If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that women will no longer stay silent in the face of systematic abuse. Furthermore, they are tired of being pressured into acceptance while their male counterparts sit idly by, enjoying the benefit of safety their gender provides them. Now, a growing number of men are standing up and getting involved in the fight. One such man is Irish songwriter ONEMAC, real name Micheal MacMahon. He and musical partners James O’Connor and Los Angeles based Kim Diaz-Smith are stepping out of their comfort zones
and into the ring with a confrontational new song that spotlights the chilling reality of abuse.
‘Know My Name’ takes aim at everyone and everything that enables powerful men to continue getting away with reprehensible behavior. Coincidentally, the song was written 8 months before Chanel Miller’s book of the same name was published. ONEMAC describes the spectacle around the Brett Kavanaugh Senate Hearings as the moment of inspiration for ‘Know My Name.’ Kavanaugh’s defiant, disrespectful attitude was in stark contrast to the heartfelt words of Christine Blasey Ford, and was the catalyst that inspired him to write the lyrics for ‘Know My Name’, before collaborating with O’Connor on the music.
“Professor Blasey Ford’s testimony to the Senate was powerful and memorable,” ONEMAC explains. “While Kavanaugh repeatedly told the world how he liked beer and still likes beer, Ford was recalling the terrors of the events that haunt her to this day. On the bridge of the song, Ford’s words provide a disturbing reminder of the terrors she endured.”
ONEMAC knew that an issue this complex can never be discussed without equal input from the female perspective. This led to him calling on frequent collaborator Kim Diaz Smith to lend her memorable voice.
“The original lyrics were written from a female perspective in support of the #MeToo movement. However, I liked the demo vocal James did so I re-wrote the lyrics so that there are versions from a female and male perspective.” As a result, there are four different versions of the track, each offering its unique nuances.
While the downfall of the Harvey Weinsteins of the world has made women’s rights a fashionable topic, ‘Know My Name’ is no mere attempt at good publicity. It is the sound of a man stepping away from his position of privilege and amplifying the voices of women everywhere. We’ve all come to understand that this fight requires unity and inclusion, two things that define the sound of this song, even in its darkest moments. One song isn’t enough to undo generations of harm, but it is a step in the right direction from a group of artists who are committed to making systematic abuse a thing of the past.
‘Know My Name’ is available everywhere September 18, 2020
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.