Bright spots in a sea of gloom: “Songbird” on YT finds Inspiration in a Contentious Election
Writing and singing parody send-ups, this 17 year old is adding joy where depression reigns
Looking back on 2020 from a safe future distance, mostly it will still look like the dumpster-fire insanity that it feels like in real-time. But one strange thing might actually be a reason to wax nostalgic. Anti-Trump inspired creativity.
Tik Tok, YouTube, and even Twitter have given outlet and opportunities to vent and for the more creative among us to express frustration and outrage in a way that creates a kind of beauty, or at least entertainment.
A young YouTube creator fits this description and has already built a following for her parody songs that showcase her lyrics and vocals. While the election itself looms and the news and rhetoric builds to an apocalyptic climax, something that has a quality of soothing truth could easily get lost in the dim and chaos.
Therefore, we are embedding a few of her videos and a bit of biographical info that can introduce you to a break from the storm of insanity, while still staying on topic. After all this is the most important election of our lives…
We reached out to 17 year old student, musician and actor, who joined YouTube in August 2020 after coming across one of her videos. She goes by the name “SongBird” and started what she described as “a fun and creative project”, while at home to quell the boredom that can come while being on lockdown during the pandemic.
In the short time she’s been online she has gotten over 320k views and 5.7k subscribers. Her videos are thoughtfully produced and her attention to details in her lyrics, vocals and overall performance serve as both inspiring and entertaining.
She sings simple truths on Trump and his administration without channelling any hate or unnecessary divisiveness. She is a talent and an obvious rising star. Below is the interview:
When did you begin singing and writing songs?
I have been singing all of my life, and it is one of my favorite things to do. I have been lucky enough to be in quite a few musicals and shows, and I love to perform. I began writing parodies in earnest very recently, but I have been sketching out parodies for a long time, and I love to play with rewriting songs I know well.
What led to you deciding to do parody songs related to the 2020 election?
I am really inspired by the work of Randy Rainbow, and I thought I would try my hand at this art form. He has helped me pay more attention to the news and politics and shown me a creative way to raise awareness while having fun at the same time.
I am very passionate about the environment and very upset at all the things this administration has done, from withdrawing from the Paris Accord to gutting the Migratory Bird Act.
Trump’s treatment of women and his handling of the pandemic have also been infuriating. Although I am not old enough to vote in this election, I want to encourage everyone who can to vote in November since our democracy depends on it.
How do you put together the songs – is each one written then performed weekly?
I usually hear about some dumb thing or crazy lie that Trump has said recently, and I mentally scroll through the songs I know and look for a song that might fit. When the right song clicks, it is so exciting.
I often start with the refrain, and then my mother has to endure me walking around the house all week, singing bits of my parody. I also sometimes stay up very late writing. I am a full-time high school student without a lot of extra time during the week, so I tend to polish and film these videos on weekends.
For the visuals, I do not have any video editing skills or applications, but I wanted a way to use pictures, so I decided: why not use a totally easy low-tech approach: large printed photos of political figures on sticks. Over the weeks, I have improved the design of the pictures on sticks, making double-sided ones that I can spin around, which has been a lot of fun.
The fact that I can’t edit the videos forces me to do it in one take, which sometimes means 30 takes to get it right (this was true for He Will Hurt God). Sometimes, as in the case of Vlad Guy, it clicks more quickly, like about 10 takes.
Anything else you want to add?
I mostly made these recordings as a fun assignment for myself to keep me happy during quarantine, and I never thought the videos would leave my circle of friends.
My mind is blown by all of the views, subscribers, and encouraging comments from viewers around the world. Randy Rainbow has brought me so much joy, and it makes me so happy to think that, through these parodies, I am able to bring laughter to people in a similar way in this difficult time.
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