Last month, Brisbane songwriter Jaguar Jonze sparked a new wave of important discussions around sexual misconduct in Australia’s music industry. In a series of handwritten post-it notes, Jonze took to social media to share her own experiences of sexual assault by two producers, standing in solidarity with a staggering amount of women who came forward to detail incidences of alleged sexual misconduct by a Melbourne-based music photographer.
“I often take to songwriting as an outlet for all my emotions, but after an overwhelming few weeks being on the frontline of the recent #metoo movement in the Australian music industry, sometimes it’s all too much to sit down and pen your own song,” Jonze explains. “Sometimes, singing a cover in your own way is the best catharsis.”
Jonze says that she felt sick to her stomach after receiving over 400 stories from people, each with their own experience of sexual harassment or assault and beginning the process of talking to the media, representing voices that are often silenced – all while doing her best within the strict limitations of defamation laws in Australia.
“I knew what that feeling was because I had felt it all too often before – toxic.”
In light of the recent discussions around “a certain US record label” and the #FreeBritney movement, Jonze says she was reminded of her favourite pop song – Britney Spears’ 2003 hit ‘Toxic’. Jonze decided to record her own rendition – which we’re premiering here at Music Feeds today.
“As a child, I completely missed the message and tone of what the song actually was and, revisiting it as an adult, I wanted my cover to draw out how my understanding of the song has changed. This is my ode to all the people who stood up alongside me these last few weeks against toxic masculinity, toxic relationships and toxic environments in the music industry. We hear you, we see you and time is up.”
Stream Jaguar Jonze’s cover of ‘Toxic’ below.