In the days following the Women's March in Washington D.C., one word was consistently used to describe MILCK's song "Quiet": anthem. Billboard, NBC, NPR and Entertainment Tonight were just a few of the outlets that did just that, forever tying a then newly-released tune from the L.A.-based singer-songwriter to the massive January protest, after video captured at the event went viral. Soon, MILCK was on television, performing the song for "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee." Months later, the song is still sticking. In early June, MILCK turned up at Los Angeles Pride’s Resist March for another flash mob performance.
It may seem as if MILCK came out of nowhere, but that's not the case. Her releases as MILCK are slim so far. If you look her up on Spotify, you'll find two original songs and a cover of Hozier's hit "Take Me to Church." However, she's been working under the radar for quite some time.
Connie Lim, who grew up in Palos Verdes and studied piano and opera as a child, had been releasing music for years before she adopted the name MILCK in 2016. Yet, she was still a relative unknown. Even after the name change, she had a modest bit of success when her song "Devil Devil" appeared on the television series "Lucifer." The Women's March, though, came to redefine her work and her career.
"Quiet" opens with the lines "put on your face/know your place," immediately recalling the expectations placed on women. On MILCK's website, it's noted that "Quiet" is based upon the singer's personal experience and was actually written back in 2015 with songwriting partner Adrianne Gonzalez. It’s also noted that MILCK was advised to hold onto the song for a later release, but she chose not to follow that.
In an interview with Vice, MILCK notes that she and her friend Krista Suh, an L.A.-based artist who co-founded The PussyHat Project, came up with the idea of a flash mob performance for the January march. MILCK then came together with a group of singers, and director Alma Har’el, who she didn't know until the project came into fruition.
It didn't stop there. MILCK launched the website icantkeepquiet.org, with the mission of "celebrating our unique voices and identities, in an effort to break the cycles of oppression and fear, perpetuated by today's media." The site features stories of people who have chosen not to stay quiet and is the future home of related art projects. There's a merch section on the site and 15 percent of the sales will go to the L.A. chapter of Step Up, a program for underprivileged teenage girls. Here, people can also find the sheet music and guide recordings of "Quiet." The song has been covered in many different ways and MILCK posts those covers, like one of a group of high school girls in Oregon to her Facebook page.
MILCK's own career has been flourishing since the January protest as well. In mid-May, L.A. Weekly reported that the singer signed a record deal with Atlantic. At the end of that month, MILCK updated fans to let them know that an unreleased song, "The World Is Unraveling," which she co-wrote with Danny Burke, had just appeared on an episode of "Lucifer."
Moreover, there's more "Quiet" in the future for MILCK. On June 24, the singer posted a studio pic to her Facebook page, letting fans know that she's working on a new version of what is now her biggest hit. Back in January, the song was seen as an "anthem" for a specific event, but now it's come to help define political activism in 2017.
Find out more about MILCK's advocacy and watch her perform on KCET's Studio A, September 12 at 10 p.m.