Time Of Ayesha, an Emirati woman's journey emerges as a symphony of self-discovery, resilience, and the therapeutic power of music.

From the enchantment of Disney melodies to the hums of songs yet unwritten, her story unveils the complex dance between cultural expectations, personal passions, and the uncharted territories of mental health.

Early Struggles and Forbidden Dreams

As a young girl enchanted by musical movies, she found solace in the fantasy worlds of Disney and Barbie. Despite the joy she derived from singing along, the dream of becoming a singer seemed unattainable in the cultural context of her Emirati upbringing. Her father's disapproval of having a piano at home or pursuing piano lessons cast a shadow on the pursuit of her musical aspirations.

The clash between her love for music and the cultural constraints of her upbringing led her to sideline her dreams of becoming a singer. The prescribed path was one of engineering, a stark contrast to the whimsical world of melodies she held dear.

Unspoken Creativity and Silent Struggles

Throughout her childhood, she harbored creative tendencies that often went unnoticed. Humming tunes that existed only in her imagination and singing out sentences became an outlet for expression. In her adolescent years, the allure of high school musicals sparked fantasies of a singing career, but societal expectations and familial disapproval confined those dreams to the realm of imagination.

Despite her creative inclinations, she was never recognized for her writing skills in school, leading her to believe she couldn't write. Fast forward to her late teens in university, where the challenges of dorm life and the weight of hidden emotions took a toll on her mental well-being. Faking positivity became a coping mechanism, masking the loneliness that brewed within.

The turning point came when she penned her first song, a moment of pride overshadowed by the shyness that prevented her from sharing it with the world. This marked the beginning of a musical journey influenced by emotional experiences, a burgeoning admiration for Taylor Swift, and the discovery of a powerful outlet for self-expression.

Musical Catharsis: From Taylor Swift to Self-Discovery

With newfound inspiration from Taylor Swift's ability to translate feelings into songs, she embarked on a prolific songwriting journey. Over 200 songs were born, each encapsulating a moment, emotion, or narrative. The process became a therapeutic exploration, with ideas surfacing in the most unexpected moments—while driving, working, or even taking a shower.

Navigating the challenges of repetitive themes, she found inspiration in others' stories, weaving them into her art. Love songs and heartbreak anthems filled her repertoire, each composition offering a snapshot of her evolving thought process over the years.

Being a Taylor Swift fan not only fueled her passion but also served as motivation to create music that resonated with her personal preferences. The process became a continuous cycle of writing, recording, and exploring new themes, all while maintaining a delicate balance between the roles of an engineer and an artist.

Confronting the Shadows: Mental Health and the Power of Expression

The shadows of depression, carefully concealed in her teenage years, emerged as a central theme in her narrative. The stigma surrounding mental health silenced her during adolescence, prompting her to hide her struggles and confront them in isolation. Writing about mental health became an outlet, but it was only when she started vocalizing her experiences that she truly began to heal.

Balancing the roles of an electrical engineer and a singer created a dual identity, a challenge she embraced. Her commitment to diverse hobbies—drawing, singing, creating—revealed an ongoing quest for self-discovery through art.

Therapy sessions focused on healing the inner child brought forth painful memories and a daunting question: What would she say to her younger self? The answer manifested in a song named "Messages," a poignant composition addressing the struggles of a depressed teen, locked away in isolation. The song became a bridge connecting past and present, offering messages of strength and resilience.

Crafting Messages: The Art of Musical Expression

The creative process behind "Messages" revealed the meticulous steps involved in bringing a song to life. From creating melodies to recording voice memos and collaborating with a trusted studio, every aspect was a labor of love. The dreamlike and lullaby elements in the song mirrored the fantasy of sending messages to the past.

The struggle with perfectionism and the constant desire to refine details showcased the artist's commitment to her craft. Even the addition of a voice memo recording, almost inaudible but deeply personal, highlighted the vulnerability woven into the fabric of her art.

Navigating Challenges: Mental Health in the Creative Process

The journey toward embracing mental health struggles, both personally and in her art, shed light on the hurdles faced by aspiring artists. The struggle to publish songs while grappling with depression, anxiety, and self-doubt revealed the intimate connection between mental health and creativity.

Surrounded by a supportive friend and vocal coach, she found encouragement to persevere through the unmotivated days and self-doubt. The acknowledgment that mental health challenges affect artistic endeavors underscores the importance of a nurturing support system.

Lessons from Loss and a Complicated Father-Daughter Dynamic

The narrative unfolds against the backdrop of a distant father and the profound loss of her mother at the age of 14. The pivotal moment reshaped her life, forcing her to adopt a facade of strength to conceal the inner turmoil. The years of people-pleasing and concealing emotions took a toll on her mental health, a realization that shaped her commitment to living authentically.

Navigating a complicated relationship with her father, marked by distance and sporadic presence, introduced complexities that she chose not to elaborate on. The focus shifted to valuing peace of mind and seizing life's opportunities.

Conclusion: A Symphony of Self-Discovery

In the final notes of her story, this Emirati artist's journey resonates as a symphony of self-discovery, resilience, and the healing power of music. From forbidden dreams to the therapeutic release of "Messages," her narrative transcends cultural boundaries, inviting others to embrace their passions and confront mental health struggles.

As she navigates the delicate balance between engineering and artistry, her story becomes an anthem for those seeking harmony amid life's challenges. The universal language of music becomes a vessel for healing, a testament to the enduring spirit that emerges when one dares to share their vulnerabilities.

In the end, her story serves as a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the importance of embracing one's authentic self. Through the highs and lows, the melodies and lyrics, she stands as a beacon of inspiration for those navigating the labyrinth of dreams, mental health, and the pursuit of a life well-lived.

EMIRATI is musivv's segment featuring Emirati artists. Features under this segment are considered as submissions for nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.

December 22, 2023

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