By Cynthia Gross
This Alchemical Records article is read by the author to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
San Diego-born, Greeley, Colorado-raised Armenian artist and mental health advocate Bekka Jean recently released her debut single “///shutdown///mode///,” which she penned with her husband. The angsty, pop punk track explores themes of belonging and the reality of outgrowing people and places.
Jean notes “///shutdown///mode///” was inspired by a personal experience during which she realized she was drifting away from her family and needed to make some changes to reclaim her sovereignty.
“I feel like a visitor everywhere I go/ This house is just a house to me / It’s no longer home,” Jean sings in the song’s opening lines. She wears all of her emotions on her sleeve unapologetically, backed by power chords, blistering synths, a pulsing bass line, and driving drums.
“Sometimes coming into your own means that you’ll stand alone,” Jean explains. “But I hope that anyone who comes across my music will be inspired and be given the courage to never relinquish who they are and what they think just to satisfy others.”
Later in the emo-influenced song, Jean sings, “I can’t promise you my whole life won’t fall through / But this is what I have to do.” Clearly directed to the naysayers, including her estranged family, the message suggests a maturity to Jean’s defiant stance. She realizes her freedom and autonomy are not without their own set of challenges, but she accepts this reality as par for the course.
Perhaps most importantly, “///shutdown///mode///” reminds audiences that home is more about the people we’re with than the place we’re in. Regardless of whether we outgrow a place, person, or pursuit, life’s journey is full of new beginnings that have the potential to awaken us to better versions of ourselves.
Fans of WILLOW and Avril Lavigne will feel at home with Bekka Jean’s candid, emotionally charged, and non-conforming style. “///shutdown///mode///” finds Bekka Jean lost and searching for a “sense of direction.” After an initial listen to her strong debut, it’s clear that she’s found her true north in music.
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Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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