In this interview, Andrew Sabu, a singer-songwriter from Mumbai, talks to us about his single ‘Rest’ which came out in July last year. The official music video of the song was released in April this year.
The song aims to talk about mental health issues and the process of recovery. Most importantly, Sabu wants to remind us of the importance of slowing down and taking some time out for ourselves; a reminder that all of us need especially right now.
Sabu says, “The point is to be able to give the listener time and space to themselves. Away from their demanding/challenging lives and put them into a space where they are able to introspect and heal.” The song and the EP as a whole have received great reception from audiences across the globe and have more than 100k listens on Spotify alone.
Read our conversation with him below.
What was your motivation behind this song?
Sabu: The song ‘Rest’ came to me last year when I was going through depression. It was the first song I wrote that was directed to myself. It was a way of telling myself that I will be fine and I will get through this. I wanted the listener to feel the same way.
What is your opinion on the role of music in mental health awareness?
Sabu: Music helps in calming your nerves. It helps you cope. I think music, like any form of art, has the power to open a dialogue around mental health, especially because it is a form of expression that can be easily understood. Reading content or looking at videos about mental health can get saturating after a point, but when a form of art comes into play, you feel more connected with the message.
How do you think music in India is doing in that respect, both mainstream and indie? Do you have any non-Indian favourites that you think we can take inspiration from?
Sabu: In mainstream music, there’s no talk about mental health unless it’s part of a movie that revolves around that. In independent music, however, it’s a completely different story. Artists are more honest and vulnerable in their writing. Fans feel more connected to stories and messages. People want to feel things. And not just good things. Mainstream music just wants you to feel good. Authentic music wants you to feel good, bad and even sad. It’s important to feel those things too. And many other emotions you didn’t even know you could feel. Bon Iver is my one of inspirations. Billie Marten is another brilliant artist that I follow.
“Don’t bother anyone, heal alone,” is one of the lines from the song. Could you talk more about this?
Sabu: There are moments in your life where you have felt or will feel completely disconnected from the world. When that happens, it is important to take a step back and spend some time alone in introspection. Be your own judge. Call yourself out. Forgive yourself. Find yourself again.
In the music video, a caretaker is cast as the main character. Could you talk about why you decided to do that?
Sabu: Rest portrays the slow, balanced life of an elderly individual making the most of his time while being confined indoors.
Old people don’t have any qualms or any significant worries as such. They spend their time cherishing 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.
Is there something else you would like to tell our readers?
Sabu: “Just take it easy.”
You can check out the official video here!