Healing The World Through Music

Amina Feratovic, Staff Writer

With over three million listeners a month on Spotify, Umi spreads healing lyrics that lead her listeners to soul searching and growth. This artist is closely related to the lo-fi hip hop scene, neo-soul and contemporary R&B. Her steadily growing fan base proves that her music is genuinely hitting home to the many listening in.

If there is any new artist worth looking up for encouragement to start producing music, Umi is the one. Dating back to 2012, Umi has been producing music in her bedroom during high school. After getting flagged on SoundCloud, the artist began releasing originals. With almost a decade of musical experience and parents with musical backgrounds, writing music became second nature to her and provided the opportunity to share every emotion with her listeners.

Umi is known for her relatability and openness in her music. By mixing her lyrics full of candor and real life connection, Umi is able to stimulate the movement for her audience to grow from their past and move forward. This may relate to relationships or those searching for their own identity. In fact, Umi’s own identity of being half-Black and half-Japanese flows through her music, especially with the primarily Japanese song “Sukidakara” off of her latest EP Love Language.

The song itself is a peaceful melody that brings a sense of nostalgia to the listener. Ultimately, it pays homage to her mixed identity and paints the picture of what it truly means to be Umi (in this case in love).

Another song that almost all people can relate to is the pop-based song “High School” where Umi talks about a small relationship that occurred during her years there. She admits, “I would tell you that I loved you so much but the problem is I didn’t even know what love was” and continues to sing about how she now has the ability to love a person for real. She asks them to give her another chance and promises that it will be better than the relationship they had in the past. This song is a perfect example of the various feelings that those who experienced a first love and the brutal reality that perhaps we were too young to know what love was back then.

Most recently, Umi came out with her Introspection EP that contained three songs. The first song, “Introspection”, talks about her emotional baggage. Umi says, “It’s all in my mind, it’s only emotion, just look for a sign and swim into the ocean” which relates to the popular phenomenon that the world will give her a sign to move on from what she is thinking about.

Recently on social media, users have created a trend to post supposed “signs” to their followers. Umi wishes her thoughts to go away because they haunt her and she just wants to swim in the ocean so she can escape. She cannot face whoever or whatever she is thinking about, which again is a relatable topic for many.

The second song “Open Up” is a deeper version about her emotions and actually dealing with the “pain in her soul making it hard to breathe” to show the person she really loves them. She doesn’t feel good enough and she is confused about what she should do because she doesn’t want to pass them up. She talks about how she didn’t mean to break their trust and she should have known that she hasn’t really changed that much. She needs to open up to make this better but she struggles; just like everyone else can struggle with revealing their emotions. It’s another track that most people can relate to and sounds very similar to that of other modern R&B songs and less like her lo-fi songs.

The other two songs “Mother” and “Picture Perfect” were released earlier in the year.
“Mother” has gained over one million releases since its release on Earth Day of this year. Umi calls it her most conscious and aware song so far. It talks about her connection to the Earth, motherhood and nature in general.

Alternatively, “Picture Perfect” is about dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship.
With her soft vocals and slow guitar strumming, the first chorus makes it clear that she is over the relationship with this person. To her, “it’s too late for [them] to come back” and that the “damage is done” now. She even states that perhaps it’s the “pain that [they] miss” instead of actually missing each other which is common with toxic relationships. She realizes that the person in question is perfect only on the outside because deep down they’re not or otherwise their relationship wouldn’t end up like that.

All in all, Umi is the ideal embodiment of an artist that can actually connect with her audience. There is plenty of pain in this world but Umi encapsulates it into her songs and makes her audience aware of their own emotions, relationships and progress. By releasing more singles about these things, Umi is slowly healing the world through her songs.