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The #MeToo movement has inspired people to share their stories, to feel empowered, to connect with other survivors, and to give love and support. This husband and wife duo, Haley & Michaels (Shannon Haley and Ryan Michaels), was no different; deeply affected by the movement, they wanted to capture the emotion in the way they knew best—through music.
Pulling from their own experiences and drawing on the hope and strength from others, Haley & Michaels released their single, ‘#MeToo’ as a personal response.
I had the privilege of speaking to the two of them about their reason for writing the song, emotions behind it, and what the movement as a whole means to them. The most important thing, they said, was for the message of their song to be encouraging.
“We wanted the lyrics and the melody to feel uplifting and hopeful. We chose to write the lyrics from the perspective of having been there ourselves, sharing some examples of what that feels like, asking if anyone else has ever felt that way too, and joining them in their experiences by saying “Me Too.”
The duo’s biggest challenge was to stay positive. With so many allegations in the media, people’s lives being torn apart and on display, and so much devastation and pain, they felt the most important thing was to bring a message of hope.
“There are a lot of powerful emotions wrapped up in this topic,” they said, “We didn’t want to ignore any side of it, but we really wanted to focus on the strength, power and unity in the movement’s message.”
With lyrics, for example, that reference pain from childhood, being overwhelmed by images on television, or feeling broken to the point that you can hardly face another day—the duo does exactly that. Not only are they completely vulnerable in sharing pieces of their pasts, but they reach out to others who are struggling—showing a united, strong stance of support.
At the end of the day, the song not only serves as a powerful reminder that no matter who someone is, or what their walk of life looks like, in the end we are all the same and we must fight together.
The duo’s song leaves each of us with this simple, powerful message: We are not alone.