Singer, songwriter and producer COATS has just released a gem of a new single called ‘Anxiety’.
This song stood out for me for many reasons. The song is so relatable personally that COATS could have written for me. This makes the song pretty special! I feel the more that mental illness is highlighted in songs the more it will be accepted when people suffer from it. COATS has written very meaningful lyrics that really do explore the feelings of being anxious. Lyrically I love how it says sorry for future actions and expresses the love and support that COATS gets from his partner.
I love the way the song makes me feel when I listen to. It makes me feel like I am singing the lyrics and expressing myself while singing (badly) them. ‘Anxiety’ has an 80’s tinge to it, which adds to the listening enjoyment. COATS vocals are perfectly pitched. They are unique and full of emotion.
Mental or Physical health should not define us. COATS sings about Anxiety but it can actually be about anything the more I think about it. COATS refuses to let Anxiety define him and I refuse to let my anxiety and being in a wheelchair define me! Thanks COATS for writing meaningful lyrics. Please check out ‘Anxiety here.
I asked COATS a few questions to get to know him a little better and get some background on ‘Anxiety’.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your latest single “Anxiety”. I really wanted to talk about your incredible single.
Hi there! Super excited to answer some things!
Firstly, is this your first single? Have you had any other experience? It seems so from the sound and the meaningful lyrics.
“Anxiety” is not my first single. It is, however, the first single off of my upcoming EP called ‘Retrospect’, which is a 6-song project that is solely & spontaneously born out of this coronavirus quarantine.
The past year and a half I have put out what I refer to as my “dance-trio”… 3 singles that heavily lean on dancehall & electronic glitch vibes: “Be There”, “I Could Be The One” & “The Ways”. “Be There” was my first song to break an actual official Editorial Playlist via Spotify; that playlist was Fresh Finds. And “The Ways” is probably my most successful song to date, as I released a remix that was very retro-synth, and altogether the OG & remix have received around a quarter of a million streams on mainstream streaming platforms.
Before my dance babies, I released my first conceptional piece of art: a 17-track atmospheric & melancholic fyasko of pop music meets bliss meets heartbreak meets empowerment. This project was my first full length album and I named her ‘Lust, Love, the Break & the Hustle’. It’s a schizophrenic journey and storytelling centered around the topics of my past toxic relationship. I wanted to create a sonic thread from beginning to end and at the same time share my story in a precise way, with clarity. It starts with “lust” then comes “love”… then the “break” which was extremely hard for me; I toss around the topics of physical and emotional abuse, and my struggles with mental health, ocd, depression and anxiety (see songs “Used To” and my favorite & current most played song “Under Water” – that’s my baby)… and then the album finishes in kind of a re-birth with the “hustle”. Because when it was all over and I left him, I was like who the fuck am I? So I dug deeper and dug deeper and I looked into the mirror everyday and said to myself “this pain is only temporary and it will fade in time”. I kept believing this and I used the resources around me to create, hustle and pave my own lane, independant from him. And that was really the start of the person I am today. Melancholy, yet confident. Unsure, yet I know who I am. Afraid sometimes, but always taking the risk.
I look forward to hearing the other 5 songs!
Secondly can you please tell us in a few sentences info about you? How did you start to become an artists/influences ….
I grew up in the South. Nashville, TN baby. In an extremely (to an annoying point) musical family. My mom was the first folk female signed to MoTown Records in the 70s and my dad was the lead singer of the rock band Driver, under A&M Records, in the 70s as well. I never got to see these glimpses of them because I was born in 87’ but in Nashville they were doing a lot of stuff in the country music scene, writing and producing, mostly behind the scenes stuff. I hated country because I was always around it, all the time. I didn’t get it. All the guys sounded the exact same. The girls all sang about heartbreak and how their men drank too much. lol. But I learned how to really storytell in my writing – which I believe is because of this interaction. I wrote a lot with my mom & dad growing up. Recorded my first demo called “SuperStar”, a bubblegum pop bop, when I was 12. And no…you’re never gonna hear it. lol. I had some classical & choral training & involvement & also was really into jazz & soul… and I think that helped me vocally… I understand the voice very well, on a classical level. I guess kinda the same way Gaga claims too. Maybe I will be on her level one day. Maybe it’s all happening right now? Fuck that. It is happening.
I moved to Seattle for an electronic band project. That didn’t work. Vampires are bad for you. I stopped giving so much energy to other people. I moved to LA in 2013 and was writing for a lot of other artists… hoping to get production help in return. Everyone just took from me so I said after about 4 years of that BS, fuck it… I’m gonna learn how to produce because no one freakin cares about what I want… And I had my shitty laptop from my ex… lol… garageband and a garbage microphone and I made that shit work. One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t polish a turd… but you can roll it in glitter”. I get all the credit for that also…I am pretty confident that I coined it. 😛 But I did indeed roll that turd in glitter. And 3 years later it turns out maybe it was my destiny to be a music producer, because I think I am pretty damn good at it…I know how to express my emotion & deliver that certain signature COATS soundscape… and no one can take that away from me. That’s pretty much getting you caught up to where I am.
I am super inspired by juxtapostion in art. The beauty and the mess. The structure and the chaos. I love Lana Del Rey. A lot of my friends call me Lana Del Gay… but with more espresso and adderall. lol. I am obsessed with Banks. I love Marina (formerly Marina & the Diamonds). These are my top 3 influences probably. Some badass bitches with daddy issues. Sounds familiar. 😛 lol
Ha! I really want to hear ‘Superstar’!
Clearly, ‘Anxiety’ is personal for you. How does it feel that it is so relatable for me? It is like you could have written it just for me!
It is super personal. I love that you resonate and vibrate with it so much. The topic of anxiety, depression, OCD and all aspects, really, of mental health are heavy as fuck. I have been wanting to dig deeper and look at my music as therapy. And be honestly just raw as I could ever be. My mom always said “there’s more room on the outside than on the inside… so let that shit out”. lol. love her. So I thought the only way I could tackle anxiety as a song… well not the only way… but the way for me… would be to create a minimalist otherworldly synth soundscape… atmospheric at its heart… so that the heavy storytelling could exist. I feels it’s a great balance of yin and yang… heavy & light. I feel if it was any other way… that it could come off as a crutch or be cheesy or for attention. And then all the different opposing elements just worked. The conscious raw percussion breaks give the song a much needed lift and after those breaks, the “ehhhh” background vocals deliver a sense of “okay” and reassurance that everything is gonna be alright.
The song lyrics mention someone that accepts you, I have that too, can you explain your relationship and why it made it into the lyrics?
Yes. That was a very important part. Because I wanted to share that you can actually have whatever you want… and still live with debilitating anxiety. It was important to include my partner in this… he’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me… he doesn’t only love and accept me… he pushes me and pushes me to grow, to create, to do pretty much whatever the fuck I wanna do. If I do drag one night… there’s no judgement. If I eat $60 worth of Taco Bell….no judgement. If I make out with my Boston Terriers… he’s Persian and doesn’t get it… but still no judgement. lol. And if I cry so much for no reason and need to be held in bed during an attack because it just feels the only way I can cope… there’s no judgement. I love him so much for that.
I have always been judged, bullied, and not accepted for who I am. When I was young and in this one past toxic relationship especially. It really screwed me up. He fucked with my head, on purpose, and called me crazy, insane, stupid…all the time. It was so crippling and I couldn’t be me. But now in my life, with Fareed, I have a creative home that feels like euphoria on most great days, and even on the worst days, it feels like a sanctuary of acceptance. Anxiety attacks, meltdowns, and all. I am loved and embraced more now than I have ever been. I have so much gratitude for that. And everyone deserves that partner, whoever it is, friend, family, someone to really lean on and take away all the mind-fuckery.
I am really glad that you have someone that loves and respects you and encourages you to create. I have a man like that too! We are lucky.
I really like the lyrics, “that shit does not define me, that just my anxiety. “ Many people who suffer from the dreaded anxiety do hide a personality behind how they seem to the world. The chorus lyrics then add to this, and I wonder if the people I know who suffer from anxiety, including students that I teach, heard this song it will help them.
I guess my question is, did you write this song just for yourself or was it written with other people in mind as well.
I really hope it does help them. Honestly, if it even helps 1 person, then I feel complete with it as a release. I wrote it for me of course but also as a chill-out vibe contemplative anthem that I wanted us weirdos and self-saboteurs to connect with. If people can take one message away from “Anxiety” it is that we are all fucking messes. We all feel lost. We all have sadness. We all feel like it’s never gonna be enough… that we are always searching for happiness… and when we get it, we are onto the next thing… never satisfied. That’s because we are humans and we have egos. Anxiety feeds off these fears of feeling incomplete and feeling out of control… and you know what…? Let’s just embrace it. Because we may always have it. And if we can accept these “flaws”… then we can start to control them and direct them consciously and proactively. And it just may make us a bit more unique then the next person. It’s cool to be us now. It’s never been a more important time in history then now.
The more I listen to the song the more I think of how many people this song can help. Have you got a good PR plan to get this song out there in the world? I am going to do my best to share my review etc, but this song really needs to get out there!
Thanks so much! I appreciate any sharing, adding to playlists, etc. – I do have a press plan that is rolling out shortly. I am super excited and haven’t really shared this yet but I have 5 remixes of this song that span 5 different genres. I wanted to do this because not everyone will maybe want to listen to the indie-pop-synth commercial lingering version as is the original… but a lot of people have anxiety and struggles. So I was like let’s do a full on edm dance mix for that demographic & listener… then a future wave soul remix for those listeners… and then a lo-fi super chilled out version for the stoners and ambient listeners. Then I am gonna re-release “Anxiety” as an EP with its remixes…and maybe a different acoustic vocal take as well. Very excited to get to as many ears as possible, and I think this is a beautifully organic way of doing it, with my resources and within my creative wheelhouse.
I guess COVID 19 will put a spanner in the works in regard to promotion. Did you have to cancel plans for gigs?
No gigs right now. Just behind the scenes creative stuff, writing, producing, editing down (which takes a long ass time). But I have a little bit of excitnesses and desire from a few companies & indie labels… “Anxiety” hit #1 on the Electro-Pop Submit Hub Charts, #2 on Commercial, #2 on Mainstream Pop and also #9 on the All Genres Chart… so I feel a bit wanted right now… so I’m definitely gonna be on the scene when we can all get out and be close again. 😛
You should feel wanted! Those stats are a great indication of what is to come out in the world.
Thanks so much! I wish you all the best for the release of ‘Anxiety’.
Thanks so much! This was so fun and retrospective. And also it felt like a therapy session. lol. You saved me about 150 bucks. lol. So thank you. 😛 I really do appreciate it and as an indie artist, this organic connection is the sustainability that I need to survive. All my love.