Interview: One With Shade Gets Personal Talking Mental Health & Dealing with Those Difficult Emotions

One With Shade
One With Shade
One With Shade evokes a moody intensity with his gripping sound and philosophical lyrical messages, especially on new single “Backwards.”
Stream: “Backwards” – One With Shade




Do you remember reading fantasy books as a kid like The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe or A Wrinkle In Time? We so often would have fun getting lost in these fantasy worlds. Now as adults with all our stress and responsibilities, more than ever we long for a diversion. Indie-electro talent One With Shade provides us that escapism we so desperately yearn for. With his use of dark, driving soundscapes and beautifully haunting vocals, we are transported to another world.

Backwards - One With Shade
Backwards – One With Shade
Passing years seemed to quell the source
I’m in control
Smiles flood a natural light
Don’t have to try
I’m going too fast
I don’t know where to be
I’m lucky to be alive

One With Shade centers around the story of traveling to an icy queendom called The North, filled with glamorous citizens all trying to mask their true selves. We are left to question who these people are and if they are actually happy. These profound reflections can mirror our own lives as we all at times try to cover up our insecurities.

No one knows that better than singer, songwriter, and producer Joey Weinberg, the mind behind One With Shade. As someone who suffers from mental health issues, sometimes it can feel easier to put on a brave face to hide the immense pain you are feeling inside. His latest release, “Backwards,” focuses on overcoming his mental health hardships and a need to run away to an alternate reality, causing him to be stuck between two different places.

I’m going too fast
Just slow it down, maybe
I’m going backwards
I’ve stolen my pride
The headlines scream it (where are we going?)
I’m going too fast
Just slow it down, maybe
I’m going backwards
I’m going too fast
Can’t recognize myself

— —

One With Shade
One With Shade

A CONVERSATION WITH ONE WITH SHADE

Backwards - One With Shade

Atwood Magazine: I love the project name One With Shade. How did you come up with such a unique title?

One With Shade: Honestly, I had a list of five possible artist names, and One With Shade (OWS) was the only one whose Twitter handle wasn’t taken. Ultimately, I’m glad I chose it because it fully embodies why I turned to making music.

Shade is a dark pocket in an area of light. I believe there is no light without darkness and no darkness without light in both a literal and figurative sense. Happiness is a result of coming out of a situation where you weren’t happy. But it’s important to remember that if you aren’t happy or are struggling, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a mindset I like to live by. Therefore I am One With Shade. And I hope you are too.

One With Shade is a concept based around your fantasy of escaping to an icy world of glamour where everyone wears masks to conceal their true selves. Can you explain this idea further?

One With Shade: Masks are representative of concealing who you are in order to appease society’s expectations.  I won’t go into too much detail, as I want to leave it up to the listener to unravel the story/meanings/hidden messages through both past and upcoming OWS releases.

The best overview, though, can be explained in “Lucid Dream” (off my first EP). I traveled to the snowy world of The North accidentally through sleep. Escaping into another world represents my inability to experience reality and confront my insecurities. I can’t figure out how to leave…but “Do I want to be saved?”

I like to leave most of my lyrics up for interpretation leaving the listener to figure it out. But do I, personally, have one singular meaning with every line I write? Maybe. Maybe not.

Your single “Backwards” is an intoxicating, moody electro track. How was the haunting track developed sonically?

One With Shade: I usually produce my songs myself. “Backwards” was the first time I collaborated on an OWS release. My buddy, G Zoom, makes chillwave, taking inspirations from the genre’s modern electronic sounding artists (ODESZA, Flume), where my inspirations are more rock/retro focused (M83, Neon Indian).

The resulting sound was just that. Modern drum sounds and production techniques, but the instrument/sound design/processing choices were pretty retro-influenced. We wanted to create something no one’s heard before. Experimental, yet approachable.

The song is a narration of your intense battle with anxiety, Tourette syndrome, ADD, and a stutter, but also it’s about being stuck in two worlds. What was it like creating a release so deep and personal?

One With Shade: “Backwards” is about how I continue to get happier and healthier as every day goes by and how much I enjoy life right now. But being mentally healthier has opened me up to really how much my shyness and anxiety affected my social experiences growing up, before things started to change in college. Sometimes, it can be easy to get down on myself because of it. When I am reminded of those times growing up, I’m usually able to brush it off and live in the now, not the past.

Once in a blue moon, I’ll have a bad day, stuck in regret, thinking I’m going backwards. Days like that (usually from lack of sleep. Sleep is everything!), self-doubt and regret can build up over those few hours. And that’s what I wanted to get across with the vocal and instrumental layering. As the song progresses, the lyrics become less and less discernible.

But it’s cathartic. Writing and bringing my emotions out though sound is how I heal. And how I hope others can heal with my intended immersive experiences: the recorded material, through layering and a healthy dose of reverb; and my live shows through synced up lights and visuals.

One With Shade
One With Shade

The song is titled “Backwards” because sometimes when you look back at what you missed out on due to your struggles, you feel overwhelmed, like you are going backwards. What advice would you give to others that are feeling that same kind of emotion?

One With Shade: Accept it. Don’t fight it. If you have a bad day, turn on Netflix or go on a walk. There are very few people that like who they were in high school. You should never fear making mistakes and learning from them. That’s how people grow. So of course you’re gonna have embarrassing moments you cringe looking back on.

Speaking of emotions, other than music, is there any other kind of outlet you use as a therapeutic release?

One With Shade: Either going on a drive or to the gym helps!

What first sparked your love of music?

One With Shade: I was always a huge music fan growing up, coming from music-obsessed parents. My dad always played Coldplay and the Garden State soundtrack in the car on the way to school,  and I was a big punk/alt rock fan (Green Day, Billy Talent, Fall Out Boy). So I was exposed to lots of genres growing up.

I never felt the need to create music until I saw the movie Drive. The soundtrack introduced me to moody, dreamy electronic-focused music. I became obsessed with it, allowing me to put on headphones and escape my problems through the music’s lush sounds.

Everything mentioned above has played a big part in influencing One With Shade’s sound.

Who are some talents that have really inspired you?

One With Shade: Man Without Country and Twenty One Pilots both mean a lot to me. Both have created worlds through their sounds and lyrical content, giving me the confidence to pull off something similar.

Lastly, are there any artists you have recently added to your playlist you can recommend to our readers?

One With Shade: Way too many. But some of my favorites of late are Lastlings, Two People, Small Black, and darkDARK.  My “Cold Atmosphere” and “My Inspirations” playlists are linked to my Spotify profile. Always adding new songs to both!

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:: stream/purchase “Backwards” here ::
Stream: “Backwards” – One With Shade



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Backwards - One With Shade

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