In surveying her own musical catalog, MILCK says she’s devoted to crafting “healing anthems for the human spirit.”
The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s new single, “If I Ruled the World,” is no exception. In it, she contemplates what it would be like to have a herculean ability to impact the planet. Amid percussion and rallying choruses, she vows to address social issues like racism and immigration; with tongue firmly in cheek, she’d also see about getting her rent lowered and a sequel to “Fight Club” made.
Watch the lyric video above.
“It’s a song where I dare to say out loud all the things I want for my life, and for the ones I love,” MILCK, whose real name is Connie Lim, told HuffPost of the track, released Friday. “To me, it’s far more empowering and energizing when we encourage people to imagine the world they want, rather than when we focus on cursing the parts of the world we don’t want to see.”
Born in California to Chinese parents, MILCK has set herself apart from other rising pop artists by straddling the line between performer and advocate. In 2015, she wrote and recorded “Quiet,” a song based on her experience with sexual abuse as a teenager. But she kept the track under wraps until January 2017, when she recruited 26 female a capella singers to perform it live with her at the inaugural Women’s March in Washington, D.C., one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
FIlmmaker Alma Har’el captured the “Quiet” performance and posted it on social media, where it quickly went viral. The video was shared on Twitter by Emma Watson and Debra Messing, among other celebrities. Since then, “Quiet” has been covered by performers in Texas and Ghana, and inspired a Swedish flash mob. MILCK herself featured the song on “This Is Not the End,” her 2018 debut EP for Atlantic Records, and has also released a Spanish version.
“If I Ruled the World” is the first single from MILCK’s forthcoming EP, “Into Gold.” Due out Feb. 21, the five-song collection once again is a testament to her passion for translating “painful moments into power and purpose” or, as she puts it, “turning tears into gold.”
Sonically, “Into Gold” draws inspiration from the likes of Joni Mitchell and David Gray, while its lyrics reference MILCK’s heartbreak after ending a five-year relationship, among other personal topics. Compared to her earlier work, however, the new tracks feature “more movement, more joy.”
“There’s so much chaos that we’re encountering on a day-to-day basis, that I decided I wanted to create music to ease the weary soul,” she said. “If we constantly are white-knuckled with clenched fists, we will have allowed for the oppressive forces in the world to rob of us this magical thing called life.”
Ultimately, MILCK would like listeners to come way from “If I Ruled the World” reminded that “fighting for a better world is a marathon.” As to whether she’d like the song to be embraced as an anthem addressing the current social and political climate as “Quiet” was in 2017, she stressed that “the joy is simply in the process.”
“No matter what happens, even if I get mocked or criticized, I know I’ll turn whatever comes at me into something beautiful,” she said.