Artist, author, and activist Allison Russell has released the remix of “All of the Women featuring Sa-Roc” produced by dim star. The original track appeared on her critically acclaimed debut solo album, Outside Child.
The dim star remix features an appearance from the Atlanta-based (by way of D.C.) rapper Sa-Roc and chronicles Russell’s experience as a healthcare worker in Vancouver and the women she would encounter on the frontlines. This past Friday, Russell sat down with writer, poet, and critic Hanif Abdurraquib for his Sonos Radio show Object of Sound where they discussed Sa Roc, Outside Child, trauma, and joy.
Last week, Russell was nominated for two JUNO Awards in her native Canada including “Songwriter of the Year” and “Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.” Russell and Outside Child have also been nominated for three GRAMMY Awards, two Americana Music Association Awards, three UK Americana Awards, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the Polaris Long List.
Allison Russell spoke about “All Of The Women,” saying, “I had a day job when I lived out West. I was a front-line mental health worker for almost 7 years in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (aka DTES, the poorest postal code, heart of the homelessness crisis and fentanyl/opioid crisis in Canada), from 19 until I was 26. I worked for two harm reduction initiatives- the PHS – a low threshold housing society, and Insite – the first ever safe injection site in North America. Most of our residents/participants were dual diagnosis- addiction, and mental health. Many of the women in our community had histories and stories akin to mine.
“I was constantly afraid for the women working in the sex trade especially- I moved to Vancouver amidst the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis- now understood to be on the level of Genocide – that was belatedly only semi-addressed by law-enforcement. It is more perilous to be a woman in every culture and society. We are seeing the devastating overlap between #blacklivesmatter, #blacktranslivesmatter and #mmiwg today. BIPOC women are leading the way out of bigotry and into true equality. Shirley was luminous and so kind to me as I got to know the parameters of my caregiving jobs, and the complex and close-knit community that I served and came to love and identify with deeply. She was indomitable and I miss her.”