I live in Berlin and we’ve just been told that our lockdown will be extended by a few weeks. Even though it was expected, my heart sinks every time the leash gets tightened. I’m tired of this. And I’m broke and I miss my friends and my family, I’m so up and down all the time and I’m a rubbish, impatient teacher (I’m homeschooling my kids) plus, my ass doesn’t fit into my jeans anymore. Of course, I understand that we’re all in the same boat and we will have to get through this, but to be honest, my mental health has seen better days. I wake up full of energy on some days, determined to see the positives, ie a slower pace, more time spent as a family, focusing on little pleasures, seeding out people I didn’t like that much anyway and feeling protective and proud of a tight circle of really good friends.
However, on other days I wake up with no energy whatsoever and can’t see the point in getting up, changing out of my silk negligé (yeah, right..;) and keeping up the good spirits. I’m tired of playing pretend and I’m tired of putting on makeup and playing kick-ass tough chick. I guess that’s a good thing in a way- to keep it real and to roll with whatever emotion decides to overcome me.
And that’s exactly when I feel like I’m extremely lucky that I have music as an outlet. I honestly have no idea how I would deal with this situation if I didn’t have music to indulge in and escape to. I don’t know how many nights I waited up for everyone to be asleep so that I get some time to myself to write down words and phrases and poems and stories and sing snippets of melodies into my phone, just to let off steam and deal with the demons that try to take charge of my mind. Some of these lyrics are so dark, it kind of shocked me, some are just plain sad and some try to see the funny side in all this. As corny as this probably sounds – music is my medicine. And it’s my salvation.
I’m so very lucky because last summer I was introduced to a writer/producer who lives in Belgium and even though we’ve never met in person we clicked and started to make music together. I think the songs we’ve crafted over the past few months are the best songs I’ve made so far. They are real, raw, imperfect, dark and the combination of sounds we both bring to it is like honey to my ears. It’s the first time I don’t care whether anyone likes these songs or not. I love them and they will always remind me of the little cocoon we created for ourselves amidst all this madness. It’s a safe haven where the shit storm can’t get to. It’s warm and cozy and it’s helped me not to lose the plot.
So as you asked how music can have a positive impact when the going gets tough.. this is how I would put it:
I live in a cocoon
A sacred little room
It’s cool what we create
You can play my pain
Play my pain
It’s dark and warm and safe
The cozy little cave
A perfect way to hide
From the mad mad world outside
This is the simplest way of expressing how music helps me. It’s a tiny beautiful retreat where nothing else matters.
Kat Koan will be releasing her new single Pain on 11th February.