Kit Vale looks like she is about to throw a smoke bomb and start a revolution.
That is exactly what she wants to do, but using the power of music to unite.
Kit Vale, a new solo project from Jen Simpson of Neon Bloom (Toronto), released her first single today called It’s Our Time.
Imagine Blondie rapping while The Pet Shop Boys are the backing band. This song brings us back to the 80s, when certain bands broke from the mainstream and showed the world that an artist didn’t have to fit a particular mold and could explore new frontiers of creativity and self-expression.
Jen describes the single as “a tongue-in-cheek, modern anthem that embodies discontent, rebellion, and ultimately; hope.”
Jen wanted to release it before the upcoming election in the US, during the COVID-19 Pandemic and considering the alignment of society right now for which she uses words like: Turmoil, hostility, aggression, and sadness.
When asked to dilute the song into two words, she chose: “Take Action.”
It’s Our Time, we can change the world for the better. It’s about not being complacent but taking a side for good.
Take the #metoo movement. It wasn’t just about men abusing their power, but it was those around them who allowed it to happen. Being silent is dangerous.
The song starts from personal experiences of abuse and being “stuck in the mire” and moves on to society, written from a feminist perspective, towards a global movement of empowerment and acceptance.
Feminism is a word that evokes strong emotions, and even revulsion in some people. It is an elastic word that stretches from the gentle respect of women and their rights, to a harsh hatred of men.
For Jen, it’s about protecting women from abuse of any form, and subsequently, acceptance of all types of people.
Jen is happily married to a man but recognizes that women have often been the victims of the abuse of power. When having an open dialogue with men, she can explain how different one can experience a situation as a woman and listen to a man’s perspective of their own struggles. That dialogue builds a bridge of understanding, respect and normalizes these types of conversations.
Jen is a woman of incredible strength. She didn’t get bit by a radioactive spider but was in a relationship that surrounded her with toxic and abusive people.
The abuse was gradual, like the boiling a frog analogy, over years. “You know something is wrong the whole time and you try to get out of the pot, but you don’t. It just keeps going. Then, it’s too late.”
For years, she kept it all inside because of shame, not having a proper diagnosis and having people not believe her.
When she did start that dialogue: “It released the burden that you have to shoulder all the time.”
When Jen talks about abuse, it’s with the hope that more younger women can recognize the signs, stop it and get the help and resources to get them out of that situation.
She relays the saying: “You don’t know the devil till they leave the room.”
Unlike when a parent or a good friend leaves, and you are left with a good feeling: “You can be around someone that is charming, funny and fun to be around, but when they leave, you have this feeling. You feel bad, and they drain you a bit. That is something I would not ignore.”
Also, when people overstep boundaries in small things, it’s indicative of a large problem.
“You have to trust yourself.” Is the advice Jen gives, even when the people around you say you are overreacting and being a “drama queen.”
“I’m a huge believer in Post-Traumatic Growth. Because things broke in a certain way, you are able to grow from it.”
Jen hit rock bottom with $20 in her pocket, nowhere to live, having been left alone by her then husband and having daily Epileptic seizures. She returned to Canada and rebuilt her life from the bottom up in the space of 5-6 years.
That insane personal growth came for a changed mindset, gratitude and clarity.
The word Vale can mean farewell. I asked Jen what she wants to say farewell to.
“This is the first time I openly spoke about abuse. I’m in a position now where I feel more powerful than I have ever been. I learned so much that I won’t put up with anything like that again.”
Going back in time to her childhood, Jen was always surrounded by music, with her mother who was a musician and her father’s record collection. The house was blaring The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and she was surrounded by a piano, guitars, bass and drums.
Jen preferred the classics like Chuck Berry, Bill Withers, 60s Doo Wop girl groups and old blues records growing up, but it was the 80s and subsequently the 90s Grunge era where she discovered Nirvana and Hole that set her musical identity.
When she writes songs now, Rock-N-Roll, Punk and 80s Dance Music all get rolled up into the process and produces songs that you can dance to but packs a punch of attitude.
Art imitates life.
Like Post Traumatic Growth, now is the right opportunity for humanity to take the right decisions, show empathy and be open to each other. It’s Our Time!
“Take all this negative energy and do some sort of alchemy and turn it into something positive.”
That she did.
Connect with Jen Simpson
Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their days jobs with out of the box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives.Share this :