In her 25 years of life, paris jackson has assumed several roles—model, actor, activist, indie-folk songstress, alt-rockstar. On each of these paths, she’s constructed solid bodies of work that are testaments to her creative fluidity and willingness to venture into new territory. While opening for the famed alternative rock band Incubus, paris presents the music video for her newest single “hit your knees,” a continuation of her journey into rock music canon. With “hit your knees,” she introduces brash electric guitar riffs and a grittier vocal texture, fully immersing herself into the persona of a capable, rising rockstar.
The song’s accompanying visual features a pensive paris and pious individuals—a monk, a pastor, a girl wearing a cross necklace—in distress with unhealthy coping mechanisms. The video is a meditation on the track’s central question: In times of despair, “where is he when you hit your knees, your god, your god, your god?”
“hit your knees” was written and produced with 4 Non Blonde’s frontwoman Linda Perry after the two met at an EqualizeHer event, an initiative co-founded by Linda and Alisha Ballard in an effort to push back against gender inequality within the industry. The song—entirely created by women with the support of EqualizeHer—seeks to serve as an archetype for providing female musicians with more opportunities. Moreover, EqualizeHer and paris will use the track to push other artists to form all-female production teams for at least one song off their next project.
Leading with the electric guitar, it slides up and down the scale before paris launches into a vocal performance reminiscent of early-2000s pop rock. paris’ art is well-studied, blending an expansive range of genres from the pre-chorus’ metal-inspired dissonant backing vocals to the staple rock instrumental riff at the song’s tailend. Of the source of inspiration for "hit your knees," paris says, "all of the same influences" as the ones for "lighthouse" and "just you" informed the creative process. Lyrically, the impressionistic writing creates an atmosphere of tension—a fact she acknowledges in the chorus’ line of “No relief and no reprieve.”
FLAUNT had the opportunity to chat with the star about “hit your knees,” her collaboration with Perry and EqualizeHer, and Incubus’ tour.
The last time we spoke to you, you were releasing singles “lighthouse,” and “just you.” Can you tell us how “hit your knees” sustains the sound you were curating in those singles?
All of the same influences were present when developing and producing.
How has your music evolved in the past year?
I think that’s for the listeners to decide.
Can you talk a little about how working with just women on “hit your knees” has been different from your other experiences making music?
I love any opportunity to co-create musically with someone. I feel like Linda gets me in a way no one else ever has before, which brings out more in me.
What initially drew you to (and kept you interested in) EqualizeHer?
I am a woman who has had very woman-like experiences in this industry, and I’d like to participate in helping other women.
How’s touring with Incubus been? Do you have a first memory of listening to their music?
It’s been so fun, so challenging, and so eye-opening. I knew six weeks in a sprinter van chasing a bus across the midwest would be different than the other tours I’ve done, but I didn’t realize how uncommon it was until people started telling me how proud they were that I was doing it. I definitely get homesick and miss my dogs, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I really feel like I’m cutting my teeth and putting my hours in.
Speaking of your sound, can you talk a little bit about your goals as an artist in the coming year?
I just want to keep creating.
How do you get to the place where you feel comfortable being vulnerable in your music?
I don’t know how to write any other way. Vulnerability isn’t something I’ve intentionally cultivated for the creative process.