Newcomer Rina Sawayama released her third new single, “Flicker.” The song is about empowering people whose identities can often be oppressed, diminished or misunderstood. “When the people on TV/They all look the same/I know I can/I can do/Better than them,” she sings on the pre-chorus.
In a statement, the Japan-born Sawayama recalled a childhood memory that inspired the song’s message. “The first day of reception year at school my teacher totally butchered my surname while calling out the register. I remember crying so hard and that was the first time I realized that I was different to all the others in class,” she recalled. Her family had relocated to London when she was five-years-old.
“When I was writing ‘Flicker’ I was thinking how our name shapes our experience in life and identities in a deeper way than we realize. Whether it’s a name that no one can say, or the frustration of being misgendered, or quite simply being misunderstood for who you truly are — this is a song for you.”
Sawayama has been releasing music over the last five years. Her self-titled, self-released debut EP came out last October. Though this is the third non-EP single to be released this year, the pop star and model has yet to reveal plans for a follow-up EP or full-length album. Over September and October, she embarked on a short Ordinary Superstar tour across North America and London.