Britt Witt on
The gentle alt-R&B we’ve come to know from Monogem has taken on a new identity as of late. Finding the voice she didn’t know she had, Los Angeles-based, half-Mexican singer-songwriter Jen Hirsch is not only finally finding peace in her bicultural roots but is out to help others own their heritage. The third single off her debut bilingual album “Gardenia,” “Dame La Fuerza” is simple in lyrics but sets a positive tone.
Preceded by singles “Soy Lo Que Soy,” her first Spanish-language release, and the sun-kissed “Paraíso,” a nostalgic bossa nova gem, “Dame La Fuerza” is honest, fluid and grounded in emotions. Hirsch confronts the detachment from herself that was motivated by being a pinche gringa, a term she cheekily owns for herself now. In a press release, Hirsch explains, “Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in a half-Mexican family, I never knew exactly how to identify with my cultural identity. I wanted to honor my roots and continue to learn and speak Spanish, but never felt confident enough to get real about these conflicts that so many people experience when bicultural.”
Carrying a valuable torch for pride in the Latinx community, “Dame La Fuerza” attracts listeners who can fully relate to this identity but also raises awareness to the struggle of split identities in America. Singing in both Spanish and English, Hirsch sends the strong message of finding peace with who you are regardless of what others think. Directly translating to “Give Me Strength,” she hopes for exactly that, accessing that feeling and giving others the permission to do so as well.
The accompanying music video, directed by Monogem and Mekael Dawson, beautifully conveys the acceptance of her dichotomy, transforming from uncertainty in a fiery red gown to shining in confidence against the uncomfortable. Singing “Bienvenidos a mi vida / una vida muy tranquila” (Welcome to my life, a very pleasant life) welcomes you to overcome feeling misplaced. “Gardenia” is set to release late this summer.
||| Watch: The video for “Dame La Fuerza”
||| Also: Watch the videos for “Soy Lo Que Soy” and “Paraíso”