that I'm going to consciously attach my song to, this is it,'" she said. "I've refused to brand it....And so for (#MeToo), I felt that, ‘Okay, this feels right.’ And it was really scary for me.”

“I remember when I was younger, (thinking), ‘Why did I get sexually assaulted? Why do I have anorexia? Why do I have anxiety, why do I feel silenced?’ My song 'Quiet' had been stuck in my throat for years, and I'd been trying to figure out how to say what the song says, but I didn't know how to say it because I just wasn't there emotionally and mentally. And then finally, when I had done enough self-healing and self-love exercises and incessant therapy, I finally heard my inner voice saying, ‘I can't keep quiet.’"