By Laura Wenus
At 11, 13, and 15 years old, Sarahi Yannacone, Eliseana Hernandez and Ana Diosdado didn’t expect to be releasing a single, let alone star in a visionary music video condemning popular music’s degradation of women. Sarahi’s musical experience ended with her practice of the violin in fourth grade. Eliseana’s singing experience was limited to the shower. Ana just “doesn’t rap.”
But here they are. Ana and Sarahi are spitting verse alongside pro hip hop artist Adam “A-Plus” Carter (of Hieroglyphics fame), carried by Eliseana’s smooth vocals. They come together in “We Are the Women,” a song Alejandra Rodriguez, a veteran Mission Girl, co-produced. No matter that, by her account, she doesn’t write or sing, and doesn’t even talk unless she can avoid it.
“We’re giving a voice to young girls who never ever had any kind of studio experience but they have a lot to say,” said Mission Girls director Susana Rojas.
The track is a collaboration between the nonprofit program Mission Girls and Future Youth Records, a label that produces and promotes songs with a message. Sarahi, Eliseana and Ana were coached through the experience by professional recording studio staff, but also by A-Plus and former American Idol competitor Thia Megia.
When it came time for the “agony” of picking a handful of the dozens of young women the nonprofit serves every day, Rojas said these girls stood out.
Sarahi, Rojas said, came to her after the release of Nicki Minaj’s highly suggestive music video for the song “Anaconda”. The 11-year-old was appalled.
“What happened to her? She’s talented. Did she forget that she’s a woman too?” Rojas remembered Sarahi asking.
So the focus of the Mission Girls song came together around the reactions that the Mission Girls had to mainstream songs and videos…
To see the video, finish reading Girls from San Francisco's Mission District Release Feminist Song, Video