Take The Risk Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” can be interpreted as a song of hope and an anthem of strength. Although Bareilles was inspired by her friend dealing with coming out as gay, this song can also be applied to anyone facing struggles. Bareilles instills the message or the theme to speak your mind while disregarding the opinions of others. Too many people — especially the generations now — face backlash due to the platforms of social media. The upbeat tone of the song will encourage people to grasp the glimmer of hope to push them off the edge to be heard, to be brave, and to be acknowledged. The music video begins with many different cuts of different settings with all types of ages, sizes, and ethnicities in a normal day in a life. Everything is set in a serene and still mood until Bareilles sings the first line: “You can be amazing.” The first line sets off a chain reaction of people starting to dance, which creates the imagery of standing out and being seen from the once-silent atmosphere. It is almost as if Bareilles is telling the audience to get up and start speaking up since “you can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug” or “you can be the outcast or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love.” In the end, she is giving people a choice — to voice your opinions or to become the bystander living in the shadows. There is a pattern where she starts off with the positive of speaking up followed by the negative in order to contrast the images. Hearing the negative consequences last makes the listeners want to choose the alternative. Additionally, from the first verse she not only wants to spread awareness, but she also dives deep into the darkness where most people fall under. She portrays this idea by using personification: “Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do when they settle 'neath your skin / Kept on the inside and no sunlight sometimes a shadow wins.” However, she ends the verse with the conjunction“but” and continues to sing the powerful chorus: “I wonder what would happen if you say what you wanna say and let the words fall out? / Honestly I wanna see you be brave.” Bareilles asks the audience a rhetorical question and then answers it by inviting the audience to be brave. Referring back to the music video, when the chorus begins, the people dancing are not thinking of the people surrounding them; they are just moving with the music, which garners attention from others. By being themselves, the dancers may have gotten curious yet obnoxious stares, but later they attract a mob of people wanting to be unique just like the dancers. Rather than conforming to society, the dancers present themselves as a symbol of creating the societal standard and letting others follow rather than being the follower and getting judged for jumping on the bandwagon. Trailing after, she uses the repetition of , “I just wanna see you ... I wanna see you be brave” to emphasize the importance of being courageous. She repeats the phrase “I just wanna see you”, but never finishes it until the end when she sings “I just wanna see you be brave” because it takes bravery to “let the words fall out” but also it takes bravery to actually commit and say something. Sara Bareilles, in part, uses pathos or a relatable emotion of being “stared down by the enemy” -- hiding in the fear, bowing “down to the mighty.” She particularly portrays a sense of togetherness: everyone’s been there and no one else is different. Through this, people feel like they are not alone, and this song will bring upon the same theme — to rise up and be brave. Bareilles specifically points out to stop running, to “stop holding your tongue,” and to finally “let the light in” rather than be stuck in a cage, away from danger. Similarly, a cage where birds are usually kept are now being freed. This turning point in the song is a shift from doubting the options given to trusting in Bareilles message. As she persists to fight for others to voice their struggles, she demonstrates more personification through the blaming of innocents who stood silent in the past and present knowing that the truth would soon be revealed in the future from the plethora of brave souls. Bareilles intimidates the enemy of innocence by casting the spell “let your words be anything but empty” -- like she is the protector of the struggling population. . Like many of her inspiring songs — “Love Song,” “Gravity,” “King of Anything” — Bareilles’ “Brave” has helped many people through tough times. This achievement gave Brave the title of being named one of the best Girl Power Anthems. Personally, I believe that it is always easy to be self-conscious or afraid, but everyone is unique. Therefore, it will be easier to live freely in the mind, body, and spirit once you become brave. In order to get out of the cage, one must want to get out of the cage -- this song expedites one's desire to do so.
Musicality and Personality Three a.m. in the morning, I vigorously attempt to encapsulate and visualize the thumps, snares, and tugs from the spine of the song. One click after another, I get caught in a rabbit hole of this captivating new artist. I feel the need to listen to all the songs they released and categorize all their songs into playlists based on my mood. This recurring theme is the power music holds over me. Music is a universal language, a form of expression, and art created for a multitude of reasons. Music just seems to be part of my everyday routine -- one that has impacted my life in emotions, personality, and mental health. Music does not only come from Spotify playlists or YouTube music videos, but is also integrated into movies, shows, theatrics, or even birds chirping. It has flooded my way of living, permeating all aspects of my life, yet causing a burst of power to ignite my passions and create the person I am today. This may seem exaggerated as music “flooded” my life, but facts and statistics can prove otherwise. Scientifically, when listening to music, your brain releases endorphins — a heightened sense of excitement. This release in the brain will leave you feeling euphoric, which can potentially “distract you from ‘bodily awareness’” and “with high endorphin levels, [you] have fewer negative effects of stress”. Music may just be a source of entertainment, but research reveals a plethora of health benefits, such as healing mentally or physically, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving sleep quality. In addition, certain types of music have been tested to relate to certain bodily changes. A common example includes soft lullabies and classical music incorporated into a baby’s sleep ritual, to sleep more soundly and quickly. Certain music gives off a “vibe”, so when we want to feel sad we play our heartbroken playlist or when we want to feel hyped up, we listen to something upbeat. We have associated certain rhythms and sounds to certain moods --moods we take into consideration when we desire to feel a certain way. Therefore, through numerous scientific studies, it can be concluded that music is beneficial to human beings. To support such studies made, I can comfortably agree to such a claim -- to an extent. Music is an important aspect of my life that I believe formed the way I think, talk, or feel. Specifically, during this pandemic, people (including myself) have been susceptible to high rates of mental illness. Like many, I used music as an outlet to psychologically cope with symptoms of anxiety or crisis. I experienced an increased fear of college, an exponential growth towards an identity crisis, and the lack of motivation and drive. Without an in-person connection to my friends and family, I had to make use of Zoom along with the rest of the world. This worldwide mental depreciation made me appreciate the meaningful and “heartfelt” songs artists create. Yes, we are our own person but we are all human, and people are most likely going through the same situation. Through many songs like Good Days by SZA and the catchy Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey, it gives me a sense of motivation while also connecting to the lyrics. Lyrics like “safe to take a step out, get some air now...I gotta keep from losin' the rest of me” and “Go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper” become a temporary fix to my mental being. The endorphins released calms me and as a bonus, I get to “vibe” with the music as I scream the lyrics with all my passion. The influence music has on me fluctuates. The music I hear is connected with the memories I associate with it. So, if I had a bad day and a song comes on, I will forever get triggered and associate ill feelings toward the song. Thus, music affects my mood positively and sometimes negatively. Overall, diving into the rabbit hole of music does not seem as bad. I get to learn about the artist, their background, life story, and the message they are trying to convey. It makes me want to be a part of something encouraging or life-changing. To hear the perspectives of many artists through their songs actually gives me knowledge from masterly-written lyrics stemming from all kinds of literature techniques. Music can be a mood booster, but it can be so much more -- it can be an aid to future endeavors. Lastly, music is a bridge that connects people all around the world: since language is not a barrier to enjoy good music. I for one love to listen to all types of genres and languages which only benefits me to learn new cultures. Music is many things but music became a huge part of my life -- like a friend I gained over the years.