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By Lucas Thomae
Catch up on NC College Beat’s latest Student Perspective feature, where Lucas Thomae interviews Nuria Shin, a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill.
On March 16, a series of shootings at spas and massage parlors in Atlanta killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. The killings happened amid an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and violence and across the U.S.. Following the tragedy, one UNC sophomore channeled her emotions into the only way she knew how: music.
I’m Lucas Thomae, and this is NC College Beat’s Student Spotlight.
My name’s Nuria Shin, I’m a sophomore here at UNC Chapel Hill, double majoring in Ad-PR and voice performance, and I’m a second-generation Korean American.
The day after the Atlanta shooting, Nuria picked up a journal and started writing what would eventually become a song, with poignant lyrics focused on anti-Asian sentiment.
It was truly just me putting all my thoughts into just a few words, and the first thoughts that came to mind, the first words, “I’m speaking right at you but you don’t seem to care. Your only concern is the color of my skin and my hair.”
It’s made me reflect on all of the microaggressions and the racism that I have endured but never really decided to confront just so I could get by easier, and just make it easier on me and my conscience.
I’m not really good with words, but it felt a lot easier when I could express my thoughts and feelings into music.
When I wrote Integrity it truly was me not knowing how else to express my thoughts, my emotions, the amount of just pain I felt. I never felt that much weight on my heart, if that makes sense.
This was one of the times when songwriting just came naturally to me. It had never come naturally, like I don’t write songs. I think this was the first time I had actually sat down and written anything.
Nuria recorded the song and posted it to Instagram, where it circulated among the campus community and was met with warmth and appreciation.
I know the people who know me and who follow me, I’m not one who’s super active in sharing my opinions or sharing my thoughts but I knew this was something that I had to share and this is something that I wanted my followers – I say my followers, but the people who follow me – to just take the time to listen and hear what I had to say.
[Lucas]: And when you shared that post and put that song out into the world what was the community response like and what was your reaction to that?
I was really happy that I posted that, because it took this moment of isolation and this moment of fear and turned it into something that was really warm and very supportive, and it felt like my opinions and my thoughts truly mattered to those around me and it felt… It wasn’t lonely anymore. Which was very nice. ●
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