Youtube artists brings awareness through song

Renee Sogueco, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 15, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of annakana.com

‘Doah photo courtesy of annakana.com

In these music reviews, I try to review music that seems relevant and interesting to the general population of the Shenandoah University campus. Compositions contain elements such as music and lyrics that can deeply affect mentalities. There seems to be two types of listeners in the world: the feel-good listener and the music analyst.

In today’s popular music, the infamous and overly recycled four chords are popularly discussed among music enthusiasts and theorists. For some, the music should be the main focus of a song, while others mainly focus on fast-paced beats and entertaining words. Subcategories of listeners include the poet who analyzes the structure and usage of rhetorical devices. With deep focus on these aspects, a listener may understand deeper meanings that the musician is trying to convey. Like a rapping version of Bob Dylan, Anna Akana writes eloquent, at times vulgar, verses of the impact of suicide in her life using various literary devices.

Anna Akana, a YouTuber with more than 790,000 subscribers, wrote and recorded the song, “Against the Darkness.” The lyrics of the song, rapped by Akana, portrays personal thoughts on the suicide of Kristina Akana. The music only serves as a background, and if one were to listen only to the instrumental, the music is composed of a repeating piano chorus and a drumbeat to accompany the rapping.

Dedicated to her younger brother, Akana speaks of the struggles of everyday life and how she copes with the family death. The entire song seems to be transitions through Anna Akana’s personal history and thoughts as time progressed. As a representation of the past, she speaks directly to her brother in the beginning phrases and reveals how her younger sister passed away; the verse mainly focuses on her worry for her brother’s mental stability over the situation. It then transitions into the present where her mental thoughts changed over time and grew into willingness to live. Thoughts of the future compose the last verse and becomes a very important message to those who struggled with suicidal thoughts or losing family members to suicide.

Many young people struggle with mental illness for years. According to the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, almost 30,000 Americans lose their lives to suicide every year. In Emory University’s awareness website page, 1,000 of those suicides occur on college campuses. Everyday, people struggle to find the importance of living, and some may never find that importance. As someone who struggled through suicidal thoughts in the past, this song deeply touched me with the story of Akana’s sister.

For more information and awareness for those who struggle with the illness, visit SAVE.org. Anna Akana also records video logs of personal thoughts each week, and anyone can visit her Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/annaakana. Everyone faces darkness, but the most important thing is to keep moving forward.

“Just know, you’ll hate life at times regardless, cursing the surrounding bitter and heartless. At that moment when you start to feel the apartness, remember, it’s you and me against the darkness.” – Anna Akana (Against the Darkness)


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