Still Here is the upcoming single from artist and songwriter PeeBee. It’s a song that takes on a topic that is often considered extremely difficult to discuss or is even avoided entirely due to the taboo surrounding it. In correlation with the start of Suicide Prevention week in the US, the single will be released on September 10th and will be available to stream or download via Reverbnation. Read our in depth review of the single here, and in the meantime – we caught an interview with the artist to find out more about the release and what it means to him. Here’s how it went.
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Thank you so much for your time today. Still Here is a beautiful and powerful song, likely to mean a lot to those who hear it, and one that hopefully will have a positive effect on anyone who may be struggling. What inspired or moved you to write and release the song?
Over the years I worked with youth, I worked at juvenile facilities, psychiatric treatment facility’s and also ran my own non-profit organization for kids for some years. I have always witnessed young people struggling with the thoughts of suicide and I never could understand what brings one to that point.
Recently I found myself at a low point where I myself was feeling depressed and experiencing a feeling that I was unfamiliar with and I checked myself in to get evaluated. Once I was checked in I found myself on the other side of things, I went from the person who used to work in these environments to now being a resident. I was never at the point of wanting to harm myself but had I not sought the help that was necessary at the time, who knows where it could have lead me from there. Because I felt like it was the start of a long ride at the time and I had no idea where I was going to end up. So a mixture of other people’s and my own personal experiences is what helped inspire the song. And I choose to release the song on the September 10th because it’s the day of suicide awareness and as an artist this is how I want to contribute to the cause.
Do you always write from a place of depth, about topics that mean something to you personally, and if so, does it ever get difficult to express certain ideas or perhaps to perform songs like this live?
I never start a song with a topic in mind I listen to the track and I let the feeling that I get from the track give me the emotions and feelings that needs to be expressed when I start writing the song. Once I know what the song calls for then that determines how I write to it. So I don’t always write from a place of depth, but when I do – those songs are the most meaningful to me.
I always add things that mean something to me into my music. I may not write an entire song about it but if you listen close you can hear bits and pieces there. This song didn’t hit me during the writing process, it hit me after I recorded it and listened to it over and over again, so it’s like being in two different spaces – when I write I’m in my creative space, but when it’s done I’m in my listening space and judging my own work and sometimes you’re like wow, I can’t believe I did that. Have not performed it live but looking forward to getting that chance.
Why do you think suicide rates are so consistently on the rise, and what can we do as a society and as individuals, in your opinion, to help the situation?
Always be kind. Life is hard, life don’t care what skin color you are, how tall or short you are, male or female etc – it’s brutal. Some people get knocked down and get back up but some people don’t get back up. There is professional boxers MMA fighters who get knocked down and can’t get back up on their own and these people are trained professionally. So imagine when life knocks you down and you’re not mentally trained or prepared to fight what life is throwing at you. There is no throwing in the towel to save you, there is no one to come pick you up, and that can be hard.
We live in a social media era when you can accidentally trip down a flight of stairs at school and before school is over the video with you falling down the stairs has been shared 100k times and has 1.2 million views, something that would have been so small when I was in school is now magnified and can turn a person from confident to insecure in matter of minutes.
Based on what I have experienced myself and what I have seen, I look at everybody and treat everybody as if they could be suicidal, because you see people and speak to people every day and you still may never know what that person is going through or experiencing, so going into it with that in mind allows me to be more caring when I speak to people and to remember the golden rule and treat people the way I want to be treated. You never know what someone is going through and you never know if that’s the last time you will talk to them, so I try to be someone who might be the only person left that can make that last impression on them that could change everything. We all on this earth, together, everyone has contributed one way or another and we all had ups and downs, so let’s not forget about those who are down when you might be up, because the way life goes you could be down the very next day.
What is it about music that allows us to connect on such a profound level with so many other people, many of whom we may never meet?
Music speaks to the soul, it’s the most influencing thing on this planet, it moves you, it inspires you, it saddens you, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. Music is spiritual – it speaks to the soul. Music is heard through the ears but there isn’t anything physically going through your ears so it doesn’t just stop at the brain and let you pull from it, it travels through to your soul and when it hits your soul it literally can change someone’s life for better or for worse.
Will there be a longer project from you in the near future, and if so – will there be an underlying concept or a thread throughout the collection?
Definitely working on a new project. I say new because I had one done and lost everything when my computer crashed, but I’m definitely looking to put my all into a brand new project and give my fans something that I feel they will enjoy and love. I try to create timeless music and a song like Still Here doesn’t have an expiration date because people are feeling suicidal more and more each year, so a song like this can be played for someone 10 years from now and still have an impact on them as it did on someone today. So I will definitely be doing my best to bring forth songs that focus on causes and that can help uplift people.
How important is live music to you as both a music fan and an artist, and do you plan to perform some live shows in the coming months?
The performing part is all new to me, I have done songs with other artists and performed but haven’t really done my own as much yet as I continue to grow. I work in phases, I feel like my writing and overall sound is where I want it to be, so now I can start putting more focus into my stage presence and stage show. I don’t want to sell my fans short so I don’t mind working on something until it’s right.
Is there anything else you’d like to let people know about yourself, your music, this release in particular, or your plans for the future?
I’m an artist who cares about the listener. I want to impact minds, bodies and souls to try and uplift people with my music. To all my fans – be great in life, reach for your dreams, don’t be afraid to live outside the box. Make sure you support this record, it will be available on my Reverbnation page for streaming and downloading and soon will be on other platforms as well like Spotify apple music etc. There will be a pay option if you feel like the song did some justice and want to spend a dollar to help me move forward and keep creating good music, but if not it will be made available for free as well. Follow me on all media sites. Love yall and I look forward to building with you as you are with me at the start of my journey.
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