In a candid conversation with the BBC’s In Conversation program, Rina Sawayama revealed how her experiences of being groomed at the tender age of 17 profoundly influenced her most recent album, “Hold the Girl.” The singer-songwriter and pop sensation shared how her journey through sex and relationship therapy, later in her thirties, shed light on the true nature of a relationship she had as a teenager—with a schoolteacher. “Seventeen to me is a child,” she emphasized, stating unequivocally that the advances from a schoolteacher in such a situation constituted a gross abuse of power. Yet, she admitted that she didn’t fully grasp the gravity of the situation until she reached the age her former teacher had been at the time.
This harrowing experience played a pivotal role in shaping the poignant track “Your Age” from her album “Hold the Girl.” Reflecting on those uncomfortable memories, Sawayama remarked, “I distinctly recall how uncomfortable it made me feel, but I didn’t connect the dots back then.” It was only through intensive therapy that she managed to confront and process these traumatic memories, an opportunity she considers herself fortunate to have had access to. She described how this therapy shattered her world, leading her to confront a past she had long buried.
Sawayama went on to recount the emotional aftermath of her ordeal, saying, “I was subjected to severe slut-shaming, and it left me burdened with immense shame regarding my own sexuality. I lost touch with my true self, and it felt like I had become detached from my own skin, if that makes any sense. I was constantly anxious and suffered from debilitating anxiety attacks.” With a hopeful tone, she expressed her desire for her upcoming third album to mark a departure from these traumatic experiences, wishing for a day when she can create songs about love and passion without the shadow of past traumas looming large.
During the interview, Sawayama also raised concerns about the prevailing record label model. She argued, “There are many people outside the music industry who aren’t aware of its inner workings.” One significant issue she highlighted was the absence of exit clauses for recording artists between albums, a situation that predominantly benefits music and record labels rather than the artists themselves. Her call for a comprehensive overhaul of this system underlines her commitment to advocating for the rights and fair treatment of artists in the industry.
Notably, Sawayama took a stance at Glastonbury earlier in the year, publicly denouncing Matthew Healy of the 1975, who had held a senior position at the company behind her label, Dirty Hit. Referencing his controversial appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast, she delivered a powerful message to the crowd: “A white man who watches Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast owns my masters, and I’ve had enough!”
As we reflect on Sawayama’s journey, it’s crucial to acknowledge the impact of grooming and the importance of support for survivors. If you or someone you know has been affected by grooming, we strongly encourage reaching out to RAINN’s National Child Abuse Hotline. This invaluable resource can provide local referrals for services, and their dedicated counselors are available for both calls and text messages. Furthermore, they offer assistance in over 140 languages, ensuring that support is accessible to all.
Call or text the hotline at: 800.422.4453
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Interview Insights
What is the main theme of Rina Sawayama’s recent interview with the BBC?
In her interview with the BBC, Rina Sawayama primarily discusses how her past experiences, particularly being groomed at 17, influenced her latest album, “Hold the Girl.”
How did therapy play a role in Rina Sawayama’s personal journey?
Rina Sawayama underwent intense sex and relationship therapy later in life, in her thirties, which helped her come to terms with her teenage experiences and the trauma associated with them.
What specific song from her album “Hold the Girl” was inspired by her past experiences?
The song “Your Age” from her album “Hold the Girl” was particularly informed by Rina Sawayama’s past experiences and the discomfort she felt during that time.
What concerns did Rina Sawayama raise about the record label model in the music industry?
Sawayama voiced concerns about the absence of exit clauses for recording artists between albums, highlighting that this model predominantly benefits music and record labels rather than the artists themselves.
Why did Rina Sawayama denounce Matthew Healy of the 1975 at Glastonbury?
At Glastonbury, Rina Sawayama publicly criticized Matthew Healy, who had a senior position at the company behind her label, Dirty Hit, due to his controversial remarks and actions.
How can individuals affected by grooming seek support?
Individuals affected by grooming are encouraged to reach out to RAINN’s National Child Abuse Hotline, which provides local referrals for services and offers counseling through calls and text messages in over 140 languages. The hotline number is 800.422.4453.
More about Interview Insights
- Rina Sawayama Opens Up About Grooming Experience in BBC Interview
- Rina Sawayama’s Album “Hold the Girl”
- Details on Rina Sawayama’s Therapy Journey
- Song “Your Age” from “Hold the Girl” Album
- Concerns Raised by Rina Sawayama About Record Labels
- Rina Sawayama’s Denouncement of Matthew Healy
- Support for Grooming Survivors: RAINN’s National Child Abuse Hotline