Pertinently aligned with World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), Ones emerges with their debut single, “Blessings” – a meditative introduction to the anonymous artist.
With a lack of context, persona, or judgement at the helm, Ones is shaped around meaning and purpose. Intending to reveal their identity over the coming weeks, they use their work as a way of underlining human connection.
At surface level, debut single “Blessings” is a contemporary cut of soulful musicality ringed in by dark electronics. Matching club tropes, it toys with an abstract vocal line that trances in and out of being, as an intimate lens into a dizzying mind.
Otherworldly yet human enough to feel familiar, pulsing synths and programmed drum breaks heighten the sonic, conjuring up a sense of transience. It’s impactful and urgent, transforming the smooth single into something more frenetic.
“Blessings” also arrives with an accompanying music video that takes on this concept and introspects on mental health. Poignantly timed with World Suicide Prevention Day, the visual emphasises disparate moods while focussing on themes of isolation and escaping intrusive thoughts. Members of Nigerian skate collective Motherlan are also featured throughout, to help break the stigma around seeking help.
"I think the thing I noticed the most in the last year is how so many of us hadn’t taken time to process our past or ourselves until being forced into lockdown,” shares Ones. “Constantly moving forward in hope of everything working out with no real conversations. Some people made changes, some people started over but 4,902 people didn’t make it out of 2020 due to suicide in the UK.”
“Mental health is something we all have and will struggle with at some point in our lives. The state of it is something we should care for. Sometimes it’s harder to talk about because the people around us - even family members don’t recognise it as an issue, let alone know how best to support us. A massive part of it is how the older generations were “treated” or how they were made to look at those who struggled. Sometimes it’s because there’s a guilt around the reasons for your upset but It should be just as important to support and understand as it is to love and have fun with those around us. Sometimes you can’t explain it.”
“I’m not telling you to tell the world what it is you’re struggling with right now or how something has affected you. I’m just asking you to be honest with yourself and those you trust if ever in serious doubt.”
“Writing this record broke me because it never felt good enough, but we got there in the end, and it has allowed me to share this with you and write/understand so much more about myself. For that I’m grateful and I hope you enjoy it.”