One evening I was scrolling through the depths of YouTube when I came across a video of Malala Yousafzai. She was being interviewed shortly after accepting her Noble Peace Prize and the reporter asked, “If you saw them again, what would you say to the two members of the Taliban who tried to kill you?”
She paused and thought for a moment before her reply. “I would thank them, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t have the platform I do now to talk about female education and youth empowerment.” I thought this was such an exquisite example of blaming responsibly. Every act has a relational impact on one’s self, and if we are to blame someone for something terrible, we must also give them credit for the awkward and beautiful flowers that grow from that garden. I wanted to write a song that was a letter directly to one’s perpetrator but could also be scanned down as a love song — as they all are.
Early on in the music production with Ryan Hommel (Amos Lee, Heather Maloney), I kept seeing a Roller Derby team skating around in my head. It was an emotional anchor to keep the track fun and playful but also violent and physical, elements that all felt true to Malala’s transformation of trauma to gratitude. I’m so happy to say that no one is skating around in my head anymore. In fact, the fine members of the Albany All-Stars Roller Derby team generously skated on camera for us and we made a dope-ass music video!