Talk about a powerful message. For anyone who has ever suffered from anxiety or depression and has contemplated suicide please go and listen to this song. This is what I mean when I talk about artists using their gift as a platform to bring light to an important issue. Logic, who I honestly had never heard of until he performed this song at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, has shone a light on mental health issues that the mainstream media would rather sweep under the carpet. Logic cleverly named this song after the Suicide Prevention hotline number and I’m sure this song has helped save so many lives so far. I can relate to this song on so many levels with me being someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety. I know I’m not alone. I have two absolute favorite lines in the whole song that resonate with me. The first one is by Logic when he says, “I never had a place to call my own I never had a home / Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone / Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind? / They say every life precious but nobody care about mine.” I’ve been there when you just get to the point of your depression and think that nobody cares about you because they haven’t picked up the phone to check on you, so you have to ask yourself why does it matter if you’re around or not. Also, when it comes to depression it can be so easy to isolate yourself and you may believe that no one cares about you but how would you know if no one cares if you’re isolating yourself. That’s one of the worse things you could possibly do. I still do it at times though because it can be so tempting to keep to yourself and wallow in self-pity. The other line I love is sung by Alessia Cara. It goes like this, “It’s the very first breath / When your head’s been drowning underwater.” She describes the feeling you get after getting the help that you need. I’ve never had to call the suicide hotline but I can imagine that it’s an incredible feeling, like a weight lifted off of your shoulders when you reach out for help and you get it. It’s like the first step to getting better. A song like this needs to be heard because a lot of people suffer from depression that you may not even know including celebrities and everyday normal people. People suffer from it more than you may think. The following article explains why this song is incredibly important and what it has meant to people.
In my last blog post I mentioned how music is supposed to be a platform for important issues, but now I want to go more in depth with that thought. More than just music I believe all art forms can be used to highlight important social and political issues. I instantly think of art such as the well-known advertisement of Rosie the Riveter that was all the rage in World War II. That art was a representation of the women during WWII who had to work in the factories and take other “man” jobs because all of the men were away from home in the military. Rosie the Riveter is frequently used as a symbol of feminism. today Don’t get me wrong. All music doesn’t have to have deep thought, but the music today has become so ridiculous that a lot of today’s artists have forgotten the art of music. Art also doesn’t just have to deal with social and political issues but it can also be a platform for personal issues. We know a lot of artists who go through breakups and create amazing songs out of that heartbreak. I’m looking at you Adele and people can relate to that. I think that an artist that is relatable is important, but not only with music. I could say the same about any art form such as writing, visual art, dance, and so forth. All art has the power to incite change and I think artists have a duty to their audiences to make something worth listening to. The same thing goes for my writing. I try to use my writing as a platform to discuss how I’m feeling. Below I have attached three different types of art with a message…Rosie the Riveter, Alessia Cara’s song and video “Scars to Your Beautiful,” and a link to my poem “Black and Blue,” which is a poem that I wrote about domestic violence. Art takes many forms.
Personally, I think today’s music leaves something to be desired especially when it comes hip-hop. I mean you have all kinds of people making it into the industry who have no talent. They look crazy and have even crazier names. I was watching the MTV Video Music Awards the other night and my little sister had to tell me who some of those people were. I mean who is Lil Uzi Vert? But I digress. In today’s music (even though I feel majority of it has gone to the dogs) an artist comes along that makes you sit up and take notice. Starting today it was Alessia Cara. On the awards show she performed her song “Scars to Your Beautiful,” which is an absolutely beautiful, inspiring song about accepting your beauty….scars and all. Not only are her songs beautiful but she radiates a natural beauty inside and out. No makeup and no fancy clothes for this girl. All of her songs have such a great authentic message. You can see that she’s a sweet, beautiful, and humble girl. She just looks down-to-earth. Alessia Cara is a diamond among the roughness that is the music industry where everyone is trying to be so glamorous and flash everything they got. She is definitely a breath of fresh air. I feel like music is meant to be a platform to shine light on issues that plague society and Alessia Cara does an amazing job of doing that. She shines a light on self-image issues and she’s also featured in a song with two other artists, Logic and Khalid. They’re also two up and coming artists. The song title is actually the number of the suicide prevention hotline and that’s what music is supposed to be about. Music, for me at least, has always been about connecting with people and making people feel less alone. It’s much like how I feel about my writing. Music has such a presence in this society and Alessia Cara is doing it right.
Jim Carrey has had a long career. He’s an accomplished actor and in my opinion one of the funniest men in America. Carrey has played notable roles such as the Grinch, God, a father who couldn’t lie for one whole day, Ace Ventura, and the Mask. We also can’t forget about the role that made him a break out star in the 90s with the skit comedy show In Living Color. All of his roles have been extremely humorous, memorable, and brought a smile to people’s faces, but when you think about Jim Carrey do you consider an individual who is deep, introspective, and an incredible painter? Recently there was a video that came out, which was a six minute documentary about Jim Carrey and his art. He talked about why he paints and his inspiration. He discussed briefly about being a kid and when he wasn’t performing for family his bedroom was his refuge where he would sketch, which most introverts like myself can relate to. I was so awestruck by his paintings. They were incredibly beautiful and definitely told a story. There was one picture that he painted of Jesus, and he says that he doesn’t know if Jesus was real but he always imagined what Jesus would be and his description and depiction of Jesus was absolutely stellar. He describes Jesus as being someone that every ethnicity can relate to and he feels that every ethnicity sees Jesus as themselves. He wanted to capture the expression of Jesus’ eyes and he wanted to capture Jesus’ accepting nature, and he pulls it off. Honestly, if Jim Carrey was to sell his art I would buy it in a heartbeat. It’s just so amazing to see this side of Jim Carrey because the acting roles that he usually gets he always plays these over the top characters, so it’s really nice to see the man behind the mask. Who is Jim Carrey? More often than not he has been a man who makes us cry with laughter, but he’s also a very deep being. I love him even more for that. Below are some of his paintings that were in the documentary and that I found extremely stunning. I’ve also posted the six minute documentary. Let me know your thoughts!
Well, in an earlier blog I talked about Lukas Graham and how I am a big fan. He is definitely a gem in the music industry. I believe he gained notoriety in the States from his single “7 years,” which is absolutely one of my favorite songs by the band. I should add here that Lukas Graham is a band and not just one person, although the front man of the group is Lukas Graham and they are from Denmark. In this blog I really wanted to talk about another one of Lukas Graham’s songs which is “Funeral.” The moment I heard it on YouTube I instantly fell in love with it. You know the moment you hear a good song and you have to cock your head a little bit and say “oh my goodness..this is pure genius!” Yeah, that was basically me in a nutshell. So the song is basically about this guy who dies but he doesn’t want his friends to be sad about. There’s a line towards the beginning of the song that says, “Everyone welcome to my funeral, everyone I know better be wasted…” It’s like he saying to just celebrate his life and have a few drinks. It’s really supposed to be an uplifting song in my opinion because not only are the lyrics somewhat encouraging but the whole vibe of the song really has a spiritual/gospel like, almost soulful quality about it. That is one thing about Lukas Graham though. He is a very soulful singer and to be who is that is amazing and I thoroughly enjoy his music. I would definitely love to see him in concert.
“The death of an artist is to get a degree and start teaching.”~Cedric Baker
*When I did my interview with Cedric Baker one of the questions I asked him was what has his journey been like as an artist. I was building off of his art exhibit theme, which is entitled “A Painter’s Journey.” I wanted to know more about what his journey was like getting to the point he is at now. Like all artist, he said he struggled to make money. As many people know the arts is something that one can be passionate about and that’s all we as artists want to do. All we want to do is create what we love, but then we get stuck in the dilemma of whether to pursue our dreams or go with a practical job to make enough money to provide for ourselves. That’s the age old struggle Cedric Baker dealt with as well when he was trying to make it as an artist. He talked about having to work a full time job because he had bills and he said as an artist that’s hard because you can’t be 100% focused on your art when you’re working a 9 to 5 job. Then he also made that above statement about a degree and teaching being the death of an artist. Although, I think he was putting more emphasis on the teaching part because he is also an academic artist. He went to school for art and his discipline was in painting. I agree with him on the teaching part to a degree. I think it would be difficult to teach and also completely be committed to what you really want to do. There have been many folks who have tried to push me into teaching just because I have an English degree and that’s not something that I’m passionate about. I tried to get passionate about it, but my heart has always been with writing. That’s all I want to do. Like I said in one of my previous posts, when I conducted my interview with Baker I walked out of that interview feeling so accomplished. I felt like it was another sign telling me that THIS is what I need and want to be doing. The interview went that well! On the other hand, don’t get me wrong. Teaching is an admirable profession. It’s a way to pass on your love of a particular subject to another generation and see what they do with it. I just don’t think teaching is for me. There have been many people who have said I would be a great teacher, but if I’m not completely 100% passionate about it I don’t think it’s a field that I should go into. I’ve realized that I should stop listening to other people and do what I know is right for me no matter how long it takes me to land that job I really want. Cedric definitely gave me some encouragement that day. It doesn’t matter if you’re not getting paid for it as long as you’re doing what you love.
I immensely enjoy the fact that there are many different art forms. I mean think about it. There’s visual and performing arts. There’s painting, sculptures, drawing, sketching, photography, dancing, and music. Even writing is an art form, which is an art form that I particularly enjoy. The fact that we as humans have so many different ways to express ourselves through creating things is awesome. There’s just something, almost mystical about art that I can’t explain. I try to explain it to a degree like in this blog but there’s also an element to it that is unexplainable because it makes me feel things that I don’t understand.