Eunice Keitan – Lay Your Weapons Down [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

soulful, honest, gritty

Tell us a few things about your new song. What is the story behind it?

This new track is about the refugee experience and was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine who had spent years imprisoned – fighting for the rights of the most marginalized in his community. Even after all the trauma he went through, his spirit and hope for freedom were still unbreakable. I drew inspiration from his story and from others who had gone through similar situations. I wanted to highlight the perspective of those that have been forced into conflict and had no other choice but to fight for survival or to leave their homes. At the same time, it is also a reminder that the greatest casualties are often the poorest and most marginalized individuals.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

This is a really good question. It’s a hard choice. I’m pretty proud of the entire chorus as it sums up the experience concisely and gets to the main message of the song which continues to be relevant now with what is happening in Afghanistan.

“Now we’re coming under fire,
The odds are getting higher,
Our city’s sole survivors will watch you raze it to the ground.
Are you fighting fire with fire?
’cause greed’s a justifier,
And all that we desire is that you lay your weapons down.”

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Jeff Buckley taught me a lot about delivery and the importance of being raw/authentic.
D’Angelo taught me the joy and possibilities of using vocal harmonies to create soundscapes. Joni Mitchell and other singer-songwriters from the 60s and 70s taught me how to tell a story with detail, sensitivity, and depth.

How Important are political statements by music artists? Can music have an impact on politics?

I think that music can be a powerful tool to inspire conversation and bring awareness to issues in our world/community. It can also reflect the collective emotions and perspectives of the people and help them to feel seen and represented. In the end, each artist decides what they feel compelled to say at that moment and how they choose to process what is happening in their environment. I can think of several big artists that have used their platform to impact politics. I try to write music that will help people understand different perspectives and situations. Hopefully through that people will be able to make more informed and empathetic day-to-day decisions about things that might be affecting their communities. If it goes far enough to even affect who they put in office, then it’s a bonus.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

wow. hard question. I’m not sure. Possibly anything from Alejandro González Iñárritu or Oliver Stone.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I think that choosing to go into music was the most ‘trouble’ I’ve gotten into! It’s a path that always puts the artist in a vulnerable position financially, emotionally, psychologically, and artistically, especially if you have something to say. However, if music calls you, it’s not a choice but a necessity.

Thank you!

Follow Eunice Keitan
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