When I was first approached to speak to Neon Music regarding the Music Wellness program, I was immediately overwhelmed with all the things I wanted to speak about. The last year or so has been incredibly difficult for everyone all over the world and, personally, it’s been music that has helped me through.
Listening to music has changed and altered the flavour of my lockdown. I don’t know if flavour is the right word to describe it, but I think we’ve all experienced listening to that one song which will forever remind you of a specific point in your life. Now, I’m not saying I want to be reminded of this pandemic for the rest of my life, but those bedroom dance parties, those walks in the sunshine, that feeling of strength that I found in the music of others is certainly a feeling of empowerment and self-reliance that I want to keep with myself for a long time!
I have been fortunate enough to be able to get in the recording studio during lockdown. Finding that creative energy during a pandemic is not something that everyone has been able to find and achieve, but again, I was fortunate enough to be struck by a wave of inspiration! Writing during lockdown actually kept me sane – it was beneficial to have a project to work on and a way to structure my day, as well as an outlet for my frustrations.
Do What I Want is a song about standing up for those unique little things which make you you. I wrote it as a response to my freedoms being curtailed by lockdown, by academic expectations, by expectations placed on me by society – it was a lot of anger turned into something fun and positive! There are also themes of the pressures of social media in there, which is something I think is such an important issue to discuss these days. As someone in the public eye, I understand the benefits of using social media to connect with fans, and promote my work – but the pressure to conform and always be posting?! It can get to you, and that was something I wanted to address in my song… You gotta remember to Do What You Want 😉
In general, I am so grateful to Neon for giving me the platform to discuss how music in general can help people find and nurture their own positivity. Especially during times of anxiety and depression (which a global pandemic certainly is!), it’s so important to have songs and works of art present which help you to express how you feel, to distract you from the stress of everything going on around you, to pull you up and out of bad moods and remind you that dancing is still possible, even if you’re doing it alone.