A thousand barriers, a thousand walls: religion, politics, race, gender, wealth, poverty. What is found is often a silent declaration of war against humanity in the form of misunderstanding and unmet expectations. Everyone states a desire for unity, but only in the expression of uniformity. If you are not with me, then you are against me has become the power phrase, the statement of villainization and victimization. A million lies we tell ourselves…that it is not us, but the others, that do not conform to our idealistic vision of unity.
And yet music defies the notion that one must be the same to be equal. Music is not homogenous. Congruency of its definition is not based on parallel expressions. It is a language of many dialects. From opera to heavy metal, rap to classical, jazz to country or soul; they are noncomparative yet equally revered as works of art. Perhaps one is more favored by a culture, a gender, a race...but most often, is it climatic to individual’s sense of meaning and identity.
So, it is with music that I choose to speak. To speak out loud my desire for unity without uniformity and to make connections across barriers. Pain, love, joy, anger, hatred and loss are all universal concepts that can be expressed in a multitude of ways. And music is articulation of people’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings unadulterated by a need for conformity, congruency, and monotony.
‘We Are the People’ is the first song that I wrote for my next album. It had been my passion project after my first album, Liars, debuted. When I realized what a significant impact it had on individuals suffering from abuse, depression, suicide and their struggle to recovery, I decided to delve deeper into societal pain, the suffering that separation and division brings. It started with writing the very first line “so, this is hell” and ended with a triumphant “we are the people and we are better than this”.
And now I want to continue my mission to use music as the language of inspiration, a voice of hope in times of adversity and times of victory. Whether the battle be with oneself or with the world, music can find its way through a thousand walls. And my hope is that it finds its way to you.