Masia One starts a movement with 'Not All That Glitters is Gold'
Her new single addresses a sexual assault that happened while on tour in Australia
Sometimes a superstar is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Masia One found out this cold, hard truth when she set up a Southeast Asian tour in 2019 for a reggae star, and he sexually assaulted her assistant, General Ling, while on tour. After dropping out of the tour in Australia, waiting for the rape kit to be done, and filing charges at the police station, Masia wrote the words on a piece of paper that would become the song, 'Not All That Glitters is Gold.’ The song also features the vocals of General Ling, to ensure the voice of survivors is heard.
Now, instead of doing ‘poster girl’ promotions for her song, she's starting a movement that challenges taboos in talking about sexual assault in the music industry in Singapore, Asia, and worldwide. The Not.AllThatGlitters movement enables survivors to share their stories with the world and educate the public on gender-based violence. The community is growing.
For Masia, when she told people in the industry her story, she found out about the golden silence. “A lot of people said protect your money, protect your reputation, and tell your assistant to suck it up. Were you there? How do you know? How I knew was that my assistant was traumatized and a shell of her former self in the days and weeks after. I also realized I normalized a lot of bad behavior and sexual harassment after being in the music industry for so many years.”
Fighting cultural taboos is not easy, and Masia found out from a friend in the industry that 'Not All That Glitters is Gold' had been blacklisted by some Japanese, New York, and UK media. “When I removed myself from the tour and I heard lies saying I was hard to work with and that I had been kicked off the tour,” Masia said.
“Rumors were coming back to me that I had made up a lie about the assault” Masia continued, "This made me understand how common victim blaming or rape culture is, allowing stereotyped beliefs that women lie about rape. Since the launch of the campaign, I've heard hundreds of stories from artists that have shared the same has happened to them and received many private DMs from people opening up as survivors of sexual abuse. I realize that sexual violence continues when we are silent, especially when the community is not there to support survivors."
Masia One's goal is to elevate the music and creative industry to provide more safe spaces for artists and feel confident to call out sexual violations as a community.
The remix for Not All That Glitters is Gold, featuring an international line up for artists drops April 2021 for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.