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Being the title track and single of my upcoming album, Burn is a culmination of lyrical passions, fiery vocals, and an empowering arrangement. With breathtaking piano, vibrant trumpets, and intricate harmonies, Burn has come to represent such a monumental part of my soul. It has led me on countless journeys including raising my own personal awareness of domestic violence, watching the exponential effect it has on people and myself with every performance, and filming my first professional music video. Every song on this album holds a significance in my heart and my life, however, Burn taught me how powerful my fire could be—Burn changed me. Thus, the overarching theme of this album is transformation.
Inspired by true events, Burn raises awareness of the 2,000 battered women in America who are serving time in prison for defending their lives against their abusers. As high as 90% of women in prison today for killing men were abused and battered by those men. Women charged with the death of a partner have the least extensive record of any people convicted.
Domestic violence is a costly war waging behind closed doors of outdated societal constructs and silence for the sake of protecting our psychological comfort. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. Domestic violence hotlines receive nearly 30,000 calls on a typical day. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, neighbors, colleagues have all been victims in some way or another because this sickness affects us all.
When we ask why they stay, or question why they let it progress, we are inadvertently victim-blaming. So, I encourage everyone to ask themselves, if you had to leave your home today, could you? Could you abandon the memories, stability, finances, time, sense of family, promises, futures, and hopes that an abuser might change? Because when we advise women and men to avoid victimization, we expect that they can and will irrevocably restart their lives.
All I ask for is awareness. Employ empathy, comprehension, and presence to this battle and stand with me—with thousands of men and women—against domestic violence. Because if you or someone you care about has not been directly affected by domestic violence, statistics show that that day will come. Let’s rise to lessen those chances!
They call me survivor, call me a fighter, as if I am the same
I am changed, by a man who only takes
Didn't know why I stayed, until today
I stand before you as you avert your gaze
The evidence you need, he ironed onto me
Bound in chains I take the stand, staring through these twelve men
Who'll never know this pain, well here's the truth you seek
I'll die in here before I let him walk another day
If I spend the rest of my life in a cage, I wont complain
Cuz I finally had enough of all the lies, he'll never change
So I put a gun to his head and I said
You're gonna burn in the hell you made
I, I am a mother, and I was a lover, until he beat the love from me
Ask me why, oh ask me why one more time
Why I painted myself red to protect myself and them
Abusers they will walk away, live to see another day
As I carry my cross, thirty years to life
You with the clean hands, look me in the eye
If guilty's what you're looking for, I'll gladly step forward
Cuz I'm one of hundreds everywhere
No you don't have to look that hard
To find bruises and scars all around
released December 6, 2015
Written and recorded by Stevie Rae Stephens
Mix and mastered by Zak Coffey www.zakcoffeyaudio.com
Piano by Juan Zamora
Bass by Cameron Reed
Drums by Chris Scanlan
E. Guitar by James Davis
A. Guitar by Gregory Hanson
Trumpet by Avery Suazo