For this year’s mental health awareness campaign, KonsultaMD collaborated with Filipino artists, Kiana Valenciano, DJ Nix Damn P, and Curtismith to create their first mental health song, ‘I Want To Be Here’.
As an advocate of mental health awareness, Kiana was more than happy to work on this project. She shared that it is something she wished was present when she was growing up. And according to Nix, having a platform like KonsultaMD is perfect since times are different now. Both Kiana and Nix want this song to be a reminder that it’s okay to ask for help and that whatever you’re going through is valid.
Kiana wants this song to reach as many people as possible so that when they hear it, it would be something that they can relate to. Through this song, one can feel seen and heard, in spite of the noise of the world around us.
“I think my goal with writing it was really to be able to reach as many people as possible and so I wanted it to feel personal but not too personal just based on my experiences alone. That’s why it’s really great that we had so many people working on this track because it’s like we’ve got different perspectives and because of that, I think it’s not just my story; it’s multiple people’s stories.”
The song. In sharing the process behind writing it, Kiana V, who co-wrote it with Nieman, one of her friends in Los Angeles, shares, “We really wanted to capture the feeling of really trying to understand what you’re going through, sitting with those emotions and letting them go.”
“Is it okay that I feel this/Is it okay that I’m not fine/searching for ways to relieve this/Tryna feel safe in my own mind/Is there a way I could leave this/I know this won’t be the last time/Gimme a sign to believe in and I’ll pay the price.”
Beyond lyricism, which completely captures that idea, it’s also been beautifully translated into its instrumental with the help of DJ Nix Damn P. Energetic and upbeat barring its outro, ‘I Want To Be Here’ brings to life the feeling of dancing without worry like no one’s watching—as if inviting you to temporarily let go of all the things weighing you down and giving yourself to the music—there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, just keep on moving. Technically speaking, the song does this mainly through syncopation with percussion; by switching up the placements of claps and snares, and placing them outside the typical four-on-the-floor beat for added rhythm. Additionally, the track also makes use of brass stabs and vocal chops on both the chorus and post-chorus to add to its overall energy. To provide an example, the track is reminiscent of Jonas Blue’s ‘Perfect Strangers’.
In a brief moment of vulnerability and honesty, a baring of one’s soul if you will—his voice surrounded only by piano and bass, a complete tonal shift from the rest of the song—a stage set just for him, Curtismith closes out the track in its outro, delving into the challenges he has faced with his own mental health. Personally, this section reminds me of another outro, Justin Bieber’s ‘Purpose’. It doesn’t matter that the number of instruments playing in the background was reduced, it doesn’t matter that it’s about to end, it hits just as hard. Without additional noise to clutter the space, we’re left with the heartfelt delivery of the feelings and thoughts of someone struggling that’s been put into words. It may not get you dancing, but it sure as hell will cut deep.
“I’ve been feeling all this stress in my chest lately/Might let it get to my head sometimes/I write rhymes but it still don’t work/I find silence but it still gets worse got time can you feel my curse/I can tell you about it we can hop on a call think/I really a need a person who can feel my hurt and we can talk it out/You can feel my worth its been difficult to find it/So I dial up when it gets too much, I dial up cuz it gets too much.”
Images courtesy of KonsultaMD