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WPGM Commentary: Sydney Mae Wants Her Precious Energy Back On ‘Not The Only One’

Is there a time in your life when you felt like you had to take your precious energy back? Have you ever felt like it was time to stop holding on for dear life? I’m Sydney Mae and my new single, “Not The Only One” is about the strenuous process of outgrowing a one-sided relationship.

There is a universal understanding in this song about the fact that we must all attend to our own oxygen masks before helping others with theirs. We’re taught that at a young age and yet for some people, it’s second nature to overlook your own desires or bare-minimum needs in some instances.

I grew up writing music. It’s how I processed whatever I was going through in my formative years, and it thankfully continues to be a translator for what’s going on inside my brain and body today. Writing this song with my good friend Nancy Laberge was a deeply therapeutic process for me, and for her.

I’ve heard others tell their own versions of the same story of breaking through a layer of themselves where they’re suddenly able to see their own life and that circumstance from a different, objective place. Like the glass illusion shattering in the mind. The question we were asking was, are the things we think will help us survive actually just the things that are holding us down without us realizing it?

Nancy and I wrote a lot together for a reason, she asked the best questions and fully helped me live through what we documented in the lyrics. This was a time when I was neglecting my own experiences by putting the most importance solely on validating and supporting others.

At the same time, I didn’t even realize I wasn’t leaving any energy for myself or that I wasn’t being supported- it was entirely one-sided. Within this particular relationship, it took waves of anxiety and emotional build-ups for me to break through the illusion and comprehend how this was affecting me. I wasn’t just being a super great supporter for someone anymore – it went too far, and I had to do something to change it.

The relationship lifecycle that’s hard for me to swallow at times is that people will always react as if you’re making an unfair decision for their life- when really, you’ve realized that it takes two to tango and you just want the cycle to end.

Though, some changes still feel like the end of the world to the person on the receiving end. I get and feel that deeply. Again – this lifecycle idea is hard for me even if it feels like the right thing. The older I get, the more I’m realizing that difficult things are necessary most of the time.

I recorded my vocals with Bess Rogers and had Chris Kuffner mix them while Bess and I worked on furthering the production. The production direction for this song was led by my own synth-heavy inspiration and interesting percussive elements that stylistically build an ambient, self-reflective, indie-pop sound.

The whole track was recorded to embody an intense inner conflict and eventual hopeful resilience- a feeling everyone knows to some degree.

The visualizer for this song is my first video designed by my graphic design company, Maehem Creative. I’m very hands-on when it comes to the visual aspects of my music and I directed, edited, and produced the video.

The concept is based around being in a dark room or theatre where I’m in the audience watching someone else express their side of a story without being able to share mine. A dark, one-sided performance. Through the evolution of the song, the spotlight eventually changes from shining on the other person’s story to shining on me in a new ‘horizon’ resembling fashion.

“Not The Only One” is the song that starts my new journey. I learned a lot during the process of going through it, writing about it, recording it, and now sharing it with the world and I can only imagine how much more it still has to teach me.

Listen to “Not The Only One” below and stream it elsewhere here.

Words by Sydney Mae // Follow her on Instagram + TikTok

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