L.A. singer-songwriter Veronica Bianqui's ’60s-tinged music is irrepressibly colorful and upbeat, even when her subject matter isn't. So it's no surprise that her latest single, “Victim” — which L.A. Weekly is proud to premiere below — is as bewitchingly melodic as anything she's ever released, even though there's a tragic story behind its release: the death of Bianqui's sister earlier this year, following a long struggle with heroin and opiate addiction.
Bianqui plans to donate all proceeds from sales of “Victim” to the Harm Reduction Coalition in honor of her sister's memory. Here's a statement she shared with us:
“The Harm Reduction Coalition, as their website says, works on policy changes, training (like how to recognize an overdose and save a life) and overdose prevention, as well as provides resources both for drug abusers and the public. They have a strong emphasis on treating drug addicts humanely, especially those in marginalized communities. I decided to donate to them because harm reduction accepts the fact that people use drugs, and works to reduce the stigma around it to actually make effective changes.
“Drug overdoses kill more people in America than guns or car accidents. It's a problem that affects everyone and does not discriminate. My sister Marlene died this past July at the age of 35 after about 10 long years of opiate/heroin addiction, which is why I am so passionate about helping others. She left behind a fiancé and an 8-year-old son. If my sister had more resources available to her, it's possible that she would still be alive today. Even if someone who was trained in recognizing overdoses had been with her when it happened, maybe she could have been saved. That's why it's important to educate.
“I hope through my music that my sister can live on. She always wanted to write a song with me, but we never got it together. But maybe she's with me now every time I write and every time I sing.”
Listen to “Victim” below and consider making a donation to the Harm Reduction Coalition. Or buy “Victim” when it's officially released on all major platforms tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 15. (Bianqui's donating her streaming revenue for the track, as well.)
[Correction: An earlier version of this article said “Victim” was inspired by the death of Bianqui's sister, but the song was actually written earlier. The article also said Bianqui's sister died of a heroin overdose, but though she was known to have struggled with a herion/opiate addiction, the exact cause of her death is still unknown, pending toxicology reports.]