A teen band wrote a song about racist, sexist boys and it promptly became a viral pandemic-era anthem.
To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Los Angeles Public Library recently hosted a concert, where the garage punk band, called The Linda Lindas, performed some of their songs, including one about anti-Asian discrimination titled “Racist Sexist Boy.”
“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people. After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me,” Mila, the band’s 10-year-old drummer and singer, said to introduce the song.
“Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
A video of the performance posted by the library was viewed more than 3.4 million times as of Saturday night. Other clips posted online were also viewed millions of times.
The band is made up of cousins Mila; Eloise, 13; and Lucia, 14; and their close friend Bela, 16; all of whom are both Asian American and Latinx.
According to their website, their music “channels the spirit of original punk, power pop, and new wave through today’s ears, eyes, and minds.” They released their self-titled EP last year, as well as a single titled “Vote!”
“There was an election that would change all of our lives, right? But we weren’t old enough to vote so we wrote a song to encourage people who were old enough to vote to vote,” Eloise said in an interview during their show at the library.
Their new hit song ― and the group’s Riot Grrrl vibe ― was heralded by fans new and old online. Between Thursday and Saturday, The Linda Lindas’ following on Instagram grew from 50,000 to more than 172,000.
“This was so awesome! All of the songs are great but ‘Racist Sexist Boy’ was especially badass. So upsetting you had that experience but great you could turn it into such an amazing song,” one commenter wrote on YouTube.
“Like, I wish I had this anthem for my own racist, sexist boy this past pandemic. An anthem, these super stars,” wrote one person on Twitter.
Another tweeted: “This is the first band I will be RUNNING to see once I get my second shot.”
Last year, the group wrote and performed an original song for “The Claudia Kishi Club,” a Netflix documentary about the Japanese American character in the iconic Baby-Sitters Club books. The documentary explores how, for many Asian American women, Kishi was one of the first times they saw themselves represented in popular media in a stereotype-breaking way.