This quote from the French mathematician Blaise Pascal resonates profoundly in a world full of distractions. The discomfort with solitude and the chase for quick pleasures keeps us from embracing the beauty that surrounds us.
In 2020, I moved to a new house, and during one of my introspective walks exploring the neighborhood, I stumbled upon a graffiti that read “Urban Dream Tonight” That encounter inspired me to write a song as my musical persona “Kashoo”.
Once I finished setting up my new music studio, the first thing I did was start working on this song. At the time, it was an instrumental piece, transmitting the vibe I was feeling at the moment. It wasn’t until 2022 that I came up with lyrics.
During those 2 years, my introspective walks became part of who I am, and a powerful tool I had to calm my mind when feeling overwhelmed by daily life stimulation. Then I found a place close to my house that became my healing sanctuary, where I decided to record the music video. It’s the perfect balance between nature and urban elements. For my luck, it was a perfect foggy day in Lisbon, which illustrates how our minds become cluttered and unable to have clarity.
During my walks, I found inspiration in Lo-fi Hip Hop, particularly through platforms like Lo-fi Girl and Chillhop music. This genre, characterized by its laid-back beats and soothing melodies, offers a sanctuary from life’s chaos. It began as a niche underground movement but has gained millions of listeners who appreciate its capacity to calm the mind and inspire introspection.
Once all the noise was gone, I could reflect on how existence itself is unbelievable. The way atoms arrange themselves in a certain way, which makes it possible for vibrations to be felt and interpreted by our brains as music, or the way light photons behave in a certain way that allows us to see things that evoke emotions. We take so much for granted, that it sounds useless to think about how we are living in a blue-glowing rock drifting in the cosmos, and how our limited sensorial experience doesn’t allow us to understand what’s the sense of being alive as a conscious being.
While we are worried about how many likes we have on Instagram, questions like these fade away and we get farther from having any sense of clarity and awareness. The overload of stimulation fogs our mind just like in the video “Urban Dreams”.
The difficulty of escaping dopamine dependency relies on the fact that attention is one of the most valuable currencies nowadays. Advertisers will concentrate all efforts on acquiring as much consciousness real estate as possible. It’s easily verified by trying to go one day without being exposed to any kind of advertising.
Urban dreams are the symbol of the state of mind we live in in modern society: foggy and scattered attention, inability to focus, obliviousness as a standard, existence over living, and immersion in a matrix-like reality formed by intangible ideas and concepts.
We experience a reality in which particles follow a certain “source code” that makes them produce vibrations in an infinite range of frequencies, some of which we can interpret as music. Fortunately, we can harness this power to protect our limited mental energy from stimulation that does nothing but drain it. Allied with walks close to nature, we can get rid of some of the mental fog, and that alone puts us ahead of most of the human population.
Throughout human history, many techniques were invented aiming at obtaining clarity. Music occupies a special place because it’s not something invented by humans, but merely a language the universe created and we have learned how to speak. Each note you hear is a disturbance in the air molecules, which obey a set of rules that we call “laws of physics”. We can navigate these rules but never change them.
Whatever is your favorite genre, keep in mind that music is a great way to connect to reality. Unlike human-made concepts, it exists regardless of anything humans can do, so pick your favorite playlist, go for a walk, rise above the noise, and listen to what the universe has to say.