Bx Sassy launches her debut single, I SAID NO, with a roar of rebellious protection.
Performer and journalist, Bx Sassy, is inspiring confident self-worth on every level. Known for her provocative honesty, we see Bx Sassy introduce another element of her fight; to encourage confidence when communicating consent. Stepping into her skills as a musician, Bx Sassy (also known as Bethany Burgoyne, founder of The Sassy Show) reaches our ears with her debut single I SAID NO.
I am consciously trying to be more vocal in standing up for myself when someone makes me feel uneasy. But it's hard; learnt behaviour and fear for the worst silences us continually.
I SAID NO is an anthem liberating the voices of those who have been silenced. Based on her own experiences of feeling threatened and uncomfortable on dance floors, I SAID NO is Bethany's reaction to encouraging confidence when communicating consent. She explains how "I am consciously trying to be more vocal in standing up for myself when someone makes me feel uneasy. But it's hard; learnt behaviour and fear for the worst silences me continually."
When digging deeper into the inspiration behind this track, Bx Sassy explains how she often goes out dancing on her own. On one particular night, she found herself at Fabric, "There I was on the dancefloor, mindfully doing my thing, when someone came over to me, grabbed my face in their hands and asked if I was a man or a girl." In the moment, she explains how "I wanted to say no, I'm neither, I'm a woman and you need to take your hands off me." But instead, she felt herself become silent, freeze, and become trapped in this man's grasp. "Someone came to help me, telling the person to leave me alone and respect my space. But I left that night feeling angry and frustrated that not only had I lost my confidence to speak, but that this behaviour is not unusual."
I've spent evenings looking over my shoulder to avoid that one person who keeps trying to dance, touch, or chat me up
It was after this experience that Bx Sassy wrote I SAID NO, as a way of reminding herself, and others, to protect and respect boundaries. "When you go out dancing, it's to have fun. But the people who are too handsy, too intoxicated, and unaware, ruin the night. I've spent evenings looking over my shoulder to avoid that one person who keeps trying to dance, touch, or chat me up." This is something we know many people can relate to, finding communication difficult in the moment. Bx Sassy hopes that I SAID NO will be a playful but poignant reminder that we all have the right to consensual interactions.
We hear Bethany growl out lyrics with a Missy Elliot inspired flow, with phrases speaking directly to the changes she wishes to see and witness. This is evident in such lines as 'Stop saying that we're irresistible, that we make you act out of control. That we're leading you astray and forcing you to play. I said no!'. These rhymes are spat out, each word pronunciation with pure intention. The intensity of which is echoed by the marching beats, forming electronic landscapes of dark, firey magic and protagonism.
I want I SAID NO to be a chant that brings voices to the table and conversations about change to begin
Three Sassy forces joined Bx Sassy to bring I SAID NO together. Producer Tlya X An worked her mysterious magic, with Kaila Cooper on bass, resulting in a firey feminine statement of musicianship. While filmmaker Zoe Fayaud captured Bx Sassy performing the song on public transport forming a backdrop for the music video. "I knew I wanted to bring this conversation into the public space and challenge the way we will choose to ignore behaviour that isn't acceptable. As a female-bodied person, I have experienced endless misogynistic behaviour and I can feel the anger bubble up inside of me."
Bx Sassy's approach to addressing these problems is something that forms the basis of the #ISAIDNO campaign run by The Sassy Show. "Instead of raging about these gendered issues in private, I'm trying to speak up, to talk rationally to people around me, confront them about their actions and inspire a new way of partying that protects everyone's spirits". This is something we see can be achieved by continually implementing tools to help courageous change grow.
We're proud to be launching our #ISAIDNO campaign with this banger of a Sassy song. As Bx Sassy explains, "We want #ISAIDNO to be a chant that brings voices to the table and conversations to begin. We are moving forward by challenging behaviour that makes us feel uncomfortable."
We're looking for you to get involved, and join our #ISAIDNO Chant Challenge - putting your lyrics to Bx Sassy's song.
I SAID NO is available to buy on Bandcamp
Photos by @zoefayaud