Sometimes strength isn’t flashy or loud, but reveals itself quietly

Sometimes strength isn’t flashy or loud, but reveals itself quietly

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Hey there, curious humans of the internet, it’s Erin Bagatta. I’m the Marketing Coordinator here at Radio Milwaukee. If you’ve recently volunteered with the station, you likely know me. I help lead our station’s volunteer program, as well as offer support to other departments in the areas of marketing, photography and content creation.

I also concept and create 88Nine’s promotional material and assorted graphics. My to-do list shapeshifts daily, and I’m thankful to have a creative role that lends itself to such variety.

Hear my picks for International Women’s Day below.

Before delving into my musical picks, I’d like to thank the vibrant soul that is Dori Zori for inviting me to curate a small block of programming for International Women’s Day. Her brand of quirky-cool is unmatchable, her friendly warmth undeniable, and her ability to make those of us who normally don’t speak on-air feel comfortable and confident is admirable (and very much appreciated).

The songs I selected for my set speak on self love, familial love and the love we have for our friends. They possess a duality of strength and softness, and remind us that gentleness does not equate weakness. These songs are pensive and meditative… but are just as powerful as songs with belting vocals, pulsating beats and face-melting guitar solos. Strength exhibits itself in different ways. Sometimes strength isn’t flashy or loud, but rather reveals itself quietly.

I bookended my set with spoken word, the first track being “Hold Your Own” by Kate Tempest. Her words bleed resilience, tenderness and humanity. Each line serves as a mantra reminding us to hold others with the same consciousness and compassion that we carry ourselves with. What you are is what you need, and every act of love spawns from inner, self love. I would willingly stitch any line of this poem into my soul.

“My Mother and I” speaks on maternal, selfless love. We are what has come before. When I listen to this song, I can’t help but think of my own mom. Now that I’m in my twenties, I can see our relationship transitioning, and ultimately growing. As a child, our parents are seen as all-knowing, invincible, flawless beings, yet as you grow older, you evolve into of your own person, and you see your parents in a new light — you realize they are humans with their own struggles and insecurities and unanswered questions… and love them even more for that. I want to be there for my parents in the way that they’ve always been there for me (hi Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this).

Both “Isobel” by Phoebe Green and “Mary” by Big Thief paint mental vignettes of friendship. These songs croon of a love characterized by the intimacy of a sisterly bond and the gratitude of loving someone who will always have your back. The lyrics bathe over me. When I close my eyes, I am simultaneously the songwriter and the dear friend the song is written for. I feel the rush of eternal youth. I time travel back to moments spent with friends just laying on the floor talking, laughing until we cry, crying until we laugh, effortlessly abandoning all inhibition.

Lastly, only Maya Angelou can deliver a poem that is as equally as cool and collected as it is potent. Blending the cadence of Angelou’s saucy words with contemporary hip-hop, “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” simply speaks for itself. It’s a mic-drop of a song. And a beautifully inspiring one at that. May we all be less fearful and may we all remember our worth. In the words of Angelou herself, “Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle… it’s yours, this is your life. This is your world.”

Happy Women’s History Month!

Tracklist:

  • “Hold Your Own” by Kate Tempest
  • “My Mother and I” by Lucy Dacus
  • “Isobel” by Phoebe Green
  • “Mary” by Big Thief
  • “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou
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