22 Mar She Persisted – Gina Chavez & Jens Thornevall
Gina Chavez & Jens Thornevall's THOS Experience
In February of 2017, musicians Gina Chavez and Jens Thornevall met for the first time. Upon first glance, one could assume they wouldn’t have much in common—Chavez is a female Latin rocker from Austin, Texas, while Thornevall is a male singer-songwriter from Sweden—but as we regularly discover at The House of Songs, no matter what country you’re from or what music you play, music is a universal language.
Upon arriving at the House, the two musicians immediately paired up. They didn’t have time to get to know one another, but they quickly discovered that their musicality gelled. Over the course of a few days of writing and jamming a song began to take form from a seed in Chavez’s head—a song that would be both incredibly catchy AND socially important.
Their stay at The House of Songs coincided with notable moment in U.S. politics: While opposing confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was silenced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reciting a speech by Coretta Scott King. This silencing caused anger in many communities across the country and Chavez, a vocal activist for human rights, funneled her frustrations into song. The end result: “She Persisted.”
Chavez debuted “She Persisted” at SXSW 2017, where it got buzz in Billboard Magazine and NPR.
9:47 p.m. — Not long after singing a Latin-flavored, bilingual cover of “I Will Survive,” Austin-based Gina Chavez announced, “This next song is for the fools in Washington who don’t listen to women.” Melding Texas rock with shadings of Latin folk, Chavez spit out an ode to nasty women centered around the words “nevertheless she persisted,” the feminist rallying cry reclaimed from Mitch McConnell’s condescending dismissal of the senator. — JL