And A Memorandum On Soulmate Song
And A Memorandum On
It’s been almost two years since the soulmate tiktok
Things have changed but not drastically so. Same job, same friends, maybe a few more insta dms than before. All the splendor of tiktok views and follows was mine and yet my days were still pretty much the same. That little tune did end up inviting many things into my life though. It gave me some happiness, which is honestly vain, but a gift from the heavens I suppose. It gave me a song to complete which is only ever a good thing if I like what I write. Luckily that too was a gift. And it gave me an audience- a tiktok audience. Gift and a curse.
I got fake famous
A decent tiktok audience is like being invested in a volatile cryptocurrency. You don’t even understand what you have and still you desperately want its value to go up. But tiktok is indifferent towards you. What it really cares about is your videos- the good ones at least. See the problem was I didn’t go viral, Soulmate Song did. The video didn’t make the algorithm tick because I’m clearly tiktok material. It’s because I’m not. I was a kid in a basement who had crafted a pleasantly niche, backward romance song and sang deadpan into the mic. More of an art installation than an ongoing piece. The song and video was the product and I was cast as its underground author. It isn’t another video from a tiktok star, it’s the video from that kid in his basement. And what tiktok showed is exactly what I am. A kid in his basement. I had all these digital numbers and plays to look at and a largely unchanged life to ponder it all. Fun.
The lyrics were already written, just forgotten.
After Soulmate Song was released I began working on my next single, Pride First, and the lyrics I wrote were reintroduced to my life. (I had written the song many years earlier before ever having any audience at all.) Those words you write become pretty stale until you have ears to hear them again. And it being a song about mentally stalling out… I definitely started to hear them again. “Maybe I’m depressed… I’m definitely depressed.” First, ew. Why am I releasing this? But still, convicting nonetheless. “The days seem a bit faster than when I was young.” That’s even more true now than when I wrote it. The lyrics were old, but somehow comfortingly relevant. It was as if my past self sent me a message in a bottle saying “Hey man, you’ve been here before. You actually wrote a whole song about it, idiot.”
It’s nothing new
Those embarrassing lyrics became sort of a security blanket. I felt like I’d found someone who actually understood what I was feeling- myself. The mental state presented in the song never really solved itself and for some reason I was happy to see that. I was living a new life with new problems while feeling all the same things. It made me see that the weight of mental and physical hardship is a constant in life. Everything can change or nothing can change yet our troubles weigh us down all the same. Why pretend you’ve escaped the inescapable. Own it.
Three thousand years ago, King Solomon said, “For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.” The latter sure feels true and apparently the ancients could sympathize. My troubles feel heavy, but what else did I expect? To conquer what no person has conquered before? Revisiting Pride First didn’t remind me of a temporary phase in my life, it reminded me of the thorn in my side I can’t remove. I realize now that no matter the outcome of the soulmate tiktok, all roads were headed down the same path of questioning and unfulfillment. I don’t get to choose a life without troubles, and I certainly can’t choose happiness. Chasing happiness is a “bad business” as Solomon might say. But I can find enough faith to believe there is a time and a way for everything. I’ve found no profit in believing otherwise. Our troubles have their utility, I have to believe that, but a worried heart has none. So when that all too familiar feeling creeps back, I won’t hesitate to cast it to the heavens where at least someone will know what to do with it. It’s nothing new. In summation, streaming Pride First will have wonderous effects on your mental health. That’s my guarantee. I guarantee it.
To the real ones/ Going forward
For real tho, you guys are awesome. I don’t say it or show it enough. I made this phone wallpaper for you. I think my work has really been for you. There are definitely random songs that do well on tiktok but don’t stream well. You guys have had my back and that means wayyyy more to me than the tiktok views. Pride First isn’t like Soulmate Song and I hope you’ll see that. For me, I think the writing is always my number 1 priority and production is an opportunity to do whatever, just as long as it’s cool. And my producer Kim W did something very cool. I have 1 one more single lined up with this current contract and it too will have it’s own sound. I have nooooo clue what I’m doing but I enjoy it. God willing I’d like to put together a small multi track project with a more coherent sound. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about religion, both as a personal practice and an object of study. One has been fueling the other and the two have been fueling some new songs that I’m excited to share. I would like to get started on those as soon as the end of the year but that will depend on a lots of things per usual. Anyways, thanks so much for being a listener.