By Cynthia Gross
On February 25, D.C. based Syrian-American alternative artist Husam released his latest single, “Chosen One.” The cinematic and triumphant track inspired by Husam’s lived experiences chronicles his journey breaking free from an abusive upbringing and reclaiming his self-worth, reminding audiences that your past does not have to limit your future.
“I’m the only one who made it out the gate / I was meant to change the world someday,” Husam sings in the opening lines of “Chosen One,” accompanied by intricate melodic mallet vibes, flute, and a hip-hop beat infused with world percussion. The verses of the song capture Husam’s family immigration story, including the damaging effects of generational trauma and his courageous choice to write his own chapter.
“Chosen One” continues to build in a captivating and magical way, and by the time we enter the chorus, the song emerges in all of its anthemic glory. The juxtaposition of the introspective verses to the big hook seems to be symbolic of Husam’s process of growing stronger through adversity. “I’m the chosen one / The road’s a lonely one,” he sings. The passion and honesty in Husam’s delivery causes listeners to not only share in his journey, but also celebrate in his victory. Fans of Imagine Dragons will identify with Husam’s latest single.
Husam explains, “’Chosen One’ was created around my personal experience growing up as an Arab American. Apart from one other aunt, my mother and father were the only ones in my extended family to immigrate to the U.S from Syria. I thought about how my mindset would be different if I had lived and grew up in Syria.”
“I felt very grateful because being in the U.S. opened my mind up; it shaped the person I am today. I broke free from my parents when I stood up to their abusive, controlling behavior, something that very few people in my community have done. I’ve lived this pain, and if anyone was to stop the generational trauma that happens in our culture and be a voice to those who are going through it, it was me. I am the chosen one.”
Husam is an impressive creative talent whose eclectic influences range from Enrico Caruso and Sabah Fakhri, to Queen and August Alsina, to Logic and Eminem. His distinct, elemental sound feels spiritual and life-affirming, creating the type of atmosphere you want to get wrapped up in and be in no hurry to leave.
Follow our Alchemical Multigenre Mixdown playlist for more great music featured on the site.
Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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The album is a labor of love that Soft Punch, the stage name of Rye Thomas, has been working on for years since the diagnosis of his chronic illness. It takes you through the highs and lows, mourning the freedom lost, and celebrating the things that he is grateful for in his day to day life. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his process of writing the album.
The titles of albums are the first thing that an artist sees. That, and the artist’s name. When I first heard the name ‘Soft Punch’, I was intrigued. It was gentle but intentional. “I don’t know if I had a specific ‘A-ha, Lightbulb’ moment, but I was interested in words that sound good together and have multiple meanings,” Thomas said. “It’s a gentle hit, and a nonalcoholic punch. It’s the image of something harsh and something soft is interesting to me. I think I lucked out.”