Canadian jazz-pop singer Nikki Yanofsky wrote this unapologetic anthem celebrating her outspokenness after watching coverage of the 2018 Women's March that took place in New York City on January 20. "I saw it on the news and I felt so inspired watching woman after woman speak and be so poised and articulate," she told Fashion magazine. "It felt like history and I just wanted to have something forever to remind me of that moment. Songs, in my opinion, are like tattoos. You write them and you put them out and then they're there forever, you can't take them away. I just wanted to have a tattoo of that moment in my head."
Yanofsky elaborated on the song's meaning: "It's about having women be proud to speak their mind and to stand up for themselves and to never dull their shine for anybody. That's what I want the song to do. I've always been a kind of in-your-face person, but I've definitely had my fair share of moments where I've felt, oh maybe I shouldn't have said that or just felt ashamed. I wanted to write a song to remind women everywhere that no, never be ashamed of being you."
The song title was inspired by her childhood nickname. "My whole life my family has always called me 'Big Mouth,'" she told Fashion. "That's like their nickname for me. It's because I don't stop talking, I don't stop singing, whatever it is, I'm using my voice. And I was like, what if I use that voice to encourage others to do the same? That's why I thought 'Big Mouth' was an important single. I think also, with the current climate of the world, it's important to have a song that celebrates women like this and doesn't have to be so serious all the time. You know, you can also play to the softer sides and the funny sides and the sassy sides of women."
It's not always easy for a woman's voice to be heard in the male-dominated music industry. In a 2020 Songfacts interview, Yanofsky told us about her experience with sexism in the business: "I am very lucky to have a team that I love, but generally speaking, it's no secret that 'sex sells' is a phrase women hear more often than men do. I can also relate to this unspoken pressure for women to 'make it' while they're still in their 20s. I can't imagine that men have that same stress.
Creatively, I've had experiences where I feel that a guy is reluctant to take my ideas seriously, or to let me drive the session. I've also reached out to someone I wanted to work with and they saw me as a groupie, not an artist. They ignored my initial message asking if they'd want to collaborate and hit me up at 1 a.m. after their show with a 'Hey babe, what are you doing now' DM."
This was meant to be the lead single and title track to her first full-length album since 2014's Little Secret. The project, however, never came to fruition and her next LP, Black Sheep, wasn't released until 2020.
The music video, directed by Emma Higgins (Mother Mother's "The Drugs"), features a tribute to Aretha Franklin as Yanofsky and her dancers hold folding fans that spell out "Respect
" - the title of Franklin's iconic 1967 hit. On August 22, 2018, four days after the Queen of Soul's death, the video was leaked on Yanofsky's management website. It officially debuted a month later on VEVO.
This peaked at #40 on Canada's Adult Contemporary chart.