Lilly Singh recently dropped a new song and accompanying music video called Voices. Lilly had been teasing the announcement on Twitter for the past few days with images from the video, her opinions on the concept of the song, and some song lyrics.
The #voices in our head aren't autotuned. They aren't always pretty. They aren't always right. But they are ours and we should embrace them.
— Lilly Singh (@IISuperwomanII) August 8, 2016
I am proud of the #voices in my head. They are arrogant, vulnerable, sexy, goofy and socially aware. They are mine and I embrace them.
— Lilly Singh (@IISuperwomanII) August 9, 2016
I'm working hard to make my family proud, but maybe they just want to see me more. #voices
— Lilly Singh (@IISuperwomanII) August 9, 2016
Voices is essentially 5 songs woven together in one, with some traditional singing parts and some rap centric sections. It is a very personal song with lyrics relating directly to Lilly’s life. The song is very different from Lilly’s past two rap songs, Leh and Ivivi. Voices has a deep, important message, and has several layers of metaphors.
Lilly explained the concept of the song in the description of her video, and also in more detail in her daily vlog.
Our mind is an intricate house filled with secrets, stories and levels. In the rooms of that house live our voices, the ones that whisper to us throughout the day. Being a good person doesn’t mean you don’t have evil voices, it just means you’ve learned to navigate through them. We all have these voices that compete within us, contradicting each other, trying to pull us in different directions. Your ego fights your loneliness. Your desire for love fights your insecurities. Your silly ways seem ideal until your mind opens to those who are suffering around the world. We’re constantly hearing our voices and therefore it’s in our best interest to befriend them. But true strength lies in deciding which of our voices govern our actions and which ones define us.
The song is about the voices in our heads, voices that everyone has. Lilly talks about how they are constantly at war with each other, always contradicting each other. The message is that maybe one voice doesn’t always have to conquer the others. If we are aware of our voices, we can choose which ones to amplify and when.
In the video, we visit a house, which represents Lilly’s mind. There are five rooms where the video takes place, each one for a different voice in Lilly’s head.
The first room we visit is dim, with a throne and money scattered over the floor. It is meant to represent the voice of arrogance in our minds. Lilly raps, and is essentially bragging, about her success, money and work ethic. Lilly said she put this section first intentionally, so people comment prematurely about how she’s “changed”. It is definitely not a side of Lilly we see in her vlogs and videos, so it starts to prove the point of the song. Everyone has a bit of that voice in their head, an egotistical and arrogant thought every so often, even kind and humble people such as Lilly.
Our favourite lyric: “I got 3 L’s in my name but don’t get it twisted I get W’s.”
2. Vulnerability & Insecurity
The second room takes a sharp turn from the previous. It is a simple room, with Lilly sat alone on a chair. The voice in this room speaks openly about her insecurities and doubts about her life and career. Lilly talks about how she often feels so alone, and wonders if what she had to sacrifice for her success was worth it. It is a very emotional and vulnerable scene, and likely the most relatable voice in the song.
Our favourite lyric: “My choices make me lonely, I don’t let people hold me”
The third room is another stark contrast from the last. We see lit candles and Lilly lying in a pool of water. The voice speaking in this section is sexy and the part of Lilly that wants love. She sings about how at the end of the day, she wants someone to hold her and make her feel loved. Again, it’s not a side of Lilly we really see in her videos, but that further proves the point of the song.
Our favourite lyric: “Let me let go of myself, let me be a side of me that people never see.”
The next voice and room is probably the one we’re most used to seeing from Lilly. It’s set in a fun environment, and is very colourful and happy. The lyrics are all about being carefree, goofy, and just having a good time. She forgets about all of her problems and flaws, and just feels like she has no care in the world. This positive, upbeat attitude is one that is most visible in Lilly’s videos.
Our favourite lyric: “I’m like sixth harmony, baby I’m so worth it.”
5. Social Awareness
The final room features a screen with Lilly standing in front of it. This voice is talking about world issues, and how we should be helping others. This once again contradicts all of the other voices, because Lilly talks about how guilty she feels for having her previous goofy, carefree thoughts when these issues need our all of attention. She raps about Black Lives Matter, the current political scene, AIDS, and woman’s rights, among other things. She ends by saying that people, and our voices, are both the problems and the solutions.
Our favourite lyric: “A war on terrorism, a bigger war on ignorance.”
Lilly closes out the video by acknowledging that we all have voices in our heads, but it’s up to us to choose which ones to act upon and define us. She ends by saying: “It’s not about the voices in your head. It’s about what you do with them.”
Words of admiration and support for Voices have been pouring out from both Lilly’s supporters other YouTube creators. The video hit 1 million views in less than 24 hours.
@IISuperwomanII your latest video is the most innovative/creative/ fucking amazing thing I have ever seen. You are straight up genius.
— ??Channon Rose?? (@ChannonRose) August 9, 2016
I'm in absolute shock I didn't know @IISuperwomanII could get even more talented. You are so inspirational voices was AMAZING
— Teala Dunn (@TTLYTEALA) August 9, 2016
— Flora? (@MyLillSingh) August 9, 2016
Lilly : releases new music
Me : puts on repeat FOR DAYS.#Voices
— rani ? (@teamsuperrussia) August 9, 2016
Lilly is set to perform Voices live for the first time on Saturday, August 13th at YouTube Fanfest in Toronto.
All in all, Voices is a beautiful piece of art. The music and imagery are both fantastic, but it’s the words, and the meaning behind them, that truly shine. It is a song that will truly make you think about your life, and will make you ask difficult questions. What are the voices in your head? Are they always fighting? How will you use them? Thank you Lilly, for making this thought-provoking and inspiring song.
What are your thoughts on Lilly Singh’s ‘Voices’? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.