Danelle Sandoval exposes Asian Woman fetishization with her song « Go »

Danelle Sandoval exposes Asian Woman fetishization with her song « Go »

I’ve been waiting all night,
Taking pictures on my phone
Thinking about you right now,
And getting in my zone

It’s not news that Asian-American women struggle to fit in the music industry. It might get better with time, but it’s not enough yet.

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Danelle Sandoval is one of these young artists who rise to break the status quo. She speaks her truth in her new track “Go” (released July 2nd).

Taking back control

According to self-help enthusiasts, drifting off to sleep with positive affirmations is a great way to feel more confident in your everyday life. These encouragements cling to your subconscious and become a certainty. Others say it’s better to listen to them in the morning or to say it to yourself while looking at your reflection.

They’re also powerful statements when used in music. Artists such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga already proved this point. Danelle Sandoval did it too in the intro of the “Go” music video. She claims herself back because she’s the only one who can define who she is. She suffered long enough from stereotypes due to her appearance or telling her how to act based on her origins. She will no longer be defined by others.

“I will no longer be invisible. I will not be acquiescent. I find power in the color of my skin. I am Filipino. I am Asian-American. I am a woman. I reclaim my sexual identity and liberate myself. I take control. I lead. I initiate. I rebel. I’m not your fantasy. I am my own vision. I’m not your fetish. I fulfill my own desires.”

Being whoever she wants to be

Three years ago, “Go” was only supposed to be a love song. However, the Covid hate crimes against Asian-Americans and the recent shooting in Atlanta made her realize her voice needed to be heard. 

This track has matured to get an influential impact on society. The music video plays a big role in it. She dances, she records herself with a camera, and she sings on a chair or in a car. She proves she can do whatever she wants because she decides it, and not because somebody else told her to do it.

Danelle Sandoval

She’s not afraid to be sexualized or objectified as long as she’s in control of her body. The lyrics prove she’s in charge too: “I wanna make it clear that you’re invited, Are you almost here? Boy, come over here”.

The car parts remind us of some cliché scenes you can see in oldies R&B videos. She reappropriates this image to prove women can be as powerful and badass as men in these music videos. She’s showing Asian-American girls and women can be anything they want to be, as long as they learn to believe in themselves. And well, minorities need to be empowered.

The first success with “Tuesday”

Danelle Sandoval first smashed it when she posted successful covers on her YouTube channel. Her reprise of “Tuesday” by ILoveMakonnen (feat Drake) revealed her falsetto vocal range

The video has been seen 300 k times to this day. Turkish DJ and producer Burak Yeter remixed it and made it even more popular. Warner Music released this cover in 2016. and it won platinum awards worldwide. 

“Tuesday” reached 1 billion streams and went #1 in over 70 countries on iTunes and Shazam. Great way to start a career! Once she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, she sailed between Los Angeles, New York City, and Toronto to make some music. Danelle Sandoval then focused on her sound and released her first EP in 2018. “For Love” was all about remembering her time in Toronto.

She also wrote and composed for international artists. For now, Danelle Sandoval seems unapologetic and ready to show the world her own vision. Is her new project about her different struggles as a Filipino-American woman? Only time will tell!

Mélanie Domergue

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