Alice Phoebe Lou – Why I wrote Skin Crawl:
„I was in the heart of Manhattan after taking myself on a solo date to watch Angel Olsen & I was feeling elated. I ended up at a bar, drinking a few drinks with strangers. I felt dizzy and left to call a cab. The last thing I remember, I was standing on a corner, unable to comprehend how my phone worked, feeling as though my world was upside down, panicking. A few hours are then lost and I never got them back. Then I’m suddenly in brooklyn and it’s 4am, I’m barely able to walk, with a man I’ve never seen & he’s taking me somewhere. I remember thinking that he must be taking me to safety, cause I was falling over & clearly needed to be in a safe place. Something kicked in & I realised I was in danger. I dropped my jacket & ran as fast as I could. Running & falling & crying & pissing my pants. I’ve never been that afraid. Kind strangers brought me to safety. The next day I was a wreck. Trying to rack my brain & understand how someone slipped something into my drink. But I was lucky. Many people aren’t.
It took me days to feel ok again. Physically & in my mind. But I realised how important it was for me to not let that moment define me & change something that was so important to me ; the independence of going out alone. So I did it again. Only a few days later. Trying to release the fear & not let it control me. I went to a Fela Kuti night and danced my feet off. But I remember being so acutely aware of the men around me on the dance floor ; how often I was touched in places I didn’t want to be, how many times I was grabbed, told to smile, rubbed up against, you name it. I felt like I had to fend men off like it was some sort of sick game & the circumstances made it so difficult for me to just enjoy myself. I got home full of fire, ready to turn it all on its head, write a song from my perspective about what pisses me off, to get it off my chest, & then set fire to it in my mind so it has no hold on me. It’s about the little things ; the words, the comments, the feeling that ripples through your skin every time you’re told you’re a bitch because you don’t want to give him your number. Because for me, it’s the little things that are the starting point of a broader culture of non consent & sexual aggression. And I guess I needed to write a song that was straight to the point. I find that when dealing with ‚heavy‘ subject matter that is important to you it can be a tricky balance trying to get the message across while keeping up the poetry. I usually use humour as a tool to get the message across while letting people know that I don’t take myself too seriously & that we can all have a laugh at the end.
Feminism and my personal experience as a woman are themes that I am writing more about, because they are relevant to me & my human experience. I went through a lot as a teenager & young woman, experiencing a range of extremely negative & traumatic incidences at the hands of men. This is not to say that I paint men with a single brush. I am lucky to have an incredible community of supportive, sensitive & wonderful men around me, in my band & social life and I am so grateful for them. These are the same men that appear in my music video for ‚Skin Crawl‘, close friends who were happy to play a role in a video where I could use them as my objects & my furniture in order to turn things on their head & have a humorous way of telling this story visually. The video was a joy to make; a DIY, low budget, full of love day, with a lot of laughs & so much effort. The song’s intention is to ask that we all work towards a world / community / club environment where we strive to make each other feel comfortable & safe at all times. Cause that’s the dream really. Cosy & safe & equal.“
Alice Phoebe Lou – Skin Crawl (Official Video):
Motor Entertainment GmbH