Sad And Unapologetic
I build this bubble around myself, this particular kind of tragedy never leaves me or rather I don’t want to leave it because it provokes thought. Keeps me inspired. It’s a highly different attraction I am ready to fall for. I keep trying to dart my hand through its slippery walls in vain but then this single forest fire born out of me is enough to burst this bubble. Then I fall out into the world with yet another field of seductive bubbles of melancholia to choose from and Hozeir very eloquently puts it: “ Electing strange perfections in every stranger I choose”.
Back in the winter of 2013 when I first heard James Blake’s ‘Retrograde’, it was unlike anything. It was the first time music struck me as a piece of art. I was a slave to trashy pop back then and luckily some rock bands had my back. But Retrograde was to be a door to a new perspective for me. It had this attractive melancholia. And technically, James Blake was my first alternative artist.
His music, like streaks of watercolour, is subtle with sharp edges and his golden falsettos just enhance the experience to deliver a feast for my ears. He takes you up there and then his voice cracks and your jaw is just left open but then the beat which follows saves you from the downfall. His music is simple: most original expression of feelings. He feels distortion, he literally adds it in the track irrespective of commercial motives to please the masses and create widely appealing music. His voice lingers. It’s fluidic and multidimensional. His new album is no different in terms of quality. But he says he has tried to pull himself out of a pit of sadness in making of this album. He said something in his interview with Pitchfork and I swear to all the holy gods and men, it was ridiculously relatable.
“I listened to my old music and I really didn’t sound like a happy person. I wouldn’t want to be one of those artists that keeps themselves in a perpetual cycle of anxiety and depression just to extract music from that.”
- James Blake.
Extracting art by inspirations sourced through perpetual grief. It makes all the sense. As if, seduced by grief, I want to be sad. It’s metaphysically seductive. Sadness lures me into itself. A song on ‘The Colour In Anything’ called “I Need A Forest Fire” talks about just that. It’s like a salvation, the forest fire, to him. The path to become absolutely free of all the grief by becoming a saturated vessel of the very grief he doesn’t want. And finally materialising it into a furious physical expression that is stunningly beautiful. That sets him free, that fire purifies his soul. For him, that expression is creating music and to me, it’s art.
Embracing the sadness feels great, feels right. Therefore the common notion of sadness being a negative thing in our lives is unfair. My artwork mostly finds inspiration in ideas and feelings which certainly have a melancholic disposition, be it concerning personal problems or me drowning in a bucket of Weltschermz, but I surely deny to accept that its wrong. I deny being labelled as somebody who does not value his happy and joy filled moments in life just because his art speaks otherwise. Art finds its beauty in its subjective nature. It provides and soothes your soul in any and every way that you want it to.
You dont need to be brilliant to express yourself and your feelings, you dont need skills. Because when it comes down on paper, for you, it couldnt have been materialised in a better manner.