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Mumbai Singer-Songwriter Addresses Depression and Suicide on Debut Song

Bryan Ernest’s first single “It’s OK Not To Be Okay” references the recent incident involving a youth jumping to his death from a high-res hotel

David Britto May 09, 2017
Bryan Ernest

Mumbai singer-songwriter Bryan Ernest’s debut single “Its Ok Not To Be Okay” tackles depression and suicide. Photo: The Whole Shabang

Last month, a 24-year-old engineering student, Arjun Bhardwaj, took his life by jumping off the 15th floor of Mumbai’s Taj Lands End hotel. What made the incident even more horrific was that he recorded a Facebook Live video of the events leading to the jump. Bhardwaj’s suicide sent shock waves across social media in India, pointing once again to the need for depression and mental health to be addressed as serious health hazards.

The incident also prompted Mumbai singer-songwriter Bryan Ernest to pen a song about “not being okay.” Says Ernest, “I was very disturbed after I heard about it”¦ So that night, I sat for about 10 hours and wrote this song.”

“Its OK Not To Be Okay” opens with a catchy hook that would probably resonate with a lot of teens and young adults: “Its OK not to be okay/That’s what we should have been told/When we were young and a down and a feeling low.” The track then spirals into an up-tempo, almost reggae-esque, rap verse. The lyrics touch upon everything from Bhardwaj’s calamity to assuring people that there is always someone to seek help from when dealing with depression.

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The singer-songwriter also feels that as a society, we don’t pay attention to people dealing with depression and are even unwilling to listen to their problems. “We ridicule people who are depressed; we are all very insensitive, including me,” he says.

“Its OK Not To Be Okay” was self-produced by Ernest and recorded at his home studio in Mumbai. The singer-songwriter’s debut album, titled Square One, is slated for release in late 2017. “Music is the best way I can express myself–you never know how it helps people,” he says.

Watch the music video for “It’s OK Not To Be Okay” below. Buy the song on OK Listen