Roos Meijer - In My Name


July 12, 2021

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Dutch alt-folk artist Roos Meijer’s music, both tranquil and deep holds a message that pierces the surface. She uses her song-writing to speak for those without a voice in a way that is both beautiful and impactful.  

I was first moved by her new release “In My Name” without really even knowing what the song was about. There is no mistake that this is a protest song - but it is whispered rather than shouted, perhaps echoing the lack of representation suffered by the song’s subject over the decades. Finger-style guitar and doubled vocals give the production a feeling of time, movement and constance as a prelude to the theme. A gentle drone in “C” reminds the listener of home, while percussive taps weave slowly in building tension and release; A wild clarinet solo provides an alter melody contrasting and supporting the message of flight, resolve, freedom, and hope. It’s truly a beautiful arrangement musically but the story runs deeper.

After peeling the onion so to speak there are so many layers, through the lyrics and through the backstory. Roos’ new release, “In My Name”, came about based on conversations with activist Julia Jouwe. Julia’s grandfather, Nicolaas Jouwe, was the Papuan leader for many years before being forced to flee to the Netherlands. Meijer explains, “Julia's big brother is a dear friend of mine, who I met in high school. Through their family, I got to know about West Papua for the first time; I had never heard anything about it in history class (which is quite odd if you think about the colonial history with the Netherlands). The last couple of years I noticed that Julia become more and more vocal for the Free West Papua movement, and that sparked an interest in me that made me decide to interview her for my album.”

Initially Roos saw her music and her activism as two separate things. Her volunteer work with the refugees changed all that. “I’ve always done volunteering work with refugees and newcomers, and am working for a non-profit in this area since last year. My goal is to always use my music to amplify voices that are not being heard enough, and to shine light on societal topics.” Meijer spent a great deal of time ghostwriting and exploring the connection between her art and activism. Her EP, “Maktub” released in 2018 came from that activism.

She began seeking out the stories of other such “change-makers” and giving them a voice through her music. Her debut album scheduled to release in November 2021 is a reflection of those conversations with eight such societal change makers representing causes related to climate, anti-racism, feminism, human rights, orphans, LGBTQ+ youth, and homelessness. 

Listening to her current collection on repeat I came to truly admire her broader body of work. “Calm Me Down”, “Made For Loving You”, “Stuck in the Night”, to name a few are all songs that will wash over you. Exquisitely written and performed, with understated yet powerful instrumental composition and arrangement accompanied by beautifully haunting vocal harmonies. I look forward with anticipation to the release of her full album, and the message it brings.

Her chilling video released in 2018 called “Eyes of Innocence” from her Album “Maktub” can be found here. Please give her a follow and take the time to know her work. You won’t soon forget it.

Added to our Main Spotify Playlist, and to our "Artist Pick" playlist.

Written by Joe.

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Lyrics

History’s betrayed

There’s so many voices

That we have lost

In bias frames

Decades ignored them

We won’t give in

We will be so loud that 

You can’t evade

There’ll be a day

Where we’ll walk in freedom

It’s in my name

There’s no going back

The fire has been lit now

It burns inside

No more attacks

The truth won’t be hidden

We won’t give in

We will be so loud that 

You can’t evade

There’ll be a day

Where we’ll walk in freedom

It’s in my name

_________________

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