SHNTI Embraces Self-Agency In ‘Free,’ Her Solo Track Off ‘Pasya’ Album
Filipina rapper SHNTI has shared the music video for “Free,” her solo contribution to the 2021 advocacy album Pasya produced by Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Right (WGNRR), which features 13 original tracks by Filipina musicians. The visual was art directed by Mico Benitez and Ice Reyes.
“’Free’ is about the stories of relief and satisfaction of women living their best lives that they are able to have because of a successful abortion experience,” writes WGNRR. The track opens with a voiceover, in part, “I know there’s a lot of stigma in society, especially in a very Catholic or religious country such as the Philippines. But this is a choice I alone have to make, and in no way can other people’s judgment affect me.”
SHNTI also wrote in support of the decriminalization of abortion in the country. “I want to have authority over my body. State laws has been heavily influenced by the church— abortion and divorce laws being prime example of such unnecessary influence. As for music, it has always been a way of protest, take ‘Bella Ciao’ for example: an anti-partisan song that has been re-popularized recently. Such lasting impact can immortalize the cries and sentiments of many. We can always count on music to bring us back to the main reason why we chose our advocacy and it will always resonate with the people whose plights are the same as ours.”
At present, the act is criminalized, and those who undergo and “any person who assists in” the procedure face imprisonment under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, with a longer prison term mandated for “the woman or her parents if the abortion is undertaken ‘to conceal [the woman’s] dishonor.’”
Aside from “Free,” SHNTI also collaborated with musicians Muro Ami and Tao for “Regla” (Menstrual Blood). The album was produced, arranged, and mixed by Calix.