The virus has caused much damage in the world over the past one and a half years. Death and destruction everywhere and yes damage to the financial stability of a large section of the population. Another silent killer has been the pressure exerted on everyone’s mental stability. Deaths of loved ones, hospitilisation of loved ones, fear of job losses or the fear of the business collapsing is not good for the mental health of any individual. Artists of various hues have written songs, composed poems and books about these strange times.
Aneesh Gera, a music producer based in Goa along with Valerie D’souza and the late Raj have come out with a song called Cocoon. The song highlights the dangers of mental stress and its attendant effects on an individual. Aneesh said he wanted to work with Raj and his illness just brought a sense of urgency to the entire process. He said “Raj started writing a song with Valerie two years ago which was completed. I then took that song, revamped it and called it Cocoon. Writing this song and exchanging ideas with Raj was the only bright point in his day”. Cocoon, he said, spoke to people on many levels, embedded in a Mental Health narrative, it was he said the need of the hour. It was not the average dance record he said and the aim while writing Cocoon was to champion Valerie’s vocal talent.
The song caught the attention of the intended audience and climbed up to the top 50 in the top 100 charts and now is at 59 spot. Aneesh sold it to one of the biggest trance labels and it will be featured in Tomorrowland, one of the largest dance music festivals in the world.
Valerie D”Souza who sang the song said she first sang the song’’ Drowsy with hope two years ago and it was released through Aneesh’s label. She said Aneesh started working on it again last year and Cocoon emerged from it. She said “I have my workshops on mental health and this song is one way of showing loss. This song is dedicated to Raj and I hope it goes places. I want more people to listen to the song and realise the importance of mental health”.
Aneesh said he and Valerie created the storyboard for the video within an hour. They did not want it to be morbid. They wanted it to be positive. The world of music he said was experiencing a mental health epidemic. The industry he said was fickle. Youngsters with their Instagram were very fickle. They wanted to shine the light on this problem.
The song he said had received much support in India. It was played on VHI in India and it is expected to be telecast in 30 music channels across geographies as diverse as the Americas, Europe, UK and the middle east.
He said the main motivation was that as one who had a platform he wanted to say something that was important for everyone. Reactions from the people were reassuring. Stars in Bollywood had called him to say that they had experienced what had been shown in the video. Ordinary people too had called him to thank him for highlighting this issue.
One can only hope this effort raises awareness of a problem that is serious and needs immediate attention.