BENGALURU: Singer-songwriter Andrew Sabu least expected to pursue music as a full-time profession, but when he did break into the country’s independent music scene with his self-titled debut EP, Sabu, in 2019, he chose to address a subject close to him – mental health. On Saturday, the Mumbai-based musician who is an integral part of Bengaluru music collective RECK, released the music video of Rest, a song from his four-track EP which he asserts is entirely from his personal perspective of being diagnosed with depression last year.
“I wanted to write about the experiences I faced without romanticising anything, and I hope people are able to relate to my experience rather than talk about depression in general. I did not think about crafting it until the final stage. I just wrote whatever I felt and poured my heart out,” he says. The song conveys the message of taking a break from our fast-paced lives, taking a step back to look at oneself and catching up on the much-needed dose of self care. Sabu says the lockdown has almost forced people to think about self-care.
He adds, “They’ve latched on to this as a solid reason in order to take a step back. I’m simply saying that it took such a drastic circumstance for people to seriously look after their mental health. It’s quite clear how people are struggling with the current situation and I feel this is the perfect moment for us to catch a breather before normal life resumes.” Shot by Gorkey Patwal and Prateek Verma and edited by Sohan Ray, Rest portrays an elderly individual making the most of his time while being confined indoors, continuing with his daily chores. Sabu asserts that if one were to look at their grandparents or other senior citizens, they seem to have perfected the slow life.
“They don’t have any qualms, any significant worries as such. They spend their time cherishing the little moments instead of mulling over big ones. I wanted the listener to put themselves in the old man’s shoes, and for a moment, be able to live life like he does – slow, peaceful, filled with time to breathe, to rest,” says Sabu, adding that the protagonist of the video is the caretaker of Patwal’s residence in New Delhi, where he has been living for over three years. “Basically, he has been in isolation for a while and we thought of using his story and crafting it to fit the song,” he says.
While Rest speaks of hope and accepting depression and the process of healing, Sheets is about being in the state of depression. “It’s the darkest song of the EP and talks about the inability to get out of bed and confront reality, and the acknowledgement that I have no choice but to be in this dark place. In fact, I wrote Sheets before I wrote Rest and the latter is a result of the former,” says Sabu.