(CW: Rape, sexual assault)
Even in the era of #MeToo, in a time where more womxn are speaking out about sexual assault and their abusers, it’s still rare to hear a song that directly confronts it. However, Los Angeles artist Drea is diving in headfirst with latest track, ‘Monster’.
The video and song are both recounting the night in which Drea was raped. Written almost immediately after that terrible night, the words that flooded out onto the page are near mirror images of the feelings she and many victims are left with in the wake of such an experience: terror, sadness, isolation, and entrapment.
It’s also a reflection on the inner strength she found in herself to get through an experience that far too many share. Of her experience on the night in question, Drea says: “it was like knowing I was going to get in a life-threatening car crash, and having to watch it unfold in slow motion.” All the more, she also knows that no two experiences are the same, still hoping the finished product will speak to other survivors in saying “You’re not alone.”
Drea originally wrote ‘Monster’ as a dance track for another artist, only later realising this was something she wanted for herself. It was her; her survival story and in releasing it, she was boldly standing up for herself against the demons that haunt us.
The track is a collaboration between Drea and Los Angeles-based DJ Kayja. Kayja also provides the unidentified male hands in the video, coming out through the smoke to reveal each terrifying emotion she came away with that night. These safe hands were also the third to take on the production of ‘Monster’, a track years in the making.
In honour of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (which was in April), and her own outpouring into the #MeToo movement, the track and video for ‘Monster’ are bold, honest, and soul-baring. The thumping, slow-rolling music creates the tension of a depersonalised fraction of time; the kind that leaves you asking “why?” forever.
“So much of me didn’t want to film this video,” explains Drea. “I didn’t want to go to that place again.” But she did, for an earlier version of herself who felt alone and every other womxn of whom ‘Monster’ stands up for and says, “This is for her.”
Watch the poignant new video for ‘Monster’ here:
‘Monster’ is available across all digital platforms now.