Music

Megan Keely's "Stronger" is an Empowering #MeToo Anthem (premiere)

Photo: Nicola Parisi

Singer-songwriter Megan Keely's vibrant new music video and song highlight the struggles women and minorities face, but with an infectiously hopeful stride.

As a Filipino-American woman in the 21st century, Megan Keely has always been upfront and outspoken with support for immigration and women's rights. Ever since the lights of #MeToo just began to shimmer, Keely has taken part in the empowering movement, encouraging her fellow women to stand up and support one another against institutional systems of abuse. Her new album, Bloom (25 May), is a testament to that. "Stronger" is its beautiful leading anthem.

Much like all of the songs Bloom is comprised of, "Stronger" is an affirmative fist raised for hope amidst a divisive political climate. A large portion of society today still takes immigrants' countless contributions for granted and has consistently held even criminalistic men in positions of entitlement over their minority counterparts.

"Stronger" is about highlighting these issues, but with healing light. Wherein many songwriters today rightfully go at these topics with anger, Keely reminds us that even in the darkest of days, there's a beauty about life that empowers us to keep on fighting. Given the current age of consciousness we are celebrating now, as well, we're stronger for it. The gorgeous video for "Stronger" takes a key role in accentuating these positive themes.

On the music video, Keely tells PopMatters, "Kimberly and I have been friends since preschool. We grew up less than a mile apart and loved to pretend we were twins. We wrote screenplays together when we were eight. We called each other in the morning before school to tell each other what we had dreamt that night. So when I was ready to embark on a music video for my new song 'Stronger', I knew Kimberly was exactly the person I could trust with the project."

"We sat in the backyard of her childhood home with a paper bag and a sharpie and began brainstorming concepts for video. We knew we wanted it to be beautiful but not pretty. Empowering but also vulnerable. Rhythmic, colorful, and open-ended. That's all we knew. And throughout the process, we realized that the unknown, exploratory approach was okay. Eventually, we stopped grasping for a plan and just started creating. We learned that what we truly needed was to simply follow our instincts and access the playful, childlike wonder and growth and strength that has been within each of us all along."

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