Our song of the week!
Struggling to keep up with the latest fads and trends is a regular human experience. Everyone wants to wear what the popular kids are wearing, do what the popular kids are doing, and honestly? That’s fine. Popular things are cool; that’s precisely why they are popular. However, today’s world runs on the currency of social media likes and hearts, creating a whole new level of pressure on us. We tweak (consciously and subconsciously) our outfits, hairstyles, mannerisms, and even speech patterns to match certain aesthetics, raising questions on identity and self. Who are we, really? Why do we feel the need to be a certain way? Why have we reduced entire personalities to mere mood boards?
On her latest single, “Sweatshirt”, Belgium-based singer April Maey addresses this undercurrent of modern society with an intentional message about being comfortable in your skin. The track, which will sound right at home on a lo-fi summer playlist, speaks on identity and self-love over a bouncy beat. On the inspiration behind it, Maey says: “It’s about self-confidence. I feel a lot of pressure when it comes to fashion and the essence of my identity. I’m not the type of person who necessarily ‘fits in’. The point of this song is ‘it’s okay”, you don’t have to wear designer brands or anything. Stay comfortable, and stay you. And apart from that, you shouldn’t be pressured to be anybody other than yourself.”
The accompanying music video emphasizes the message as well. Starting out with a press conference where she defends herself and her choices, the visual experience quickly turns into a celebration of companionship. The theme of peace at being in the company of friends is a relatable one as the world still battles the Covid-19 virus and thirsts for a complete return to normalcy. The uniformity of both lyrics in our ears and images seen by our eyes is striking: as Maey says she does not mind being seen in a sweatshirt, we see her in a sweatshirt, with the word “chill” written across it, underlining her commitment to feeling cool in whatever she’s wearing regardless of how it might be viewed.
Sipping milkshakes and grooving with friends on the streets are things we all want to do again. Being comfortable in our skins and wearing whatever, whenever and however we want, are things we should all do again. This is your call to action, your trumpet-on-the-castle-wall, your village square gong, summoning you to join the battle against pressure and live your life again. General April Maey is requesting you join her, and so are we, so get up and put on your armour, or better still, a sweatshirt.