ANOHNI has shared a studio version of her cover of Gloria Gaynor’s classic ‘I Will Survive’. It arrives with an accompanying music video showing ANOHNI performing the track live in the 1990s and featuring the late artist and transgender activist Chloe Dzubilo. Watch it below.
ANOHNI also shared a statement in the description of the video, in which she revealed that Facebook offered her $200,000 to use the song in “an advertisement that represented Facebook as an advocate for small businesses.” The singer ultimately turned down the offer.
“Although I really could have used the money, I said no because I didn’t want to be complicit in Facebook’s hosting of fake news which might enable the re-election of Donald Trump,” she wrote. “They wrote back saying that they were placating other participants’ concerns by making donations to their charities of choice, in addition to paying them.
“I woke up the next morning and realized this isn’t even advertising; this is politics, and i don’t even know how deep this water is. This company Droga5 worked with Obama and Google and others. I had to walk away.
“A month later I saw the ad. Facebook had hired another singer to emulate my version of the song. It was a nauseating feeling.”
She added: “We all know that Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and others now seem to be destroying our lives, our minds, our jobs, our cultures, and our societies’ ability to govern themselves.
“We as artists were the first ones to be led to the stall to begin feeding, and being drained by, companies including Apple and Facebook.
“And now as artists, we must be the first to leave. We must show that it is possible to live without Instagram, without Facebook, without Google and Amazon. We must endeavor to rebuild our lives and our communities, our private conversations, in ways that don’t rely on manipulative infrastructures and interfaces provided by the world’s richest and most malevolent corporations.
“After the Facebook debacle, i felt compelled to complete my studio version of “I Will Survive”. It was the first song I ever sang in nightclubs in NYC when I was 20 years old. I sang it hundreds of times. In those days I sang it thinking of Marsha P. Johnson and the underground queer community struggling to survive in the face of AIDS. Now it seems to me like an anthem for the future of life on earth.”
She concluded: “Obviously, Youtube is owned by Google. I haven’t closed all my accounts. But I want to talk to you about this; I want to be a part of this conversation.”
As Pitchfork points out, Facebook shared an ad in August in support of small businesses which was soundtracked by Lykke Li’s cover of ‘I Will Survive’, which the singer officially released in September.