“Frida Farrell’s striking new video details the harrowing true story of her experiences with sex trafficking. The title-track from a brand new independent film, Apartment 407, features clips from the story in its video, intermittently arranged around intimate and quiet shots of Frida herself declaring her new-found strength and ability to overcome.” Check out the full review here, and in the mean-time – read our in-depth interview with Frida below.
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Hi Frida, congrats on the release of the new video. The concept is of course extremely harrowing and sadly very personal to you. Was it difficult to write about this topic, or does it ultimately help you to deal with and overcome the past?
Thank you so much! It was difficult to write about it because it makes me feel very vulnerable talking about my past, but at the same time – it was empowering to write about it. Feeling that I can do this. I can talk about it. I can overcome it. And hopefully I can help other women overcome traumas in their lives as well by showing them that it’s OK to talk about these things.
There are more than a few details and layers that build upon the impact of the underlying story – how did you decide which direction to take the song in, and the video too?
I felt that it was equally important to express both emotions. The sad part and the strong part. You need to hear both sides to connect with me and my story. There’s obviously been many sad days in my life after the incident and that’s important to talk about. But it’s also very important to talk about the fact that it’s possible to move on.
The words in the chorus “You Can’t Hurt Me No More” were literary my mantra for a long time and my way to get past it all. I simply didn’t want to allow that horrible man to win. He’d already taken enough. No more. No more of my future would be spent with him on my mind. By repeating that sentence over and over in my head or out loud I ended up believing it, adapting it to my life and slowly getting past it all.
When we made the video we tried to mirror my feelings throughout my journey. Starting from being left on the cold floor to standing tall and strong.
What is the main idea you want people to take away from this single and video?
I want people to stop branding people who have been raped as victims but instead see them as survivors. Yes, we’re victims of an awful crime but most importantly we are survivors. We’re still here, fighting to survive. The reason I was silent about this for over 10 years was because I branded myself a victim and felt ashamed and embarrassed over what had happened. Even though it wasn’t my fault I still blamed myself for it. I want people to come away with a new thought — these women and men, who’ve been through such trauma as rape, are survivors. Don’t brand them as victims. Instead help them be strong survivors.
How big of a problem is this currently where you are, and what do you think needs to be done in order to combat it and create a brighter future for those unwillingly involved?
I live in LA and it’s a huge problem here. Most people probably don’t know this but the LAPD raid houses every day trying to rescue sex trafficked people. I strongly believe that education is the way forward. Talking about it more openly so more and more people become aware of the issue and most importantly of how to avoid ending up in that horrible situation.
What advice would you give to someone who is currently trapped or stuck in a life they abhor?
Oh, wow. That’s a tough one… Don’t be scared to try and run away. That’s what I did and I made it. But I have no idea where I’d be right now if I hadn’t taken that chance. Probably not here anymore… I was scared to death but it was worth it. Find a way to get out.
How did you first get into music and performance?
I started writing songs about 8 years ago. I was driving around and suddenly I just had to pull over and write a song that was literally falling into my head. I wrote it in 15 minutes in my car. Then I thought what the hell do I do now? How do I add music and make it a real song? I didn’t play any instruments.
After spending about 2 years working with different musicians trying to add music to my ever growing lyrics I decided to learn the piano to give myself more freedom and not be stuck needing other people to make my music. 4 months later I started playing live in bars on Sunset Blvd. I know that sounds crazy but I was so determined to do this that I wasn’t gonna let anything or anyone stop me, not even my own disability of not playing any instruments. They say do something every day that scares you. I was so terrified every time I sat down to play in a bar or cafe that my hands were shaking. And I screwed up a lot but I didn’t let that stop me. People say I’m very stubborn…
What are your plans going forwards as an artist?
I’m gonna release another single in January. And I’m working on the release of my EP early next year as well, and then I’d like to start performing my new songs.
Will you be performing live much in 2020?
Yes, I’d really like to do that!
What are your main aspirations as an artist?
I think my goal is to make people feel things. Like sad or happy or angry. To somehow move people. That’s what I look for when I listen to other artists. I want them to be able to evoke feelings of some kind.
What would you change about the music industry if you could?
It’s easy to say “I’d like it to be how it was in the old days when everything was recorded analog in big studios”, but there would be so many artists in the world that would never be heard because they simply could’t afford to record like that. So in a way I’m happy about how the music has evolved. But I’d love it if artists were actually paid properly for all their hard work.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I feel like there’s still that old stigma that somehow artists are lesser people because they don’t do a “normal” job. And therefore it’s ok to NOT pay them. But the truth is that all those “normal” people with “normal” jobs spend all their free time listening to or watching artist to escape their daily shores. So if anything the artists should be MORE paid than all those “normal” people. But hey, that’s just my little personal opinion.
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Frida Farrell’s film, Apartment 407, is available now on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Youtube. Find & follow her on Instagram.