Speaking of vulnerability, I’ve been wanting to share the story behind my debut EP, To Santa and Little Brothers.
As some of you might have read before, To Santa and Little Brothers is the first part of the Coupe Cathedral EP Trilogy. But what’s this whole Couple Cathedral Trilogy thing, anyways?!?! So my debut album/mixtape will be called Coupe Cathedral. It’s a story inspired by the late 2016 blockbuster movies, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of either movie, I was really inspired to create a character development plot of my own; to explore some aspect of humanity in a subtle yet deliberate way. On top of that, I love concept albums and releasing a collection of songs that are related rather than just a bunch of random songs thrown together.
To prepare, I went to the source of all knowledge, Google, and researched writing plots and character development. I watched about two-thirds of Christopher Nolan’s movies to learn from the master. (as those who know me know, I have a very extreme personality and go all-in on whatever I’m doing). From there, I decided on the core thought and driving point of the main character and his girlfriend. Then, I worked my way out from their core beliefs about themselves to beliefs and fears about others, what experiences shaped those beliefs, and how that would play out in their daily lives.
I also wanted to have flashbacks through lyric references to those defining moments like great movies do, but realized that it would be really hard to do in the span of one album… (you only have so many words to get the story out in music)… so the solution to this problem became the Coupe Cathedral EP Trilogy. The trilogy would be three EPs that serve as prequels to the mixtape and tell the story of the main character. The first installment of the trilogy is To Santa and Little Brothers.
Where does the title, To Santa and Little Brothers, come from? It’s a reference to the teenage poem called To Santa and Little Sisters that I heard about in my favorite book, The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It’s about a kid who grows up and becomes more and more jaded about the world as he grows up and eventually commits suicide (the poem was written anonymously by a 15-year old who committed suicide two years later). The reason I referenced this poem is because the EP is about the main character dealing with depression even though his life seems great to others from the outside looking in. I just changed sisters to brothers because I have two little brothers!
If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll notice that they cover a lot of difficult experiences for teenagers to navigate. I extrapolated a lot of my own teenage experiences and struggles into our character’s childhood. “Fire on the Floor” talks about complicated relationships. Rumors processes through overthinking and self-doubt. “Yellow Lines” covers dealing with people assuming your life is great but dealing with family neglect from busy parents behind the scenes. “Never Enough” talks about projecting the fear of falling short in a relationship under the weight of years of not being able to do enough to get the approval of your parents. “With Just a Little Bit of Hope Left in my Pocket” is about contemplating suicide and Lemonade Shadows is about my relationship with one of my little brothers and trying to overcome depression and push forward to a better future.
It was crazy to put so much of my experiences into the main character while also trying to make sure that the main character isn’t just me. Maybe he’s Class and not Simon, but it took a lot of growth as an artist to write and release that record. I spent a month debating whether to use WJALBOHLIMP because it was so personal. But I think the best art comes from real-life experiences and vulnerability… even when that’s hard to do! That’s where beautiful creativity and freedom reside!
Next up is Red Roses… (as you might know, I’m running a Kickstarter to fund this project. If you’re able to, I would love and appreciate your support. To see more, click here: Red Roses Kickstarter