Connie Lim, who writes and records as MILCK, makes music for anyone who feels out of place in the world. Hers are songs of empowerment and cathartic healing for the displaced and brokenhearted. It's a kind of thesis or mission statement MILCK first declared on her anthemic hit, "Quiet," the song that blew up after she performed it with a group of a cappella singers at last year's Women's March in Washington, D.C. "It's about helping people who have felt silenced reclaim their power," she says.

In the year since releasing "Quiet," MILCK has signed with Atlantic Records and just released her debut EP, This Is Not The End. On this edition of All Songs Considered she talks about the new music, her struggle to make it as a musician while preserving her Chinese American identity, how courage and truth can lead to widespread healing and much more.

You can hear the full interview with the listen link at the top of the page and read edited highlights below.


MILCK on how her song 'Quiet' went viral following her performance on the National Mall and how some people misinterpreted it

"It was just an inundation of calls and e-mails [after the Women's March] and [the media] wanted to know the background of this song. At that time, everyone wanted to see if this was an anti-Trump song, like why did I write this as an anti-Trump song? And I was faced with my first fork in the road because this had never happened to me, this type of attention. I know that what's juicy and what people wanted is to talk about that anti-Trump factor, but that's not where the song came from. This is about something, in my perspective, a little bigger. It's about reclaiming my power and helping people who have felt silenced reclaim their power regardless of party lines. I wrote [it] from a place of not feeling safe in my home. I think what's interesting is that when the song went viral a lot of us, as Americans, didn't feel safe in our own country, in our own home. I think that was part of the reason why this song connected with people."

On her struggle to make it as a musician and preserve her identity as a Chinese American with immigrant parents

"I've been an independent artist for eight years. And I remember around year five or six, there was a person interested in managing me and he was kind of scratching his head. He's like, 'Well I don't know how to break a Chinese American artist here. Maybe you should go back to China.' And I kind of panicked because I don't view China as my home. I view America as my home. I've been presented that strategy many times, especially when I was first coming up. But I've just been really stubborn about wanting to do my art here. And so, I've just been following my instincts and trying to stay as grounded as possible."

On what she was most inspired to write about for the new EP

"I remember walking into a writing session shortly after 'Quiet' went viral and it was like, 'let's write some movement songs!' And I froze up. I immediately felt really uncomfortable. I was like, I don't think I can do that. I think I just need to continue writing really honest songs. So, the thing that I started writing about a lot actually was my family and my dad and my mom and my sister and these people who have had these really important roles in my life. I started really reflecting on them in a different way because I finally felt like maybe I can do this, truly do this as a living and have a good life and have an audience to speak to. My dynamic with my father has changed so much. He really didn't want me to do music. He was very upset that I left UC Berkeley and decided to go off on this path. Growing up as an American kid with traditional Chinese parents there's so much unspoken tension. And I was the black sheep in the family [but now] I've actually found a home for myself. For so long I felt like I didn't know where my home was. And actually, there's a whole other family out there and it's a global family because when 'Quiet' went viral, I started getting a bunch of messages from men and women and they were calling me 'sister.' They're like, 'thank you, sister.' And I would reply, 'thank you, brother. Thank you, sister.' It was worldwide."

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