Mistissini-based artist and musician Ayden Gray, aka Sinematic, discusses his newest song, “War With Myself”, which addresses the inner turmoil he struggles with. The song’s theme is about taking responsibility and how to stop blaming others for one’s emotions and actions. With its release, Gray hopes to raise awareness about mental health and well-being.
What inspired you to write “War With Myself”?
Music was always an outlet for me when dealing with my emotions, thoughts and whatever I’m going through. I start out with the music first when creating songs and the lyrics follow second. Once I had the skeleton of this song, I was struggling with what to say and how I should put words together. I had this feeling of self-doubt and thoughts about why I am not doing anything right. I thought maybe it shouldn’t be a song after all because nothing was coming out of it.
After listening to it over and over again, which usually helps a lot, the words flew out of my mouth: “I can’t go on, fighting like this, always feeling, alone and worthless.” I started to write that down and the rest came after. It took me a few days to write the lyrics for the whole track and be happy with it. Being stuck and thinking I can’t do this became the inspiration of the song.
What was your creative process for this song?
For me to get into a creative space, I always start out at the piano. I pluck around for ideas and sometimes get into playing around and melodies flutter out. I came up with the chorus on the piano and later worked around that with synths and strings. I love having a classical sound in every song I make with hints of electronic sounds and of course, with a rock, metal sound backing it all up. I connected with a talented musician from Italy named Loris Castiglia who helped me finish the song by recording guitars, drums and bass. As of now, we have worked on a handful of songs.
What is the message you want to convey with “War With Myself”?
I love to make my music universal and open for interpretation. I love the fact that the music I make can be part of any race, any gender, any belief and anyone who can relate to certain things in different ways. Same sounds, different feelings, same words, different meanings. Like an abstract painting, you see one thing, find another. A world where we all can get lost but still brings us together.
This song specifically is about putting a stop to that kind of mindset that makes us believe we are not good enough and we should learn to take responsibility of our own actions, feelings and thoughts. We need to stop blaming others for our own mistakes and stop making ourselves look like the victim and for once look in the mirror and finally see that we can change to be better. Once you point a finger at someone you don’t realize you’re pointing three more back at yourself. We can let go of that kind of hate and learn to better control our emotions. We need to start blaming ourselves for how we feel cause we all can grow.
How does this song differ from your previous work?
The previous songs I created are about my past, personal experiences I’ve been through whether it was work, friends and family, or inspirations from dreams and stories. This song is about that mental state where I feel like I’m not important, feeling insignificant and valueless. I know most of us at some point in our lives feel that feeling like we don’t matter. We hear a voice in our head that tells us we don’t belong, we’re not good enough and not talented enough.
We sometimes lean towards drugs and/or alcohol as a shoulder to cry on because we can’t talk to anyone about it. Some of us even lean towards our families for help, but sometimes they’re the ones who hurt us the most. The only one who can help us is ourselves and I hope we all can just stand back up when we’re feeling down and learn it’s okay to feel this feeling but know that we can’t let it take control of our lives.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating this song?
Writing the lyrics for this song was the most challenging part. I’m very passionate about music and all the lyrics in my music do have meaning. I can’t write lyrics just to say something, I can’t just make stuff up and be like “okay whatever it’s good enough.” Every word I sing has a meaning and if I can’t think of something, I will take two to five years if necessary to finish a song. Sometimes it can be easy, and the words will flow right out of me, and when that happens, I know it’s meant to feel this way. “War With Myself” was tricky but I wrote it for myself, to myself but I also wrote it in a way that others can hopefully relate to it.
What do you hope your fans take away from “War With Myself”?
I hope people can listen to this song and feel empowered, inspired and, most importantly, learn to take ownership of their own actions. This song is not only about me but it’s about taking responsibility and not to feel ashamed about it. We shouldn’t have the need to hurt anyone’s feelings just because we’re having a bad day. We can change it all if we just pick ourselves back up. I hope listeners can become more mindful of others and themselves and let go of pride and ego and fit comfortably to be themselves no matter what it looks like to anyone. A shattered mirror can still reflect light.