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ANOHNI Covers Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”: Stream

on November 02, 2020, 10:29am

In the lead-up to the 2020 Election, ANOHNI has already released not one, but two anti-Trump protest songs, “R.N.C.” and a collaboration with CocoRosie and Big Freedia titled “End of the Freak Show”. With mere hours to go before the big day, the art pop musician has shared a cover of the Gloria Gaynor classic “I Will Survive”, which she uses to rail against the current administration and all the hate and injustices it has perpetuated the last four years.

Slowed down to achieve an almost dramatic ballad status, ANOHNI’s rendition comes with a video featuring footage of her performing in the ’90s. Towards the end of the clip, ANOHNI dedicates the song to “all endangered Black trans lives”; “all those awaiting execution in US death chambers”; “those in the US who die from medical neglect”; “the coral reefs of the world, now rotting”; “Black lives tortured and stolen by American cops”; and more.

In the video description, ANOHNI says that Facebook had requested to use an old live version of her cover in an advertisement. “Although I really could have used the money, I said no because I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump,” she explained.


“A month later I saw the ad. Facebook had hired another singer to emulate my version of the song. It was a nauseating feeling,” she adds. “After the Facebook debacle, I felt compelled to complete my studio version of ‘ I Will Survive’. It was the first song I ever sang in nightclubs in NYC when I was 20 years old. I sang it hundreds of times. In those days I sang it thinking of Marsha P. Johnson and the underground queer community struggling to survive in the face of AIDS. Now it seems to me like an anthem for the future of life on earth.”

Stream her version of “I Will Survive” below, followed by her full statement. ANOHNI’s last proper album, Hopelessness, dropped in 2016. At the bottom of the post, find Gaynor’s interview on This Must Be the Gig.

ANOHNI’s full statement on her “I Will Survive” cover:

In June, Facebook offered me 200,000$ to license an old live version (2001) of me singing “I Will Survive” for an advertisement that represented Facebook as an advocate for small businesses. Although I really could have used the money, I said no because I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump. They wrote back saying that they were placating other participants’ concerns by making donations to their charities of choice, in addition to paying them. I woke up the next morning and realized this isn’t even advertising; this is politics, and i don’t even know how deep this water is. This company Droga5 worked with Obama and Google and others. I had to walk away.

A month later I saw the ad. Facebook had hired another singer to emulate my version of the song. It was a nauseating feeling.

We all know that Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and others now seem to be destroying our lives, our minds, our jobs, our cultures, and our societies’ ability to govern themselves.

We as artists were the first ones to be led to the stall to begin feeding, and being drained by, companies including Apple and Facebook.

And now as artists, we should be the first to leave. We must show that it is possible to live without Instagram, without Facebook, without Google and Amazon. We must endeavor to rebuild our lives and our communities, our private conversations, in ways that don’t rely on manipulative infrastructures and interfaces provided by the world’s richest corporations.

After the Facebook debacle, I felt compelled to complete my studio version of “I Will Survive”. It was the first song I ever sang in nightclubs in NYC when I was 20 years old. I sang it hundreds of times. In those days I sang it thinking of Marsha P. Johnson and the underground queer community struggling to survive in the face of AIDS. Now it seems to me like an anthem for the future of life on earth.

Obviously, Youtube is owned by Google. I haven’t closed all my accounts. But I want to talk to you about this; I want to be a part of this conversation.

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