In 2010 I saw the Broadway production of Green Day’s American Idiot musical in New York City. American Idiot is among my top three favourite albums of all time (Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and Thriller by Michael Jackson, if you were wondering), and when I left the theatre, inspired by the album’s themes of adolescent disillusionment, I jotted this down in my phone:
“When I was young, I wanted a coffin
Cos it was tradition
My mark in the earth
Now they can burn me away”
The resulting song, ‘When I Was Young’, was about failure, about not being productive and never quite living up to the potential you thought you had. But I was never quite happy with it, so I shelved it and got on with the other songs that ended up comprising my third album, Epigrams And Interludes (which you can listen to for free, or buy, from my store).
Three years later, I met a girl who had a somewhat anxious disposition. I have met several people like this throughout my life, and even right now in the present moment, there are people close to me who feel unable to act on their desires because they are scared of the potential risks involved. In short: they want something, but they’re worried about it going wrong, so they don’t try to get it in the first place. The threat of failure smothers the spark of potential success; being nothing is better than being broken.
This is something I strongly disagree with. I’ve always found the things that scare you the most are the things you should pay the most attention to. Fear can either be the thing that holds you back or the thing that pushes you forward, and I once told a very dear friend of mine that I’d much rather things be difficult than pass me by. When you’re on your death bed, nobody cares about the things you didn’t do.
So, in an attempt to try and convey my thoughts to this girl succinctly, I dusted off my coffin song and I rewrote it to encompass my philosophy – that the goal isn’t to avoid fear, but to embrace it, to admit that you’re scared, and that I’m scared too, but that I feel like my life has so many more possibilities now I’ve learned not to let fear hold me back from pursuing them, and that maybe you’d feel more comfortable going for what you really want if you tried being scared, like me.
The song is, aptly, called ‘Scared Like Me’. Nearly two years have passed since I wrote it (five years since I jotted the coffin line down into my phone) and I’m finally ready to share it with you =)
Officially the song comes out tomorrow, but I wanna give you guys first dibs before I share it with YouTube and Twitter at midnight: Download Scared Like Me here for 50p
I really hope you like this one. <3
Speak soon (and happy new year!),