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Ariel Bui Has Something to Say with “Sixteen”

Nashville based singer-songwriter, Ariel Bui, digs into the darker channels of the music industry’s fascination with sexualizing teen girls in her new song “Sixteen”. Combining all the rockabilly and psychedelic influences we’ve come to expect, she manages something powerful that will surely get us ready for her upcoming album Real & Fantasy.

Bui consciously uses the opening line of the song, “I was just sixteen, you know what I mean,” as a play on the classic Beatles line, “She was just seventeen, you know what I mean” saying that “The Beatles weren’t the only ones normalizing the sexualization of teenage girls. It’s such a common theme in music and media, it doesn’t even need to be explicitly stated. As a young female, I had experienced sexual abuse many times by the time I was sixteen. And unfortunately, that experience is not unique to me.”

Musically, this song has the ethereal vibes of Stevie Knicks and the bite of Courtney Love meshing into a mystical, powerful approach to handling pressing issues of the real world. You can feel the way Bui’s voice sits deep in her chest as she puts herself back into her sixteen-year-old shoes, singing “I may be just a little girl / But I have something to say”. Bringing issues of sexual misconduct and abuse against minors to the forefront of her music, Bui demonstrates profound strength in her willingness to speak up for those who have experience a similar, haunting trauma.

“Sixteen” is available now on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Find this and more excellent music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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