On her recently released EP, singer Ria Boss was quick to remind us of the need and importance of being free. The advantages of finding ourselves and traversing this catastrophic thing called life to a place of bliss where happiness and freedom shake hands frequently and not intermittently.
Every song on the Six (6) track EP- beginning with ‘Golden’ to the last track, ‘Everything’, has Ria motivating the listener, with hopeful lyrics. Lyrics that calls on the listener to eschew all negativities and start trundling on the path of happiness. The EP name, ‘Find Your Free’, captures the crux of her messages succinctly.
One of the outstanding songs on the EP (in my opinion) is ‘Flame On’, the guitar accompanied, live recorded song. ‘Flame On’, aside the great qualities it boast-good production, the soulful singing- it’s the message in the song that captivated me. A very necessary and timely song for this era where fear and uncertainties stifle our efforts at reaching a place of peace and happiness.
We live in a society where fear and terror is on the high, unemployment is biting and parents aren’t ready to encourage their wards to seek opportunities that are deemed unconventional. We hear of the experiences of people who are trapped in situations where quitting should be the rational decision to take but are forced to stay within such frameworks-bad marriages/relationships, jobs we hate, opportunistic friends. Such people sacrifice their own pleasures to make others happy thus deferring dreams. The fear of failing or being deemed a failure scares all of us; holding us back from finding ourselves and also, our freedom.
It is not uncommon to witness, especially on social media the many incidents of abuse, either sexually, verbally or physically yet the empathy needed by these victims are replaced by hateful comments. There also have been cases where others have been mocked for expressing unpopular opinions/comments. The fear of getting judged leave many to silently nurse their wounds rather than ask for help from others (you can’t even trust those you’d share your deep thoughts with).
“The world can be overwhelming, and sometimes we get scared. Of ourselves…of…time. Regrets build and it sucks and we forget that life is passing us by and we should trust in ourselves more. We shouldn’t deny our inner children. When we were little, we had aspirations for adulthood, we shouldn’t deny ourselves the joy we thought we’d feel. There’s light, there’s happiness, on the other side of fear, and wallowing. I was depressed when I wrote this, I wanted to remind the kid in me to stop being scared and trust the journey.” – Ria Boss
It is for this reason that ‘Flame On’ is such a necessary song.. Armed with the right words, Ria Boss proceed to inspire and assure us to ignore those self-inspired pressures and those society pile on us; dig within ourselves and chase our dreams. Although she is singing to inspire herself, Ria Boss’ words is for everyone else She begins by sharing her state of mind: ‘Losing focus, I can’t sleep at night no more’. Then on the pre-hook, attempts to motivate herself to chase the dream ‘maybe I’ll be somebody else if I wish hard enough/Maybe I can make the pain disappear/Maybe if I face all my bad days with some armor/Gotta stop living in fear’.
On the second verse, Ria Boss points to the many issues afflicting the world and by extension fuels her fears and draws her away from her aspirations. She sings about the crumbling of the world around and how ‘through the blood, the strange fruit, bombs and prayers all seem mute’. Ending with a very relevant question: ‘What’s the point of living?’
When our fears tend to overwhelm us, we conceive a variety of assumptions to cocoon within temporarily. We know these ideas or escapes are nothing but fathoms that would vapourize; yet, they’ve become ways that help us dump down on our fears. And Ria Boss did same on ‘Flame On’, teasing out thoughts that could hide these fears: ‘maybe I can find love to make time worthwhile/Maybe I can try to set the demons free’. When such options lacked the potential to lock out her fears, she finally decides to live: ‘Maybe if I face all my bad days, I’ll be strong enough/Imma stop living in fear’.
Life is like a volcano spewing its dangerous lava each day. In our quest to avoid getting burnt by the flowing lava, we are forced to stay within our comfort zone, even when it’s a depressing zone. Distancing ourselves from the fears and uncertainties that entangles us should happen at a point. That’s what Ria Boss is encouraging us to do when on the hook of the song she assures the little girl that: ‘you don’t have to face your dark days alone/There’s light on the other side’, so she should not be afraid to ‘set yourself on fire’.
Even though Ria Boss wrote this for the little girl inside of her to encourage and motivate her towards finding her free, all can relate to the inspirational words behind Flame On. Don’t let fear dim your shine. Set yourself on fire.