#ICantKeepQuiet: The Metrics of Going Viral
I was lying in bed the evening after the Women’s March on Washington. It had been a long day - I was up since 5:30 to perform flashmobs with my a capella group at the Women’s March on Washington. All of a sudden, my roommate runs into the room screaming something at the top of her lungs about Emma Watson. Hermione Granger herself had retweeted a cellphone video recording of us singing at the march.
This blog post is not about Emma Watson. It’s not about The GW Sirens, or the so-called anthem of the Women’s March. It’s about an honest message that resonated around the world, and this incredible medium called the internet that acts like some kind of powerful megaphone. It’s also just a candid reflection of a whirlwind week for a group of girls who sing together in their spare time.
Women in the #ICantKeepQuiet Choir. Los-Angeles based singer Connie Lim, whose stage name is MILCK, reached out to the GW Sirens and local a capella group Capital Blend over winter break after finding us on Facebook.
Number of flashmobs we performed at the march that morning.
Views on one bystander’s video (and a hard number for me to wrap my mind around).
Hours spent in New York City taping Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. We were asked to sing on an episode covering the Women’s March.
Mainstream media outlets that covered the #ICantKeepQuiet story. These included Buzzfeed, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, VICE, Rolling Stone, Mashable, Ozy, NBC, Billboard.
There’s no measure to how honored we are to be a part of this project. I’ll never be able to quantify how powerful it felt to sing at the march. I don’t think any of us antipicated the full intensity and emotion of the song until we sang it in that crowded sea of people, all nodding their heads along to the call and response portion of our song.
We’ve received an overwhelming amount of support since the march. People continue to feel a deep connection with this movement and song, and share their personal stories with us on Facebook. “This is my daughter’s favorite song! She plays it every single morning,” one congressman told us before a performance. Teenage girls are covering this song on Instagram, and dancers are creating beautiful pieces with this music. We’ve even seen people get tattoos of the lyrics!
As someone who works with social media and marketing, I know that you can’t plan for something to go viral. But I also know that the bystander video of us at the march captured such a real, and raw emotion. The song carried a relatable message that that needed to be heard at such a time, and resonated with so many people.
Every time we are asked to perform Quiet, we think back to the energy of the march. We take a moment backstage to think about who we are singing the song for. Seeing people tear up or singing along in the audience, is a humbling reminder of what music is capable of doing.
When we first agreed to the project, we had no idea what we were about to be part of. This song is meant to uplift people. That’s what it did at the march, and that’s what it will continue to do.
As the viral bystander video was captioned, “When we harmonize, we can’t be divided.”