Edmonton is home to many aspiring artists, who are using this pandemic as an opportunity to hone their skills and develop the approach they will take to make an artistic stamp on the timeline of our interesting city. From painters who express life on canvas during the Art Walks on White Avenue, to those who are making and selling various types of masks online, there has even been a rise in those making entertainment on social media apps such as Tik Tok. The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us and while some are using it as a chance to develop it is worth noting that there is nothing wrong with taking this time to focus your time on sustaining and taking care of your mental health, and simply being there for those around you.
Your mental health matters, and it is so essential these days to be compassionate and supportive of others. We all have different/unique circumstances and we all have different sources of stress in our lives that we need to manage before we can enjoy the things we once loved. With that being said however, one sector of Art that this entertainment column writer has been enjoying is that of the amazing music of local artists. One such amazing artist that has been known to brighten my day, and the days of those around them is Marc Ferreira also known as justpeoplewatching (JPW). Over the course of my time at Concordia I have had the privilege of hearing this artist perform numerous times. From originals, to Instagram live features and general posts of heartfelt covers, to a bone chillingly amazing cover of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”. Every time I am fortunate enough to hear this artist perform automatically becomes the highlight of the week.
On December 18th, 2020 JPW finished off the year in the strongest way possible by releasing his own EP entitled “The Clock”. This song is three minutes and fifty-two seconds of absolute musical bliss. This year has been long and tiresome at times, but in my full confident opinion as an entertainment writer, I am able to say this was one of the highlights. Not only have I had the privilege of knowing JPW and watching them grow as an artist, but I also had the privilege of personally asking JPW about this new EP, and these are the responses as follows:
What is the inspiration behind The Clock?
“ I wrote The Clock about a particularly bad night that I had last year. I was upset and anxious. I was midway through the first semester and found myself thinking about how every day is repeating the same cycle. It felt like no matter what I did I would never be satisfied with what I was doing in my life. It would always result in failure. I have this clock hanging on the wall in my room. It’s pretty much the first thing that I see when I open my eyes in the morning. It has this little ticking noise that over the course of the night gets really intrusive to the point where you can hear the countdown in your head until you have to wake up only to repeat the same failures of the previous day. Most of this project really focuses on my personal journey with mental health issues. The Clock is a very blunt and in your face song, in a way representing the clock itself. We wanted the song though, to be honest, and at the same time fun, Even though the lyrics are rather dark and personal.”
To those listening to this song for the first time, what is the message you are delivering through this song?
“To those of you listening, my message is simple, it’s that you are not alone. If even one person can relate to my story of being up wondering who they are, I have sent my message. I think that The Clock is a song about hanging on by a thread. I think a lot of young adults struggle even waking up. There is also a lot of stigma surrounding this. It can be hard for people who have never experienced it to verbalize or empathize with depression or anxiety. The best people I have talked to about mental health are those that spoke from personal experience. Hopefully, that is the effect my music can have.”
What does music mean to you?
“Music represents connections between all human beings. Even in my current profession, I use it every day. Music is inspiring, it requires focus, creativity, and collaboration. It truly is the universal language. My music is used as a form of coping with my daily life. I can sit at my piano and play, to be okay for a while. That is priceless for me and something that I take very seriously. Without music, I wouldn’t be able to express unexpressed feelings. Words can only say so much.”
From a melody that hooks your soul and lyrics that make you reflect on life, “The Clock” will hopefully go down as one of the best things to come out of our city this year. I also know that this is only the beginning of a long and prosperous career in music for this artist. 2020 was rough and it seemed that the pandemic has and continues to influence our mental health quite drastically. However with content like this, we are given a distraction from the hardship and are given a glimpse into someone else’s emotions. It is reassuring to know it is not just us having a hard time as a result of the pandemic, because art allows us to share in the way others feel. Art shows we are not alone, and that others like JPW are expressing themselves. They are simply inviting us to join them on their journey.
The music video to this EP is being released later this month on January 26th. For announcements check out their Instagram @justpeoplewatching, and check out “The Clock” on Spotify.
The pandemic has enveloped our social lives and has made us continuously re-evaluate our mental health and everyday lives. As shown through this song and the constant effort being made by this artist to bring us entertainment in what will most likely be the most uncertain part of our lives, They say time stops for no one, and that is true, but it is how we spend the time in bringing joy to others that matters. A principle highly shown by JPW, the man who conquered time.
Written by: Dylan Haslam