Futuristic pop artist Rina Sawayama has released her new song “Chosen Family”, and it’s a moving ode to the familial support provided by queer social networks.
The single begins with the whispered question, “Where do I belong?” From this isolated and quiet place, the track quickly swells with complexity and warmth. The synths grow anthemic, the kick drum mimics a beating heart, and soon electric guitars ring out in glorious glam rock accents.
By the time she reaches the hook, Sawayama’s voice explodes like fireworks. “We don’t need to be related to relate/ We don’t need to share genes or a surname/ You are, you are, my chosen family.” In a statement, she explained the personal nature of the song.
“”Chosen Family” is a very special song for me. The concept of a chosen family is, to me, a queer one – people are often kicked out of their homes or ostracized by their family, friends, and community after coming out. This can be an incredibly painful experience that can be remedied by finding a new ‘chosen’ family. The chorus lyrics ‘We don’t need to be related to relate, we don’t need to share genes or a surname’ is an invitation for anyone that feels that sense of otherness to find their chosen family, where they can truly be themselves and feel loved. I dedicate this song to my queer friends who I now consider family – it’s essentially a big thank you to them, as I love them so much and I genuinely don’t think I would be alive right now if it weren’t for them.”