The only constant in the world’s reaction to the November shootings in Paris was the fact that everyone had a reaction. There was a global outpouring of support towards the country and the victims. Social feeds were saturated with profile pictures overlaid with French flags and reasonable fixation upon the fact that, had the attacks been carried out at the same show in New York, we or our friends would have been there. In the aftermath, it became clear–whether observing the disproportionate coverage of the event, the responses on social media or as micro as my social set–the compassion for Paris was undeniably laced with a sense of ‘sameness’ and ‘otherness’.
That division led to (sadly unsurprisingly) nasty backlash on social media and even more harrowing consequences in reality. Anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked in most major cities, as fear fed the ignorance of some, who used the attacks as ammunition against neighbors, coworkers or strangers. Unfortunately, this was not the first time that has happened; this type of hate crime has a history of rising following instances of western-targeted terrorism.
Greys‘ new single “No Star,” is rooted in the aftershock, from the perspective of a person who felt more ‘other’ than ‘same.’
The song was written in the wake of not only the shootings in Paris at Bataclan on November 13th 2015, but also the reactions it elicited in people. On one side, you had people burning down mosques and acting violently towards anyone who looked remotely Muslim. On the other, you had people speaking on behalf of the victims and effectively telling them how they should feel about such atrocities. It’s a song about not knowing where you fit in as a person of colour who was raised in a predominantly white community, not identifying completely with either side. It’s about not having a voice, but moreover not knowing where or when or how to speak regardless. It’s about wanting someone to understand and relate to you, but most importantly, letting you speak for yourself.
When it feels like the world has turned against you and there is no way of turning it back around, the track implores: “Don’t shoot, I’m not the enemy/ They want you to be scared of me/ I’m everybody’s strategy/ Where do I turn with no star in the sky?”