After a turbulent relationship comes to an end, it can be a bit like standing on solid ground after riding a bike or a skateboard for a long time; the ground still feels like it’s moving under your feet, and you have to remind yourself that you’re still, because your body’s reeling from the constant motion.
A while ago I came out of a relationship and, about a month later, we had a conversation on the phone that provided me that stillness. We both talked around the fact that we’d expressed interest in other people, acknowledging it to each other without being blunt or malicious. It felt like we could finally move on. There’s always that little post-breakup feeling where you’re not sure if you’re going to get back together or not, and that conversation for me was the realisation that it was finally over.
With that in mind, I could start to remember what my life was like before, but that’s not really a smart way to go about things, because ‘me before you’ doesn’t exist anymore. I have to take what’s happened and run with it. Go beyond.
When I got home, I wrote this song on the piano. It’s my favourite of any song I’ve ever written. It brings me much comfort and peace and serves, fittingly, as the final track on my upcoming album, which is itself full of turbulent and fractured moments.
The album is a journey that starts with the balls-out swagger of Make It Rain and ends here, with Beyond You, a quiet and powerful acceptance that everything you’re going through will one day be in the past, and that it’s your job to move beyond it.
The music video will be out at midnight on my YouTube channel (still used occasionally to showcase my professional work – music and writing, mostly) and will arrive on iTunes then (as well as Apple Music, Spotify etc) but in the meantime you can support me directly by getting it right now on my personal store for just 50p. I’d really appreciate your generosity and I hope you like the song :)
I’m sitting in a cafe at the Museum Of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, feeling tremendously moved and inspired.
The museum is a collection of artefacts donated by people wishing to share, commemorate, or let go of their former relationships in some way, be they familial or romantic. Some ended through affairs, some fizzled out and some blew apart. Most just drifted away, lost to the turn of the Earth as it moved them both on their respective paths and away from each other, sometimes without either of them noticing the change at all.
Every item in the museum is accompanied by a written reflection from the donor, either on the object or on the relationship it was attached to (often both). There were funny ones, heartbreaking ones, but mainly I am left with a feeling of great contentment at the inevitability with which life acts as an agent of change, pulling people together and apart as reliably as the tides. Seeing all these stories in one place is a great reminder that a breakup isn’t a great cosmic event, it’s not something that should end your whole world, it’s not even particularly special when it happens to you; it is nothing more or less than the consequence of our silly little species as we stumble across the world, bumping into each other in the hope that we’ll leave some kind of imprint, that we might seek to fit together instead of ricocheting off in newly-forged paths. The museum collects an arbitrary set of items, with only one thing bringing them together: a common desire to love, to be loved, and to keep trying.
It’s well worth a visit if you’re ever in Zagreb.
Speak soon and thank you for listening :)
For the last five years, in addition to writing music, books and YouTube videos, I’ve been involved in the running of a card game business called Sopio.
Sopio is a casual party card game with seven physical decks, a digital game on iOS, and – as of today – a free game on iOS and Android.
The free game is called King Of Sopio, and I could tell you more about it, but you might as well download it and see what you think for yourself :D It’s completely free, so the worst that happens is you just delete it if you don’t like it, no harm done!
In addition, if you download King Of Sopio, you’re entitled to a free booster pack of the physical game :)
Thanks for reading :) I have a new song coming out in July so you will hear from me again then!
One morning in October 2013, I woke up at a girl’s house an hour before she did. I had nothing to do but wait for her to stir, so I took her guitar and crept downstairs.
Forty-five minutes later I’d written this song.
I liked the idea of writing something that uses the language of packaging – “this way up”, “handle with care”, “do not bend”, “fragile” - to illustrate the fragility of relationships, so that’s where the title comes from. The song is about what it feels like when hope is all you have; the willingness to reassure yourself and those around you that everything will be fine, even though every sign is showing that it isn’t and won’t be. It gets to a point in such circumstances where you’re not asking for reassurance, or answers, or change; you just want people to help you keep hoping.
This is the first time I’ve produced a song of mine 100% acoustically, because I felt it was the right way to reflect the vulnerability being expressed.
With love and well-wishes,
My YouTube channel has become a bit of a burden.
With my focus in my life moving toward wanting to share mindfulness and positivity in fun ways with people online, through music, writing and vlogging, I want to have my online presence dedicated to that. I’ve never wanted to be ‘famous’ or have some kind of internet persona; I’m just the guy who makes the stuff. It’s the stuff that’s important.
Sometimes I’ll meet people and I tell them that I run a daily YouTube show about mindfulness and positivity, as I have been for the last month or so. I tell them I get about ten thousand views on every video and they respond impressed and encouraged. Then they go to that channel and see a bunch of weird stuff: an audience of nearly a million that have mysteriously disappeared, a series of videos about Twilight from six years ago, a bunch of animated songs about Doctor Who, a video of me wandering around Walmart that has over three million views, and plenty of other things that are great fun, and that I’m very proud of, but aren’t really me anymore.
It ends up feeling like I’m dragging around this strange mausoleum to everything I used to be. I don’t want that. I want to have a presence online that represents my values now: music, mindfulness and fun. There’s no need to constantly extend this nine-year feed of content instead of just throwing out a life raft and venturing somewhere new.
Today I uploaded my last video to my channel and I started a brand new one. It’s exciting to have a new channel that is starting from scratch. It’s allowed me to do some things over, like having a channel with no advertising, so I can just do it for the love of it like I used to in the early days. It’s nice to have an audience of new active people that’s building instead of shrinking, people who are subscribing fully aware of what to expect, instead of bemoaning the changes and my unwillingness to ‘be funny like I used to be’. There is no ‘used to be’ now, because this is day one.
If I’m lucky I’ll have about ten thousand regular subscribers and contributors to this new channel, rather than nearly a million empty or angry ones, which would create a wonderful positive atmosphere for my work going forward :)
If you’re interested in following my new project, all the new links and details are in today’s YouTube video, right here. My old channel will still be there, just inactive, for people to watch the old videos if they want to. For me, though, it’s long past time for me to move on from ‘nerimon’.
We’ll speak again this weekend – I’m releasing a new song that I adore and think you will too. <3 Much love, Alex x