After performing and writing music with her current project for more than five years, singer songwriter, Raye Zaragoza, is set to release her first full length album titled, “Fight For You.”
In a phone interview with Indian Country Media Network, Zaragoza, 24, explained that three of the tracks on her new new album were written specifically in response to her experience of visiting Standing Rock and the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline. She said she considers several of the songs to be “activist songs” in opposition to the pipeline.
Other pieces on the album, she said, include broader activism songs that touch on the injustices Native Americans and the environment has endured throughout history as well as her own experiences growing up in New York.
“I really admire artists who, in history, have taken it upon themselves to inspire others to be activists, to be socially aware and to do something,” she said. “Sometimes it takes an artist or it takes a song to really get that out of individuals and I really hope this album can do that for people,” Zaragoza cites singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell as one of her greatest influences.
Outside of the studio, Zaragoza, who’s of Pima heritage, has also been active in making her voice heard on Native American issues. Apart from her performances, she visited the protests at Standing Rock in December of last year and joined the third annual march to Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest, Arizona, in February.
Her new album was recorded in both Dubway Studios with sound engineer Chris Montgomery in New York City and The Forest Studios with Grammy-nominated sound engineer Justin Hergett in Los Angeles, California.
Zaragoza will be releasing singles up until the release of her full album on June 24 and pre-orders are available at pledgemusic.com/rayezaragoza.
One track from the new album titled, “In the River,” which was released as an acoustic track in October of last year, received an Honesty Oscar for Best Activist Anthem and a Global Music Award for protest activist music.
Listen to “In the River” here.