For LeahAnn Mitchell, known better by her stage name Lafemmebear, it can be hard to stay positive in a time of such deep political turmoil. From the globe warming, to the continued violence against transgender women of color, Mitchell sees our societal scenario for the nightmare that it is — and now, she’s ready to speak truth to it.
On Friday (Sept. 27), Lafemmebear released her new single “Pwr.”, a dynamic song of protest, where the singer establishes herself as a force who will not let her shine be diminished anymore. “The world put their mark on me, gotta change it out real fast,” she spits.
Speaking to Billboard, Mitchell says that she wanted to make a song that speaks directly to the transgender experience in America today by reminding listeners of the inherent hope that she still chooses to feel. “We know it to be true and we are stating is as fact,” she says. “So this song stays as a reminder to my community, its allies and anyone who is feeling the pressure of capitalism and not ever feeling enough, they need to remember collectively we are unstoppable and have so much Power. Period.”
There’s plenty to be hopeful about in the current climate, she says. For example, Mitchell points to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who at the recent LGBTQ forum listed off the 18 names of transgender women killed this year. “For the first time in my life, the safety of Black trans women is at the forefront of mainstream political conversation, and the fact that a presidential candidate cares enough to make our safety an issue – that gives me hope,” she says. “And we can thank activists like Ashlee Marie Preston for their work in bringing these issues to candidates like Warren and looking out for all of us on a national scale.”
It’s already been a pretty good year for Mitchell — the singer-songwriter got the opportunity to headline at Utah Pride over the summer, in front of an audience of over 60,000 attendees, making her the first transgender black woman to do so. Mitchell also is in the middle of writing a contemporary ballet for New York’s newest performing arts center The Shed, along with producing music for “a well-known, rising LGBTQ artist,” both due out next year. “I’m excited for everyone to hear those when they do come out.”
Lafemmebear’s new album Blaq: the Story of Me is due out Oct. 25. Listen to her new single “Pwr.” below: